In today’s world, the internet is a competitive business environment. Apart from running a traditional business, entrepreneurs are also venturing into e-commerce to start a new online business. E-commerce websites have gained popularity over the years because of their cost efficiency and convenience.
E-commerce (electronic commerce), also called digital commerce, is an umbrella term for the buying and selling of goods or services using computer networks. The history of e-commerce goes back to at least 1970 when the first electronically transacted purchase was made.
E-commerce is basically using computer networks to transfer information electronically between buyers and sellers without direct contact. This involves buying, selling and promoting products/services through various mediums such as Email marketing, Google AdWords or even offline methods such as print ads or billboards. Digital marketplaces where prospective buyers can put forward their product requirements have become extremely popular with companies who wish to connect directly with their target audience without investing in expensive TV ad campaigns.
E-commerce websites are not just restricted to online shopping alone. It encompasses any process that starts with the creation of digital content and ends with its distribution to customers through an electronic medium including broadcast media, web portals or mobile devices. It includes a wide range of activities such as online auctions, transactions between companies and individuals, entertainment industry where users can share music files, streaming video clips etc.
Why should you consider getting an e-commerce website?
An e-commerce website helps you sell your products online through an online store with shopping carts. There are many reasons why one might need a customized e-commerce business solution, but there are four critical reasons that matter most:
1) An increasing number of customers prefer shopping online over offline modes because it saves time and money. This preference will continue growing in the future.
2) Establishing an online presence helps you build credibility among your target customers. Both existing and potential customers can view information about your products, services, pricing, offers, discounts etc. on the website to help them make informed decisions.
3) You can reach an increasing number of global audiences through your e-commerce store due to globalization, Digital marketing and technology advancements in communication channels like social media networks, email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), banner ads etc.
4) The return on investment for E Commerce business solutions is getting better every passing day because more businesses are moving their sales online to take advantage of these benefits.
With the rise of e-commerce and the growing population of online shoppers, many new trends in e-commerce have emerged: voice search for online browsing, seamless online purchases, and increased mobile shopping.
Top 5 E-Commerce Trends
1. Augmented reality to visualize purchasesThe first trend is augmented reality. Artificial Intelligence (AI) will play a major role in the 2022 e-commerce trends, with an even greater use of machine learning feeding into algorithms that deliver bespoke results for customers’ individual needs. As well as AI, augmented reality is also expected to make an impact on how people purchase products online due to improvements in virtual reality (VR).Companies have already started using augmented reality to visualize purchases on their website. This allows customers to see exactly what they are purchasing without having it in front of them. For example, one company lets their customer use an app included with their product purchase to visualize how big or small the item would appear in different parts of the house.In the future, customers will be able to visualize their purchase with augmented reality by donning a virtual headset and looking at a product they wish to buy. This technology is already available today on a small scale using Google Glass or Microsoft HoloLens, but it has yet to hit significant consumer markets. However this is expected to change in the few years as more companies start to employ augmented reality and virtual reality technology in their products.It has been predicted that 30% of E-commerce sites will use augmented reality for a better customer experience by 2022. Augmented reality is slowly being adopted into our daily lives and it’s not surprising that many businesses have found new opportunities from it. One great example from McDonalds uses an app that lets you see how your Big Mac would look before you order it. It allows potential customers to get a glimpse of what their meal looks like.In another form of augmented reality, Amazon has patented a system which allows shoppers to see if a product fits inside their home before purchasing it. This would be very useful when it comes to selling furniture and other large goods online.
2. Additional payment optionsAnother important industry trend is implementing additional payment options like Apple Pay and Android pay. It has been shown that mobile shoppers are more likely than desktop users to make purchases and overall, mobile devices account for 67% of all ecommerce traffic.Some examples include cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, cashless transactions like Apple Pay or Google Wallet or using a smartwatch (similar to how Google Glass currently works) where the wearer can pay by scanning the wearable device over a store’s contactless reader. One potential risk with these alternative methods of payment is that they are not widely used and therefore there might be low adoption rates. This may result in less variety of products on offer for customers and potentially difficulties when setting up accounts and providing identification documents for verification purposes. Once more people start to adopt these alternative payment methods, larger companies are likely to follow, allowing shoppers to see the benefits of utilizing these technologies.As technology advances, so do the ways in which we pay for things. With more options available, consumers may find it more difficult to choose the right payment method and stick to it so as not to confuse themselves further. Consumers will be able to pay using:1) Apple pay: Apple Pay service allows shoppers to buy products by holding their phones over a contactless reader. This way of shopping becomes even easier for those who own an Apple Watch as they don’t need to pull out their phone every time they purchase something. It’s also more secure than other forms of payments as there is no sharing of payment information between retailers and banks with the former only receiving the amount paid and some anonymized data about said transaction. Instead, what will be shared is your identity.2) Voice search: Google Home allows you to buy products by simply using voice commands. Just ask the device “OK Google, how much is Amazon Prime worth?” and then purchase something immediately afterwards.3) 3D shopping experience: This technology uses augmented reality so that buyers can see items in their own homes before purchasing them. So rather than buying blind, you’ll know exactly what you’re getting, allowing people to buy more confidently. The technology has been praised as it’s now possible to see how furniture would look like in real life and how they would fit in a room.4) Spring: The delivery company is using artificial intelligence (AI) to help with customer service, deliveries and even sales. They can be used to predict demand for particular stock items as well as what people are interested in buying. For example they know that men often buy aftershave before the summer holidays and then women’s perfume just before Christmas. This leads to special offers at those times which means they sell more products.5) Mobile shopping continued growth: The ease of shopping on smartphones will become more important than ever as it’s estimated that mobile-only internet users will triple by 2022.6) Wearable technology: With virtual reality more popular, we can expect to see users wearing devices such as Google Glass and the Apple Watch even more often.7) Voice search: Google’s voice search volumes have increased by 400% over the last few years, which shows that people are becoming increasingly comfortable using natural language to find products online.
