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.
Walmart if one of the go-to places for all things gaming and this holiday finds the mega-chain offering good deals on a variety of gaming consoles and bundles. Whether you choose PS4 or Xbox, there are several bundles to choose from at varying price points. Some of these best-sellers may sell out before Christmas so shop now if you have one of these on your list!
PlayStation 4 Slim 500GB Uncharted 4 Bundle – $269
Save $30.96 off the list price of $299.96 on this best-selling gaming bundle that includes a Slim 500GB PlayStation 4 system, DualShock 4 Wireless Controller and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End on Blu-ray disc.
Xbox One S Battlefield 1 Bundle (500GB) – $269
Another best-selling bundle also discounted $30.96. This one includes Xbox One S 500GB console, controller and Battlefield 1 game.
Xbox One S Console with Bonus Game or Wireless Controller – $299.96 – $399.96
This Special Buy lets you build your own bundle from one of five consoles including 500GB, 1TB and 2TB models plus your choice of three games or two controllers. If you want to customize your new system with extra controllers or special games, this is the way to do it.
Xbox One S Console with Bonus Game or Wireless Controller – $279.99
Another Special Buy, this one is discounted $70 from $349.99. The bundle includes 500GB PlayStation 4, Standard Edition full game, Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 and DUALSHOCK 4 wireless controller.
Xbox One S 1TB Gears of War 4 Bundle – $349.89
This best-seller is discounted $80.47 from $439.36. Included in this super-sized bundle are Xbox One S 1TB Console, 1 Xbox Wireless Controller, HDMI cable (4K Capable), a full game download of Gears of War 4 for both Xbox One and Windows 10 (card with code included in box), AC Power cable, and a 14-day Xbox Live Gold Trial. This looks like a pretty sweet deal on the 1TB console.
Xbox One 1TB Tom Clancy’s The Division Console Bundle – $299.99
A different best-selling bundle includes 1TB hard drive, controller and a full-game download of Tom Clancy’s The Division.
It’s the time of the year when you want to record your family’s holiday fun for posterity and share memories with friends and relatives far away. Sure, you can always use the camera on your smartphone but when you want to take high quality photos, there’s nothing like a real camera. Here are several available for great prices right now. Happy holiday shooting!
Canon EOS Rebel T6 EF-S 18-55 with EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Refurbished – $329.99
Most of Canon’s hot deals on refurbished camera equipment have already sold out but this standout is still available at Canon.com. This EOS Digital SLR bundle has a list price of $599.98 so you save $269.99 on this duo which includes everything you need to take great photos. Don’t let the “refurbished” label put you off since these items look and work like new and include a one-year warranty.
EOS Rebel T6i EF-S 18-55mm IS STM & EF-S 55-250mm IS STM Lens Refurbished – $539.99
Another cool EOS bundle from Canon, this one is discounted $419.99 from $959.98 and lets you shoot movies as well as photos and quickly share them on social media. Again, you get a one-year warranty.
Canon EOS Rebel T6 Wi-Fi Digital SLR Camera & EF-S 18-55mm IS II kit with 75-300mm III Lens, 64GB Card, Case, Flash, Battery & Charger and Tripod – $629.99
For the budding photog who wants to get off to a good start, this kit from Walmart’s marketplace seller Cameta Camera has just about everything you would need at a discount of $330 off the list price of $959.99. This kit includes manufacturer-supplied accessories with full warranties.
Kodak AZ251 Digital Camera with 16.15 Megapixels and 25x Optical Zoom – $129.00
Walmart is selling this easy-to-use camera for just $129, a discount of $40 off the list price of $169.99. If you’re looking for something simple and budget friendly, this camera by Kodak will fill the bill.
Good news for harried parents as the most endangered species of the 2016 holiday shopping season will be making an appearance at a Target store near you this weekend! For a limited time, the Hatchimals are back, at least as long as this batch lasts.
Starting Sunday morning, Target stores nationwide will have a new shipment of the sought-after interactive toy including the Target exclusive Bearakeet. The good news is that Target will be selling the Hatchimals for just $59.99 each. The bad news is that lines are already forming outside some Target stores as frantic parents continue their quest for the year’s hottest and rarest toy.
