New technologies are making waves in the e-commerce sector

E-commerce was a driver of the global economy long before the pandemic hit. Consumers have even started shunning retail stores in favor of mobile delivery apps. However, COVID-19 only accelerated the shift to e-commerce that was already happening.

In other words, we shouldn’t expect to see a reduction in online shopping; it will probably only become more widespread. (Also read: Post-pandemic life in the tech world looks pretty good.)

As major retailers and e-commerce giants like Amazon double down on the technologies that have supported their revenue streams throughout the pandemic, the cost and convenience of the digital economy should attract more consumers.Not less. That means traditional brick-and-mortar businesses will need to keep pace, technologically, if they hope to remain viable in the COVID-contextualized economy.

But which technologies are most likely to deliver the greatest value? In the online world, the margins are too tight to just deploy a bunch of systems and see what works. Going forward, retailers will need to carefully direct their investments towards tools and services that offer the best return on investment.

And, from today’s perspective, it looks like four key advancements are leading the charge in e-commerce. Here they are:

1. Chatbots

As boring as they can be at times, chatbots bring a conversational aspect to e-commerce, allowing customers to quickly and easily find what they want at less cost to the merchant.

As chatbot technology becomes more refined and better able to ingest and interpret both spoken and written language, we can expect them to augment the entire sales process, streamline customer service, collect data for marketing and trend forecasting purposes, and even generate leads. (Also read: Intelligent data management in a post-pandemic world.)

According to Ricky Hayes, co-founder of e-commerce solutions provider Debutify, chatbots can also connect to popular social media tools like Facebook Messenger to maintain clear lines of communication with customers, regardless of the device they use. ‘they use.

This helps guide their decision-making, resolve any doubts or disputes they have, confirm shipment, and perform a host of other tasks that would otherwise require multiple customer service representatives. The idea, of course, is not to replace human labor, but to make it more efficient by offloading routine tasks.

2. Mobile platforms

New apps and services appear every day, all aimed at making it easier to attract customers and improve the shopping experience. The trend is so strong that some market analysts have elevated “m-commerce”, as mobile e-commerce has been dubbed, to a separate new channel.

Rakesh Jain, CEO of app development company MobiCommerce, says the popularity of mobile is too big to ignore. As consumers turn to apps to generate revenue for themselves, their phones and other mobile devices are becoming the center of their financial world. In this environment, retailers risk missing out on important sales activity if they don’t engage mobile customers as their primary channel.

Already, mobile accounts for almost three-quarters of all e-commerce transactions; and emerging 5G networks are expected to greatly improve the function of mobile apps to make browsing and shopping easier and more engaging.

3. Augmented/Virtual Reality

Part of the new dynamic shopping experience facilitated by e-commerce will reside in augmented and virtual reality environments. The foundation of the Metaverse, in fact, is a fully immersive ecosystem where users can play, socialize, and shop as if it were the real world.only better.

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) allow customers to see themselves in new clothes or driving a new car, says tech journalist Jessica Wynne Lockhart. In fact, Snap Inc. estimates that over 100 million customers have already purchased with AR.whether online or in-store. The advent of shopping in the “metaverse” is poised to be a game changer in the industry, bringing a new dimension of consumer experiences to an audience that may not have been immersed in this level of technology. .

Although the technology is most popular as a gaming tool, more than three-quarters of respondents in a recent Deloitte poll expressed interest in bringing it into their daily lives. (Also read: 5 common virtual reality myths, busted!)

4. Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly emerging as a key sales and marketing tool amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

It also makes its way through the supply chain, where it can overcome many of the significant barriers that prevent products from reaching buyers in a timely manner. According to All The Research, the AI ​​market in the logistics and supply chain industries is growing at a compound annual rate of 24% and is expected to reach $12 billion by 2027. Activity is widespread both on the supply sidewith companies like IBM, Google and Amazon investing heavilyas well as on the demand side, as UPS, FedEx and other carriers struggle to find ways to increase performance and reduce costs. (Also read: How artificial intelligence will revolutionize the retail industry.)

Conclusion

Even with these technologies in hand, e-commerce will remain very competitive in the 2020s. New technological solutions give a lot of power to e-merchants to attract customers and close sales; but they also give consumers more flexibility to shop around, compare prices and find the perfect item.

In the digital economy, all markets are global. It gives access to more buyersbut also introduces more rivals.