3. Use of voice search for online browsingIn addition to the previous trend, voice search will be increasingly important to online browsing. As technology improves and becomes more accessible, people will increasingly use their voices to search the internet through devices such as Google Home or Amazon Echo. Through this process, customers can find exactly what they’re looking for much quicker than typing a question into a search engine on a laptop or desktop PC. As people are spending an increasing amount of time online, it’s expected that voice search will play a bigger role in our lives within 2022. This means users key in queries to Google, Siri or Alexa instead of typing them out for faster results.Consumers who prefer “direct” and quick access to information will find voice search interesting and useful. The perpetual growth in the number of smartphones, tablets, laptops and other such devices has increased the demand for broadband services by manifold times. This increase in accessibility has made consumers depend on their devices for all types of activities be it buying groceries or searching for a new movie to watch this weekend (the list is endless). With voice search making its entry into e-commerce industry as a preferred mode of information gathering and consumption, we expect that people would embrace it wholeheartedly as not only does it save time but also provides a consumer with an easy and convenient platform.With the advancement in technology and the invention of voice assistants such as Siri and Google Now, we will see a rise in using voice search for daily web searches. Voice assistant software such as Alexa is also widely adopted by all types of users (i.e., even children use it). With regards to shopping, people would like to ask their virtual assistants questions such as “Alexa, I’m looking for a coat” when they don’t want to browse through hundreds of clothing products. This will improve the browsing experience and will save a lot of time for both customers and online sellers.
4. Implementation of chatbotsThe future is coming more quickly than we thought. Chatbots are going to be incorporated in our daily lives, especially with the rise of messaging applications such as Facebook Messenger or WeChat Worldwide (China’s version). With this development, users can simply shop without having to type anything on their phone since they can use their voice instead! How awesome is that? It may take some time for major brands to catch on but it will definitely prove useful when implemented correctly. Well-known companies such as Uber have already launched a chatbot on Facebook Messenger that users can interact with to get a ride faster and easier by just talking into the phone.In the next few years, we’ll have to get used to a new kind of shopping experience as it becomes more and more common for e-commerce websites to use chatbots. These chatbots will be able to assist you with anything that you ask them, such as finding out if your size is available or letting you know which items are on sale now. Chatbots will also be able to advise consumers whether something they’re interested in buying is worth their money (and not because it’s cheap). Companies such as Facebook Messenger will provide technology integrations for brands to make this possible; however, we should expect some growing pains as this trend begins.
5. Seamless online purchasesWith websites that let consumers pay through Facebook Messenger or Apple Pay, users will be able to purchase items without having to switch screens or open new pages. One such example is the Bill Me Later service, which lets customers buy using PayPal and then pay for those goods later with their PayPal account balances. This type of service will likely become more common as online stores find that it can help them increase sales and decrease shopping cart abandonment rates.While we may not be able to replicate the speed and convenience of Amazon’s one-click purchase, it is possible to mimic their frictionless shopping experience. Merchants need to ensure that when a customer adds an item into the cart they should remain there until checkout, when it is purchased or removed otherwise. This trend is likely to continue into 2022 because consumers no longer want to go through several steps when purchasing items online—they just want it quick and easy!
At a time where technology is changing so rapidly, it’s important that we stay on top of trends and developments in order to provide our customers with the best experience possible. With e-commerce taking over as consumers purchase more goods online rather than going out into stores or malls etc., businesses will have an opportunity for customized engagement throughout each step along their journey ahead which means they can target those potential new clients who might not already know about them but could soon become loyal patrons if engaged properly.
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