Trends that will shape the future of ecommerce
The world of e-commerce is undergoing a wave of innovation. Technology plays an important role on this, but it is not the only one. With the evolution of consumer behaviors and expectations, new business models are rising and that is about to change the future of e-commerce.
Today’s e-commerce consumers are always looking for products that are delivered quickly and less expensively. They expect more from e-commerce and dream of discovering unique goods that they cannot find elsewhere. This desire for instant access is accelerated by Generation Z, digital natives. These generations are constantly connected and thanks to social media where events happen in real time, they can decide whether to purchase a product online or not.
Consumers today are increasingly demanding, and expect service and support from the online merchant, free or very low-cost delivery at anytime and anywhere. The product displayed online should be up to the promise of the merchant, which can be called “the feel of what consumers see and what they get”. This brings great pressure to the retailer because if he does not meet expectations, the next stage is bankruptcy.
The evolution of e-commerce begins with the proliferation of wearable devices and technology: smart TVs, connected cars and connected household appliances. Consumers can start their shopping on a mobile platform and finish it in-store. This trend won’t stop, because there will be announced a growing number of devices and touchpoints over the coming years. So, one key condition of a merchant’s success will be his ability to keep track of users across a growing number of devices.
Therefore, there will be a massive adoption of smartphones with larger screens to improve the m-commerce experience. Meanwhile, retailers should optimize their websites for mobile shopping to change the smartphone into a platform that can support advanced search of product, comparisons, recommendations, and payments. As a matter of fact, recent studies indicate that over the next five years and beyond, we expect a significant growth in mobile payments for online goods and services.
This new trend will accompany the mobile proximity payments, aka in-store m-payments. Certainly, once Near Field Communication (NFC) technology is universally deploying across merchants, consumers can appreciate the speed and convenience that in-store mobile payments can bring.
Another element that can also change the world of e-commerce is the emergence of the next generation of digital assistants. Today, we have Siri, Cortana, and Google but it is just the beginning and it can become far more sophisticated by applying the power of artificial intelligence to e-commerce.
Last but not least, delivery service will surely continue to be a key differentiator for e-commerce. Largest players are expected to invest in their own delivery systems, to mark their difference from competitors, for example by using drones or driverless cars for delivery.