While the future is often uncertain, research suggests that tech predictions have an 86% accuracy rate. By building on past trends and observing the plans of the world’s largest technology companies, it is possible to get a pretty good idea of what is lying just around the corner. From an improved shopping experience to robot marketers, there are plenty of things to be excited about when it comes to the eCommerce industry in the next 12 months. Whether you’re a digital business looking to boost profits or a consumer craving an easy, quick and fun online shop, the role of technology is rapidly changing the world of eCommerce. Here are just some of the hottest trends to look out for.
Recreating a Positive Shopping Experience
In the past, shopping was an event. It would require a whole day trip with the kids, exploring brick and mortar stores and scouring the shelves for a bargain. Now, more than one in ten retail transactions occur online and this figure is increasing every year. For many, this has taken the joy out of shopping. Buying a new shirt is an experience akin to checking email or researching an essay; it’s boring.
With the eCommerce world taking over, online retailers will have to use the latest technology to make shopping fun again. Product descriptions, photos and reviews aren’t enough. Customers want to interact with the product they are buying. This can be achieved through the use of virtual reality, which will allow a user to view a product in 3D and at its real size. Both Shopify and eBay already have their own VR stores, allowing customers to, in some sense, try before they buy. This combines the benefit of a real store with the added benefit of a stock tailored exclusively to the buyer.
Creative Work Will Start to Become Automated
Businesses from supermarkets to delivery companies are benefiting from artificial intelligence. It is an efficient and cost-saving way to serve customers. However, machines have always stuck to simple tasks, with content writers and marketers having to do creative work such as product descriptions. This is set to change in the coming months, with AI already able to write simple news stories, covering events such as the Olympics and even political elections. This is an eCommerce tech development that could lead to higher sales and lower costs to the consumer.
The Dawn of 5G, With a Tenfold Speed Increase
5G is coming, with Verizon already announcing that residents of Sacramento and Los Angeles will be able to use the service in 2018. AT&T has also confirmed that a dozen cities will be able to use 5G data with compatible phones later this year. It is rumored that this will be up to ten times faster than the already speedy 4G.
What does this mean for eCommerce companies? It means there is less opportunity cost to browsing online as purchases can be made in an instant. It also allows companies to use fancier displays to draw customers in, without fearing that it will frustrate the user with slow loading times. Similarly, online transactions will be carried out in an instant, as they often already are, using fingerprint scanners. It will also become increasingly easy and quick for sellers to list their items online.
These tech development are set to revolutionize the world of online shopping. By using virtual reality, digital shops are becoming closer to their high street alternatives, meaning it is increasingly the more natural choice. The use of AI and 5G will further speed up transactions, while lowering costs.