Online retail is one of the largest and fastest-growing industries in the world. According to the report, the global eCommerce market is projected to grow to almost $3.5 trillion in 2019. It owes much of its success to the latest tech advancements, Artificial Intelligence (AI) in particular.
New solutions enabled a meteoric rise of eCommerce, giving businesses a plethora of innovative sales tactics and possibilities. But how exactly is technology changing the rules of online commerce? Do you know how it affects digital sales?
In this post, we will show you the most important changes along with the key benefits of online retail. Let’s take a look!
The Benefits of Online Shopping
Have you ever wondered what makes online commerce so popular and successful? Craig Jones, an eCommerce specialist at the Australia Essay, says there are many ways to explain this phenomenon, but the most significant features are these:
- Availability: Online stores are open 24/7, which takes availability to the whole new level.
- Simplicity: Buying online gives users the opportunity to find and compare products with only a few clicks and it doesn’t get any simpler than that.
- No limits: Unlike brick and mortar stores, eCommerce platforms can operate from anywhere in the world.
- Cost efficiency: Digital retail has much lower operational costs because it eliminates a lot of details common to traditional businesses. Besides that, setting up an online company is relatively quick and easy.
7 Ways Technology Influences Online Commerce
After the brief introduction, it is time to concentrate on the main topic of our article. Without further ado, we present you seven ways technology is influencing online commerce.
Chatbots became an instant sensation of the eCommerce world. Today, you can rarely find a serious website without chatbot technology because it enables around the clock customer service. According to the report, 60% of users have used this mechanism to interact with a business in the past 12 months. And it’s not only about availability – chatbots are getting smarter with each new interaction, which means they keep improving over time.
AI is able to analyze the history of interactions with the consumer and identify his/her behavioural patterns. It allows eCommerce companies to cross-sell products by recommending items similar to the ones previously bought. The largest online retailer, Amazon, is famous for its recommendation system that filters data in real-time and offers highly relevant suggestions to the returning consumers.
- Augmented Reality
AR is adding new layers of information to real-life images. That way, customers can learn much more about the desired product or even test it to see how it works. A great example comes in the form of IKEA Place, an app that “makes home furnishing easier.” The tool is simple but extremely useful: it lets customers see exactly how more than two thousand furniture items would look and fit in their homes.
- Social commerce
Social platforms still don’t want to enter the eCommerce game, but they definitely contribute to the industry through advertising. Almost 85% of online shoppers in the United States review at least one social media site before making a purchase.
The likes of Facebook and LinkedIn allow businesses to run ultra-precise targeting based not only on demographic features but also on personal preferences and interests. Furthermore, it seems like Instagram is making the first move toward social selling, introducing the so-called shoppable posts. That way, users don’t have to leave this platform to complete the entire customer journey – from discovery to checkout.
- Voice assistants
Voice assistants are yet another way to speed up customer journeys and allow more effortless shopping experiences. A study reveals that over 50% of consumers use virtual assistants to discover sales, promos, and discount codes. The trend is getting stronger every day, which is why a lot of online retailers are rearranging their content and offers so as to fit the style of voice-based inquiries.
- Inventory management
We mentioned already that eCommerce enables simpler functioning and reduces operational costs. However, the fact remains that online retailers have to take care of their inventories and balance between demand and supply.
New technologies make this process a lot easier because they can handle inventory more rationally than humans. AI takes into account the history of sales along with specific details such as holidays or industry events that can lead to an increase in demand. Doing so, AI makes inventory management highly efficient.
- Predictive analytics
Big data is another eCommerce game-changer. The system is capable of drawing meaningful conclusions out of seemingly unrelated sets of information. As a result, business intelligence becomes more accurate and companies get the chance to predict industry trends and react to customer demands promptly.
Online commerce as we know it today would be impossible without breakthrough advancements in the field of information technologies and AI. It completely changed the face of eCommerce and helped companies to improve customer service, generate fresh leads, and drive more conversions.
In this post, we presented seven ways how technology is changing the eCommerce industry. Let us know what you think about it in comments and feel free to add more suggestions if you believe we failed to mention other important features here.
Cathy Baylis is a freelance content writer blogger for assignment writing service in Australia and Aussie Writings specializing in personal growth, career development, and education. She loves sharing her interests with readers, and she has something to say, for sure. Writing is not only her hobby but profession at the same time.
In case you are B2B eCommerce software provider, you know that building and maintaining integrations with numerous shopping carts and marketplaces require a huge amount of resources. It may also distract the company from working on improvements of the core product.
API2Cart’s ready-built unified API perfectly fits into any eCommerce SaaS strategy. It allows you to integrate with more than 40 leading shopping platforms in one go. You will be able to retrieve the required data from stores such as orders, customers, products, etc.
Schedule a call with our representative to get know more how API2Cart will work for your business.