The Future of E-commerce: Emerging Trends and Predictions
The future of e-commerce looks bright, thanks in large part to the impact of COVID-19 on online sales.
And though we’ve moved beyond the restrictions imposed during the pandemic, e-commerce is continuing to grow, with emerging trends and technologies shaping the way we shop and do business online.
So, what does e-commerce have in stock for us? What are the trends and predictions for the future? These are the questions we’ll cover in this article. Read on to discover the exciting possibilities that lie ahead.
Mobile E-Commerce: The Rise of Shopping on the Go
Mobile e-commerce has never been as popular as it is today, and it is hardly surprising given that there are over 6.6 billion owners of mobile phones. What’s more, this number is forecasted to reach an immense 7.8 billion by 2028, which clearly shows that mobile shopping is set to become even more dominant in the e-commerce landscape.
Even without looking at these statistics, it’s enough to look at the growth of online sales in a couple of years to see how powerful mobile e-commerce has become. According to a report by Statista, mobile sales reached a whopping $3.56 trillion in 2021, which is a huge jump from $2.92 reported in 2020.
With this in mind, companies are likely to ramp up their efforts to optimize their e-commerce platforms for mobile devices. As the world becomes increasingly digital, consumers will demand more seamless and user-friendly shopping experiences. This, in turn, will create a need for using mobile wallets and chatbots to enhance user shopping experience.
- Optimize your website and online store for mobile devices, making sure it is user-friendly, loads quickly, and has a clear and easy-to-navigate menu.
- If you already have an app, consider adding to it features that can enhance the shopping experience for customers, such as push notifications, in-app payments, etc.
- Use chatbots to provide 24/7 interaction with consumers.
- Continuously track and analyze your mobile e-commerce metrics, including mobile conversion rates, bounce rates, average order value, and customer lifetime value.
To meet the growing demand for seamless mobile shopping experiences, businesses should consider leveraging professional mobile app development services.
These services can help optimize e-commerce platforms for mobile devices, ensuring intuitive navigation, smooth transactions, and enhanced user engagement.
Social E-Commerce: The Future of Online Shopping With a Personal Touch
Another trend that has been on the rise in recent years is the use of social media. Just so that you can get an idea of how big this market is, Sprout’s report reveals that over 98% of consumers have planned to make at least one purchase through social media, making this market an integral part of e-commerce.
As we look into the future, we can clearly see that this trend will only continue to grow. For example, Instagram and Facebook have already introduced features that allow businesses to create their own online stores within their profiles.
This has made it possible for customers to shop directly through social media, without the need to go to a separate store.
What will also become a common thing is the use of social media influencers to promote products.
Since influencers have large followings on social media platforms and can have a significant impact on their followers’ purchasing decisions, many e-commerce companies will be partnering with them.
Live video shopping is also becoming more popular in social commerce. Many shops are now using it to showcase their products and interact with their customers in real-time.
The beauty about it is that it makes interaction with customers so much easier, while also allowing them to get an idea of how the products look in person.
- Create a strong presence on the favorite social media platforms of your target audience.
- Make use of social media features that allow you to create online stores within your profile.
- Make a list of social media influencers who have large followings and can promote your products to their audience.
- Personalize your social e-commerce strategy to fit your brand and target your audience, taking into account factors such as demographics, behavior, and interest.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: Personalizing the Shopping Experience
Of course, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in e-commerce is also growing. Is there even an industry that has not been affected by AI yet?
In the world of e-commerce, it’ll find lots of use, too, starting from personalizing the shopping experience to improving overall operations.
Personalization can take many forms, from product recommendations based on previous purchases to targeted marketing campaigns.
By using AI and machine learning, companies can better understand their customers’ needs and behaviors and provide them with a more tailored shopping experience.
To achieve seamless integration of AI and machine learning capabilities into their e-commerce platforms, companies often rely on custom software development services. These services provide the expertise and flexibility needed to build sophisticated algorithms and personalized features that enhance the shopping experience.
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality: Visualizing Products Before Purchase
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are no longer inherent to games only. Many e-commerce companies, including such big names as IKEA, Sephora, Adidas, Wayfair, and others already use it, allowing their consumers to try their products virtually before making an order.
