E-commerce has changed the way businesses and customers transact goods and services. By widening options to shop in a physical commercial location to online stores, e-commerce brought customers the convenience and comfort to check out or purchase items anywhere. While new technology brings changes to how people do their digital shopping, it is not static but constantly evolving to address emerging needs of the current crop of tech-savvy consumers.
Efficient Checkout and Payment Options
In the coming years, utilizing electronic wallets or digital payment options to pay for purchases will become more mainstream as more customers are going cashless. As technology becomes more refined, it will be easier to pay with smart devices with a digital wallet instead of cards. Bitcoin and other types of cryptocurrency will also emerge as payment options in the future with retailers working with payment platforms to be able to handle these alternative currencies. In the future, protecting users of digital payment options will also become a paramount concern among retailers and financial institutions.
Alternative Delivery Methods
Drone technology will take online product delivery to new levels of efficiency. Amazon Prime first unveiled its drone delivery service in the UK in December before finally heading to US shores this month, with an exhibition of their octocopter delivery capabilities during the Amazon MARS 2017 conference in Palm Springs, California. Retailers are eyeing same day or faster delivery using drone technology methods. According to Amazon, when the service becomes commercially available, they expect packages to be delivered in 30 minutes or less. Even the United Parcel Service are exploring the possibility of utilizing these unmanned vehicles in remote locations for faster delivery. They are also looking at using warehouses on wheels as a docking station for the drones.
Expanded Social Media Presence
Smartphones and other devices will continue to be widely used for e-commerce in the future. Some stores will adopt a more efficient online method of customer service, widely employing social media platforms to connect with customers in real time. Customers, in turn, will be able to post comments in real time and generate responses from retailers. Online marketing will be more personalized and targeted as predictive data analytics becomes more refined and advanced. Online product recommendations will reflect items which are more likely to be purchased by consumers.
Real Time Data Generation
E-commerce platforms will be incorporated with real-time data capturing technology. Figures derived from product sales, consumer interest and feedback and a host of other factors will be easily collated to assist retailers in product development and marketing.
According to a survey from PEW Research, around 8 out of 10 U.S based consumers are doing their purchases online in 2015. More than a decade ago, a similar survey revealed only 22 percent were online shoppers. The numbers reveal how e-commerce has quickly carved a demand among consumers. The introduction of new e-commerce technology that will make the process faster and more efficient will encourage a new generation of shoppers to purchase online.