Article by Suroor Wijdan, Founder of Xencov Software
The e-commerce world, things like the selection of products, pricing, shipping and customer service all play an important role in the customer experience. The products that have the best user experience and create the greatest amount of joy end up getting the customers’ attention and pocketbook. And to create such user experiences, businesses need to stay observant and responsive to change. They need to be one step ahead of the curve like Amazon is trying to stay ahead by its unique features and services such as consistently low prices, giving customers’ Sunday delivery and use of drones to deliver small packages, etc. Such companies are continuing to innovate in e-commerce and space will continue to evolve providing customers with more selection at better prices and faster shipping. But these are all logistics, other elements equally play an important role in delighting users i.e., Technology.
Technological advancements have had a huge impact on the e-commerce world, changing the way consumers connect with brands. Technology is always evolving and shaping up the future of e-commerce businesses. For their strategic plans and competitive marketing e-commerce organizations need to remain up to date with the latest technologies. These technological advancements have taken the e-commerce industry to the next level and will continue to mark a new territory of innovation in the coming years.
Let’s discuss some of these advancements and their implications for driving forward e-commerce success:
- Artificial Intelligence- AI has raised the marketing standards with smart solutions in various sectors especially in e-commerce over the past few years. AI is helpful in effective personalization which comes from understanding customers’ preferences and behavior. Through AI, nearly every user action online is captured and stored, creating a huge pool of information known as big data. AI and machine learning analytics drive customer behavior patterns, whilst simultaneously translating this data, that means businesses are provided with a cycle of desires and expectations, creating endless possibilities.
- Digital/ Internet Growth– With the arrival of smartphones, the internet is within the reach of millions which has also changed the ways people live and work. Customers have found their way to online services. They demand easy access, the immediate response around the clock for online shopping, electronic payments and delivery of their products. Equipping yourself with the ongoing digital growth is important for the companies to create a better customer experience and to be competitive in the market.
- AR and VR- AR and VR are completely changing the traditional dynamic of customers going to physical stores to try and experience the products. With AR and VR, retailers can build awareness of their brands’ features and offer customers a chance to virtually experience the same. Several e-commerce giants and startups are in fact engaging customers through virtual experiences by creating virtual showrooms and allowing customers to explore their products from the comfort of their homes. Integrated AR and VR technologies provide an immersive shopping experience to the customers, connecting them with the brand in a more deeper and meaningful way.
- IoT- The IoT has revolutionized e-commerce in many ways. The IoT provides digital communication through specialized hardware and embedded systems. Inventory can be easily tracked through the use of IoT sensors. Customers can view and shop available inventory in real-time which creates a sense of transparency between retailers and customers. The IoT can track and monitor the entire e-commerce experience from the time a customer first engages with a site to the shipment of products creating an enhanced shopping experience for customers and help achieve great ROI for retailers.
- Emerging Web Standards- The focus of technological innovation in e-commerce is towards enhancing the user experience, improving conversion rates and reducing cart abandonment. To achieve all, entrepreneurs should adapt to emerging web standards. Their web store design should be attractive and easy-to-navigate that prompts customers from visiting the webpage to finally purchase products. Convenient and quick payment methods such as PayPal, Google Pay are replacing tedious billing forms, and have shown to remarkably increase conversion rates. E-commerce merchants should adopt these technological developments to enhance customer loyalty that will lead to increased conversions.
Technology is the backbone of e-commerce. Not only does it help connect sellers and customers on mobile and web platforms, but it also enables the effective management of customer orders, deliveries, returns and payments of purchased goods. It allows enhanced search, customization, and personalization, which are fast becoming “must-have” capabilities for e-commerce success.