How Emerging Technologies Will Transform the Ecommerce Industry
The ecommerce industry has been growing rapidly in recent years, 13% annually in Australia; and with the continued development of new and emerging technologies, it is set to undergo a major transformation in the coming years. From Artificial Intelligence to Augmented Reality and Blockchain, these technologies have the potential to change the way customers shop and interact with ecommerce businesses and only those who adapt will thrive.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI has already begun being implemented in ecommerce. You can find it being used to enhance personalisation, optimise product recommendations, automate customer service, and even predict customer behavior.
The results of this technology will be used to increase your customer engagement, retention, and loyalty and improve your marketing. New systems use AI algorithms to analyse customer data such as search history, purchase behavior, and demographics to produce personalised recommendations for content and product suggestions for customers. Brands can also use this information to create more targeted and effective marketing campaigns that deliver personalised content and advertising to increase conversion rates, drive traffic, and boost sales.
Augmented Reality (AR)
AR technology has a lot of potential within ecommerce to create interactive and immersive shopping experiences. This technology would allow customers to visualise products in real-time and make informed purchase decisions. In the coming years, customers could use AR to see how a piece of furniture would look in their living room or try on virtual clothing before making a purchase. AR can also be used to provide additional information about products, such as ingredients, nutritional information, or user reviews. It’s a technology that will massively impact the shopping experience so the time to be thinking about it is now.
Virtual Reality (VR)
VR technology can create a fully immersive shopping experience, allowing customers to explore virtual stores, interact with products, and make purchases without leaving their homes. It has the potential to revolutionise the ecommerce industry by offering a more engaging, immersive, and personalised shopping experience for customers.
You can easily see the power of virtual product demonstrations/showrooms where customers can virtually try on clothes or see how furniture looks in their living room. Or enhanced customer support with virtual training for complex products, such as electronics or appliances. Additionally, VR could be used to create virtual events, such as product launches or fashion shows, that customers can attend from anywhere in the world.
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You will likely have already encountered chatbots when visiting some of the biggest ecommerce sites in the world. Chatbots can provide 24/7 customer support and assistance, answer customer questions, and even help with product recommendations. They can also be used to automate routine tasks, such as processing orders and tracking shipments, freeing up customer service representatives to focus on more complex issues. As AI systems continue to improve, Chatbots will be able to provide an even greater range of support to a large number of customers at the same time, allowing ecommerce businesses to scale their customer service efforts efficiently.
Voice commerce is an emerging technology using voice assistants like Siri or Alexa that would allow customers to make purchases, search for products, and even reorder products they have previously purchased. For the future of ecommerce, you can expect to see voice commerce to provide a more convenient and hands-free shopping experience for customers, allowing them to make purchases while doing other tasks, such as driving or cooking. Voice commerce can also help ecommerce businesses to reach new customers who may not be comfortable using traditional ecommerce platforms, such as older adults or people with disabilities.
Blockchain technology is complex, but for this topic we can understand it as a decentralised, digital ledger that records transactions in a secure and transparent way. While still in its infancy we can envision blockchain technology’s application in ecommerce to increase transparency and security in ecommerce transactions, as well as to reduce the risk of fraud. For example, blockchain can be used to verify the authenticity of luxury goods or to ensure that products are sustainably sourced. Additionally, blockchain can be used to streamline the payment process, reducing transaction fees and processing times. It is certainly a technology worth monitoring closely as it continues to develop in the coming years.
Internet of Things (IoT)
The IoT refers to the network of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances, and other items that are connected to the internet. In ecommerce, IoT technology has huge potential to revolutionise the ecommerce industry. Such as the creation of smart devices that can automatically reorder products, track inventory levels, and even adjust prices in real-time. Imagine a smart refrigerator that could automatically reorder groceries when supplies run low, or a smart home system that could track the movement of goods throughout the supply chain, from the manufacturer to the customer. Helping ecommerce businesses to optimise their logistics operations, reduce shipping times and costs, and improve their overall customer experience.
The Australian and global ecommerce industry is on the brink of a major transformation as emerging technologies such as AI, AR, VR, and Blockchain gain momentum. For ecommerce businesses to remain competitive and deliver a more customised, interactive, and secure shopping experience for their customers, leveraging these technologies is critical.
If you’re running an ecommerce business and want to stay ahead of the curve, now is the time to explore these emerging technologies. Our team of experts can help you navigate the possibilities and implement the right technology to enhance your online store and customer experience. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help your ecommerce business thrive in the era of emerging technologies.