In the past few years, the ecommerce industry has been steadily evolving, with innovation and growth as the driving factors. This makes us believe that the future of ecommerce is exceptionally bright.
Statistics show that e-commerce sales in the global retail market will increase to $5.4 trillion by the end of 2022. Moreover, in the upcoming years, artificial intelligence tools for digital marketing and ecommerce companies will become a common way to increase conversions.
One of the biggest contributors to ecommerce growth has been the coronavirus outbreak. In 2020, global ecommerce markets grew by 25.7%.
These numbers prove that the ecommerce industry is thriving and will continue to grow. This dynamic industry consists of ever-changing trends, integrations, technological innovations, and new agencies. There’s no denying the fact that e-commerce is one of the best industries to be a part of.
5 Ways Ecommerce Has Evolved Over The Last Few Years
Non-US Markets Have Started to Embrace Online Shopping
In the past five years, ecommerce stores and retail sales have been steadily rising, and trends show that this will continue in the future years.
However, after COVID-19, consumer optimism has started to fall in many countries. That being said, the pandemic has allowed people to accept further that e-commerce is the way of the world, especially for necessities.
As a result, businesses can now expand their sales across borders. However, it’s best for these brands to make sure that moving to a more global marketplace is right for them.
Here are some questions to ask before making a final decision:
- What is the demand for my product?
- Can my current marketing be used in other countries? Or should I invest in specially tailored campaigns?
- Should I make changes and localize my ecommerce site so that an international audience understands the content?
- What kind of payment options can I use in cross-cultural countries?
- How will my businesses cope with cross-border shipping?
To succeed in the ecommerce market, businesses today must think about all costs related to marketing, selling, and shipping products internationally to figure out whether global ecommerce is worth the risk.
The ecommerce industry is full of possibilities, but there are some inherent dangers too. So it’s best for businesses with a more global ambition to first set up their own platform for mobile ecommerce to boost their sales.
Automation Boosts Growth and Productivity
Automation aims to complete a task using the least amount of human intervention. This means that, through automation, you can schedule emails in a CRM, automate things to do, or leverage advanced technology to help you hire the right candidate.
In the next five years, machine learning and robotics will become increasingly common and dictate ecommerce trends.
Funding is another indicator of these trends. In the past few months, AI platforms for voice apps and chatbots have received loads of funding, and a forklift developer has managed to collect $15 million.
For starters, machine learning can achieve more than simply automation. It can enhance the number of tasks and processes that take too much effort and time or cannot be performed by humans.
Machine learning aims to boost ecommerce personalization so that customers can enjoy an optimized store experience.
For example, have you ever made a purchase and then found websites recommending similar products for you to buy? These websites use machine learning to understand your personality and analyze your buying history.
Retailers use machine learning to store and analyze data and create a personalized shopping experience. The data is also used to implement marketing campaigns, optimize prices, and gather consumer insights.
This method of storing data and analyzing it can also help detect high-risk or fraudulent orders from a business’s ecommerce store via specially-tailored touchpoints.
In the next five years, machine learning will complete tasks independently without data scientists overseeing it, especially for daily applications used in ecommerce sales. As a business, if you want to benefit from machine learning, the key is to start considering your pain points. For example, if you need help with customer support and are losing business because of it, a chatbot can significantly help.
Automation in the eCommerce industry is taking over work from humans, and we expect more of it in the coming years. Autonomous vehicles, drones, and robotic devices are being introduced to support the supply chain, specifically to search for, identify, and ship products in warehouses. Moreover, the United States is very close to experiencing completely autonomous freight vehicles on the roads.
Headless Technology and Voice Commerce Will Allow Automated Commerce
According to a survey, 45% of millennials have used Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home, and other forms of voice technology for some form of ecommerce shopping. This is vastly different from the way consumers viewed and interacted with ecommerce in the past.
Still, more and more individuals are becoming more confident using voice-assisted technologies, and we believe this trend will continue to grow.
Consumers may not fully rely on voice-assisted technologies just yet to buy high-end luxury goods, but they’ve definitely started using this new technology to reorder everyday items, like cat food or milk. An important reason is Amazon’s ability to remember consumers’ brand preferences and the required quantity, making reordering super easy.
In the next few years, voice commerce trends and subscriptions that work with automated commerce (a-commerce) and headless commerce-powered devices will become more popular.
Headless commerce has been providing more options for ecommerce platforms. In fact, it is a powerful commerce engine that can pair up well with IoT (internet of things) devices.
IoT devices can predict when a consumer is about to run out of a product and then order it to save them the inconvenience. This will work like inventory management for consumers, so their refrigerators and pantry can be restocked automatically.
As this becomes increasingly popular, brands will strive to fit into this model by providing consumer packaged goods.
Progressive Web Apps Boost Mobile Commerce
PWAs or Progressive Web Apps boost customer experience by using the latest web technology developments that resemble a native app, particularly on mobile phones.
