When it comes to digital transformation, the tide is changing (and it’s moving in the direction of increased competition and demand for more sophisticated e-commerce). the adoption of digital transformation to be the standard for most businesses, not just as differentiator, but as a must-have. In 2017, the number of B2B businesses using e-commerce to support their digital transformation initiatives has risen from 73% to 87% (1).
The global eCommerce sales have been steadily eating up the worldwide retail market. In fact, by 2021, it will account for 17.5% of the total global retail sales. The Global eCommerce retail sales is to hit $4.9 trillion by 2021 and $6.5 trillion by 2023. But, what’s even more interesting is that B2B eCommerce is projected to be two times higher than B2C by 2020 (2).
According to Gartner, innovations in customer experience, business models and technology will transform digital commerce in the next few years. Here are the 8 of the hottest e-commerce development trends of 2019 (3):
Gamification is the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts (4). Gamification brings excitement to the online shopping process. There are many technological strategies at play here, but they all fulfill a single purpose - to engage users and lead them towards targeted actions that are also enjoyable.
Statistics supports the notion that visual, motion information is better perceived by the human brain than written or typed text. An online store that includes convenient and informative product descriptions automatically becomes more attractive and accessible for users.
A chatbot is a piece of software that conducts a conversation via auditory or textual methods. Chatbots are developed to be virtual consultants and customer support providers that work 24/7 without requiring any manual input. However, only advanced chatbots with a firm artificial intelligence-powered foundation can establish sufficient user experience.
4. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
AI-powered technologies have great potential in optimizing search through millions of similar-format pieces of data on websites. A successfully implemented example of AI-based UX enhancing tool can be seen at Amazon. Additionally, AI can help create insightful product recommendations. This is the way Netflix and Spotify use AI for their resources.
5. CRYPTOCURRENCY SUPPORTING PAYMENT GATEWAYS
More businesses are adopting digital currency payments to provide online customers with a more flexible and convenient means of payment. In fact, crypto payment support has become a ‘must’ right now - even Microsoft has it. However, implementing it requires a payment gateway API with cryptocurrency support, like BitPay, PayCoiner, SpicePay, and others.
6. AUGMENTED REALITY FOR THE MOBILE VERSION
The augmented reality concept began taking over the hearts of mobile users several years ago, when first applications like Pokemon Go and the like started to appear in app stores. Commercial developers grabbed their chance to use the hyped-up tech trend for the expansion of a target audience.
7. RETAIL FORMAT TRANSFER TO D2C
Direct-to-Consumer or D2C is the retail marketing model where companies produce, promote, distribute, and deliver products without any third-party involvement. From the technical implementation perspective, this means that you will have to develop not only an online store but a whole authentic platform that would represent a solid brand through unique design and navigation. This is the way fashion labels do their business (at the mass and middle market level mostly). Among such successful cases are companies like Pandora, Zara, Massimo Dutti, and others.
Delivering the most personalized shopping experiences possible is key because the more direct and focused the experience is to the individual shopper, the better the chance to earn trust, make a sale, and position yourself for repeat sales. To automate and scale this practice is the objective for visionary brands and those looking to transform digitally (1).
This is how much global IT trends like artificial intelligence and augmented reality are changing the future of e-commerce where organizations are focusing on more strategic initiatives that will give them competitive advantage in the future.