This integration of AR and VR will become even more prevalent in the near future. According to a report by Gartner, by 2022, 70% of companies will be experimenting with immersive tech for consumer and enterprise use, and 25% will have deployed it to production.
The advantages of using these technologies are numerous. Not only does it allow companies to stand out from their competition and provide a more engaging shopping experience for customers, but it can also increase the likelihood of making a purchase. As such, we will likely see more companies adopt it in the coming years.
- Identify the products that could benefit most from VR or AR experiences. These could be products that are difficult to showcase in traditional photos, such as clothing or furniture.
- Invest in the tech required to create these experiences. One way to do this is to hire AR/RV developers, another one is to partner with companies that specialize in AR/RV.
- Make sure that the AR/VR experience is as seamless and user-friendly as possible with no hiccups that can make the shopping experience more frustrating than enjoyable.
- Promote this newly created experience through social media and other marketing channels. This will help spark the interest in your audience and attract more consumers.
- Collect customer feedback and act on it to refine the feature over time.
Blockchain and Cryptocurrency: More Secure and Efficient Transactions
Cryptocurrencies have always been a hot topic. Some believe that they will soon replace fiat money, while others expect them to coexist. But almost all of them once googled “where to buy VET crypto, Bitcoin, or Tezos”. Regardless of which group you belong to, it’s hard to deny that they are currently on the rise, and failing to use them in e-commerce would be a significant oversight.
In recent years, more and more e-commerce businesses have started accepting crypto money as a form of payment. However, this happened not only because of their increasing popularity but also because of the many benefits they offer, such as lower transaction fees and faster processing times.
Additionally, cryptocurrencies offer a higher level of security and privacy that is appealing to many consumers. All transactions are encrypted and decentralized, making them difficult to hack or manipulate. This added layer of security can give people peace of mind when making online purchases.
- If you’ve not been using crypto yet as a form of payment, consider doing so. This will help attract tech-savvy customers who prefer to use cryptocurrencies.
- Train your staff on the basics of crypto and blockchain technology so that they can answer your customer queries and provide assistance when necessary.
- Ensure that your website and mobile app are optimized for crypto transactions.
- Encourage your consumers to use crypto to make purchases. For example, you could offer discounts or loyalty points for digital payments.
- Use blockchain to improve the security and transparency of your supply chain. This can help build trust with your customers and ensure that products are delivered on time.
Sustainability and Ethical Consumerism: The Growing Importance of Environmental and Social Responsibility
Finally, the growing emphasis on sustainability and ethical consumerism is also shaping the future of e-commerce, with consumers increasingly demanding more eco-friendly and socially responsible practices from businesses.
As a report by Nielsen found out, over 66% are choosing sustainable brands over others, and 79% of them don’t mind paying extra for eco-friendly products. These numbers clearly show that sustainability is going to become mainstream, making it important for companies to embrace this trend to gain a competitive advantage over the competition.
- Partner with ethical suppliers who follow ethical practices to ensure your supply chain sustainability.
- Take actions to reduce waste throughout your operations, from production to shipping and handling. This will give you an edge over your competitors.
- Be open about your sustainability and ethical practices to gain customer trust and loyalty.
- Donate a portion of your profits to environmental or social organizations to demonstrate your commitment to sustainability.
- Educate your customers about the benefits of sustainability and encourage them to make eco-friendly choices.
To cut to the chase, the future of e-commerce is looking bright and exciting, with numerous trends that are set to reshape the industry.
From the rise of mobile and social e-commerce to the adoption of AR, VR, blockchain, and cryptocurrency, and the growing importance of sustainability, there are many opportunities for companies to stand out from the competition.
By embracing these emerging trends, companies can not only improve their profits but also meet the growing needs of their prospects and contribute to a more sustainable future. More importantly, they will be able to stay ahead of the curve and will thrive in the years to come!
Dmytro Sokhach is an entrepreneur and the 6-Figure Flipper Club member. Founded Admix Global (web agency) that builds websites, makes them profitable, and sells them as business.