PWAs are becoming more popular because they boost customer experience, provide super-fast speeds, and better engagement by delivering push notifications and showing up on a phone’s home screen.
Access to an online store via a mobile device is no longer a novelty- it is becoming more and more common across the globe. Estimates show that in 2022, smartphone sales will be worth over $432 billion.
If an ecommerce business can expand to global locations, like the Middle East, Africa, and the Asia Pacific region, they can manage to attract a wide range of customers.
The ecommerce industry has started combining headless commerce architecture with a PWA to boost the shopping experience, especially on mobile phones. Developers and marketers can ensure they do not get in each other’s way by separating the commerce engine from an online store’s front end. This lowers the possibility of unanticipated consequences while giving consumers a familiar experience with mobile applications.
Ecommerce Brands are interested in PWAs because they do not need a lot of resources to develop and maintain. Moreover, they are customizable, making online stores mobile and desktop-friendly. Keep in mind that this is significantly different from investing in iOS and Android native applications with coding languages and specialized development tools.
Also, PWAs load quickly by combining modern catching, such as GraphQL, and other solutions that help increase a website’s performance. This increases consumer satisfaction while boosting site metrics. A PWA can also be used offline or at slow internet speeds.
Customer Acquisition and Experience Have Become a Deciding Force in Business Development
COVID-19 has introduced consumers to a digital-first world. To be successful, brands have to strive harder to ensure that customers are given a rich shopping experience, especially as the ecommerce industry continues to grow.
As technologies can produce differentiated experiences and are becoming more popular, brands have started to look towards innovative solutions. This means giving customers a superior experience.
For many businesses, this means using videos to boost the shopping experience while making the brand more attractive. A compelling video increases engagement, allowing shoppers to interact with the brand.
Similarly, Augmented Reality (AR) brings exciting new realities to customer experience. It involves overlaying real-world physical objects and locations with virtual elements for us to see the real and virtual worlds interact in real-time. So, AR creates new opportunities for sellers to interact with their customers in 3D on mobile devices.
These digital experiences have changed the market, influencing how businesses create and add value to customer journeys and enticing them to hit the buy button.
What to Expect from the Ecommerce Industry in the Next 5 Years
Now that we know how the ecommerce industry is changing, here are some trends to look forward to in the next five years.
These trends will allow the industry to grow faster and bring some purposeful changes:
Deliveries Made Better Through Automated Shipping
When referring to what ecommerce will look like in the next few years, we cannot disregard the power of automated shipping. Building strategically located fulfillment centers is vital to cater to increasingly tech-savvy buyers.
Automated shipping is the future of the ecommerce industry as it is a great asset that stores can use for optimization purposes. This will ensure that shipments do not have to be manually aligned and allow timely and quick delivery to consumers.
Today, shipping automation software like Shippo, ShippingEast, and ShipperHQ is available for purchase and can be synced with ecommerce stores. The competition for quick delivery times is increasing, and brands can retain customers with automated shipping software.
Integrated Digital and Physical Connection
Integrating brick and motor stores with digital stores is something we expect from the ecommerce industry in future years. Even though digital marketing has increased online sales, brick and motor stores are still highly valued.
If a business owns an online and physical store, it can integrate the two to offer the same products and services but change the experience offered to consumers. For example, Nike has already jumped on this bandwagon and started offering a new in-store experience as consumers can customize their products, participate in activities, and sample exclusive products unavailable in their digital space.
PoS systems, like Revel, Square, and Lightspeed, are also becoming more popular, especially since they are eCommerce-friendly. These systems will sync with online stores to boost customer experience.
The best part about creating two experiences for customers at a physical store and online is that businesses can analyze new and old customers and tailor their products accordingly.
Innovative Payment Methods
As global digitalization continues to grow, different payment methods will emerge. Ecommerce stores will not only offer cash payments, bank transfers, and debit/credit cards but will become more innovative with their payment methods.
New payment gateways like 2Checkout, Stripe, and PayPal are already becoming popular. In the future, they will allow ecommerce industries to sync these payment gateways into their stores so that customers can enjoy a seamless payment experience.
One of the most popular eCommerce future trends is convenient and innovative payment methods. As a business owner, we recommend setting your ecommerce business up accordingly so your customers can enjoy shopping on your platform.
People buy what they know and understand. Ecommerce gives businesses the ability to impact the decision-making skills of their target audiences, giving them exciting new ways to interact with products. Cutting-edge technologies improve these interactions and help customers feel comfortable enough to hit the buy button.
We cannot deny that the future of the ecommerce industry is bright and consists of some mind-blowing technological innovations and advancements.
Businesses with an online store must aim to stay on top of eCommerce trends to try innovative solutions for their store. You can keep yourself in the loop by communicating with industry influencers, sharing ideas, and gathering knowledge. This will allow businesses to stay ahead of the competition and not remain stagnant in a thriving, ever-growing industry.