The e-commerce industry is fast becoming a huge sector. But what are the trends and innovations dominating the landscape? How will they affect the future?
The internet has provided many with a platform to connect and communicate. Families can contact each other regardless of time and location, and businesses and service providers can offer their services to a wider audience. This is all thanks to the continuously rising industry of e-commerce. But what e-commerce trends andevolutionsare we seeing today that will influence the future? Below are some examples of what to look out for.
Many experts once called online shopping the death of brick-and-mortar shops, but so far, this is proving to be untrue. In truth, it's almost becoming the opposite: an integration of both online shopping sites and a physical store has proven to be the newest rising trend.While the efficiency and convenience of online shopping can't be denied, many individuals still prefer seeing the item in front of them and having the ability to interact.
Interestingly, the use-case scenario for "click-and-mortar" (a combination of online stores and brick-and-mortar shops) is wide and varied. It allows customers to visit a shop but make a decision later. It caters to those finding something they like but are on a limited time or budget, and much more. Businesses are expected to adapt to this multi-platform method of selling, and we can expect to see a mixture of both in the future.
Shopping Through Social Media
As mentioned before, businesses are looking for multi-channel integration. Another way they are achieving this is through the mixing of platforms to provide a seamless experience. Businesses no longer have to be limited to using Shopify or other web shopping systems as many social media platformsnow have taken in marketplaces.
Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites now allow immediate transactions.Users can scroll through theirnews feed, seean advertisement for a product that interests them, and immediately go into a transaction. This unprecedented level of convenience benefits both businesses and end-users as very few clicks and movements are required, optimizing the shopping experience on both ends.
Device Matters: Mobile vs. Desktop
How we interact with online shops matters, as the experience can dictate whether users will make a purchase or not. And because most people find smartphones to be the most accessible device, many developers and e-commerce companies are putting in the effort to streamline their mobile software over desktops.
Since smartphones usually contain most of the personal details of an individual (such as credit information, name, accounts, and passwords), it's far more efficient to use a smartphone for online shopping. However, businesses can still spread their efforts, as many customers prefer to seamlessly transfer to their desktop devices. Account integration has now become the focus, and accessing your account on a smartphone or a laptop is critical for success.
Wider Payment Options and Schemes
Those looking to bolster their credit scores or those wanting to go cashless need not worry about their payment options- there are even more alternatives and choices compared to a few years ago. In-app credit, digital banking microloans, purchasing through points, and compatibility with a wide variety of banking options are now the standard way of making online payments.
Virtual stores have to offer a diverse set of payment choices, as limiting what they can accept often means losing customers. For consumers, this means that they'll be able to purchase from online stores regardless of what online banking service they use. Be itPaypal, Google Pay, or even domestic network-connected financial services, e-commerce is driving the need for complete integration.
Shipping and Delivery Innovations
Since customers make their purchases online, shipping and delivery have to be very efficient for their orders to be completed. Fortunately, the number of fulfillment centers is growing day by day, allowing for a more direct mode of delivery with the shortest time possible.
These fulfillment and logistics centers are also becoming more automated, offering real-time delivery tracking to guarantee that the shipment moves as fast as possible. Entrepreneurs and customers have a wide set of choices when it comes to delivery and tracking services, and in the future, we can expect an even more optimized delivery system.
The consistent technological innovations only serve to benefit our society. With the continuous advances in e-commerce and the technological side of things, we can expect the experience to only be better. We can have a faster internet connection and better software performance that help our everyday routines. The trends mentioned here are but the start of what we can expect in the future. We might not know what to expect, but we can look forward to it.