The Hatchimal is a speckled egg that hatches into a virtual pet that will grow with care and training. Unlike a real pet, it will not die or run away if you neglect it. There are enough kids clamoring for this experience to drive prices up to over $200 each on Amazon and eBay.
Target’s corporate blog A Bullseye View leaked the news that beginning on Sunday, December 11, each Target store in the U.S. will be receiving dozens of Hatchimals with more coming during the week. Will this be enough to cure the nationwide Hatchimal drought of 2016?
If all else fails, Hatchimal-themed gift cards will be available for purchase in Target toy departments that can be cashed in on one of the toys when more stock is expected after the first of the year. Hopefully, the child will not have moved on to desiring another toy by then.
This is hardly the first time that seemingly every kid in the country decided that he or she wanted the exact same toy for Christmas, causing empty aisles in stores and panic among parents. Decades ago, it was Beanie Babies and Cabbage Patch Kids. This year it’s the Hatchimal.
If you’re one of the parents planning to camp out in a Target parking lot for the next few days, dress warm and practice your self-defense moves.
This is not the best year to get a hot deal on a smartphone but there are some decent deals out there if you know where to look for them. Here are a few offers for Sprint customers new and current but be warned that most are good for a limited time.
If you have a large family and want to give all of them smartphones for Christmas, Sprint is offering free Samsung Galaxy J3 phones for your whole family when you buy a new smartphone for yourself. Of course, there’s lots of fine print like up to 10 lines, 24-month agreements, taxes, early termination, etc. The J3 is not Samsung’s flagship phone but it is a decent choice for a budget model with a list price of $192. This deal expires January 1.
Sprint is also offering its Unlimited Freedom plan at $60 a month for one line, $40 for the second and $30 each for additional lines. This would average out to $32.50 per month per line for a family of four and also expires January 1.
Another good Sprint deal lets customers with good credit get a new Samsung Galaxy S7 for no money down with 24 monthly payments of $28.96, plus get another Galaxy S7 free and a free Samsung Gear VR headset with Oculus gift pack.
All these deals can be found at Sprint.com but Best Buy is also offering a $200 gift card when you buy and activate select smartphones with a monthly payment or lease plan from Sprint. The smartphones included in this offer are the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone SE, Samsung Galaxy S7, Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, Samsung Galaxy J3, LG V20 and LG G5. The Galaxy J3 is an especially sweet deal since payments are only $8 per month.
Given the shortage of super duper smartphone deals this year, all of these are worth checking out provided you want to have Sprint as your carrier. It’s always a good idea to check back on the websites of the major carriers to see what new goodies they’re offering this week.
Practically everyone loves looking at all the latest tech items like gaming consoles and interactive toys but most of them are pretty pricey. Here are a few fun tech toys for both kids and adults that make great gifts at $100 or less.
Unlike large gaming consoles that cost hundreds of dollars and require a batch of accessories, the Nintendo 2DS is palm-sized and can go anywhere. Great for passing the time while on a plane or just waiting, this tiny console sells for just $99.
If someone you know is addicted to Netflix or Hulu but does not have a smart TV, a streaming device will be a welcome gift. There are several available for $100 or less including the Roku+ for $100 and Amazon’s Fire TV bundle for $90. Even cheaper is the Google Chromecast Ultra starting at $69.
Drones are one of the hottest toys of the year for kids and grownups who love to play at being kids again. The Syma X5C Explorers drone sells for under $60 while the Air Hogs Ultimate Millennium Falcon Quad drone is about $80. Walmart has the Extreme Ready-to-Fly Quadcopter drone for $69.99 and several more drones for under $100.
Amazon has a ton of these like the Echo Dot for just $49.99. Even cheaper are the Cambridge Soundworks wireless Bluetooth speaker for $27.99 and the Doss Touch wireless Bluetooth portable speaker for $34.99. A best seller with great reviews, the Anker Premium stereo Bluetooth speaker is just $50.99.
Virtual Reality headsets
These are one of the hottest gift ideas for this year, mostly because not that many of us have them yet and the gadgets are available at a variety of price points . The LANIAKEA VR headset with magnetic front cover and adjustable focal is just $30.99 on Amazon while Walmart has the new EVO Next VR headset with Bluetooth controller for $29.99.