Technological advancements have had a huge impact on the ecommerce world, transforming the way consumers connect with brands and empowering them to shop more effectively. Driven by the convenience of getting products delivered at home, ecommerce has now become an integral part of everyday life.
Strategic plans, competitive marketing, and a skilled workforce, all need to be accompanied by the latest technologies. These technological advancements have enabled ecommerce companies to meet perople's purchasing needs with ease and speed. Customers can get anything at the click of a button, all thanks to the latest available technology.
Now customers can track their orders, find the best deals and much more besides. With all this progress, new business opportunities are inevitably emerging.
So, let's discuss some of these ecommerce technology trends and their implications for driving forward ecommerce success.
Modern shopping habits involve a process of cross-channel research, consideration, and purchase. Indeed the statistics show that 90 percent of customers expect smooth interactions across multiple channels and devices, highlighting the importance of omnichannel readiness for today’s businesses.
Making use of the right technology means providing customers with not only what they want when they want it, but where they want it too.
Here are some methods and technologies that work well in an interconnected customer journey:
If you're on Shopify, or plan to give it a try, check out this podcast on how you can provide improved, omnichannel experiences on your Shopify store.
“The customer journey is changing. Consumers want everything, and they want it immediately. Experience matters than anything else – and the technology at our fingertips enable such amazing experiences, only desired in today’s fast-paced world.” – Sam Hurley
Personalization is the biggest trend in ecommerce right now. Consumers have come to expect a relevant shopping experience based on their personal preferences.
The statistics show more than 78 percent of customers ignore offers that aren’t personalized or based on their previous engagement with the brand. This shows how important personalization in marketing and personalized customer support has become.
Effective personalization comes from understanding customers’ preferences and behavior. Fortunately, ecommerce technology has now evolved to provide that level of insight. Nearly every user action online is captured and stored, creating a vast pool of information known as big data.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning analytics drive customer behavior patterns, whilst simultaneously interpreting this data, meaning businesses are provided with a cycle of desires and expectations, creating endless possibilities.
Big data, machine learning, and AI have made personalization the norm, with businesses catering their support and services to reflect this.
Mobile platforms have increased in importance, so much so that m-commerce has emerged as a concept in its own right.
Failing to provide a mobile-oriented shopping experience will certainly not help you win potential customers that place high importance on mobile. Equipping yourself with mobile-friendly technology is crucial in maximizing your chances of future success.
Traditional marketing channels flow only in one direction. The new concept of conversational marketing has opened up two-way communication, creating numerous opportunities for ecommerce success.
Getting information directly from customers makes more sense than attempting to predict it. You can establish a personalized, real-time, one-on-one conversation on the back of this, safe in the knowledge you truly understand your customers’ needs.
Below are some of the most efficient technologies for nurturing customer conversations:
“It’s the first inning. It might even be the first guys up at bat. We’re on the edge of golden age [of AI].” – Jeff Bezos CEO at Amazon
Artificial Intelligence plays an important role in everyday life, having a major impact on how we live and work. There are several examples of AI and automation tools with customer service applications for your business, including voice-powered assistants such as Apple’s Siri, Google’s home and Amazon Echo. Research shows that 45 percent of millennials are already using this type of voice activated search for online shopping.
Chatbots and virtual assistants represent the future for businesses. Some are already integrating chatbots in their systems to improve their customers’ experience and boost brand image.
With the help of chatbots you can order food, check in luggage at the airport, book a hotel room, schedule your flight, and get recommendations for almost anything you can think of. The Starbucks chatbot for example gives customers details regarding their order status, payment details etc.
Ecommerce businesses are integrating image search technology on their websites so customers can easily photograph products they are interested in and find similar examples on other sites that may be offering better deals.
Imagine someone sees a beautiful couch, but it costs too much for them. If your business offers similar products at a more reasonable price, integrating image search into your website will allow you to potentially pick up on this sale, creating an extra revenue stream.
Cart abandonment is the most frustrating reason for losing a sale because it means a user was considering buying your product, only to change their mind at the last minute. Data shows a 79 percent global rate of cart abandonment, highlighting how big a problem it is.
One of the main reasons customers abandon their carts is the checkout procedure itself. No matter how well the lead has been nurtured, inefficient checkout processes raise the chances your users will abandon their cart.
Therefore, if you want your ecommerce company to be successful, embrace technology that provides quick and efficient checkout solutions, such as:
Equipped with this technology, your business can alleviate any potential difficulties customers may encounter at checkout.
Many successful ecommerce ventures have got to where they are on the back of the cutting edge technology they employ. Take the opportunity to understand new technologies to deliver improved service to your customers and your company's bottomline will reap the benefits, too.
In the guide we discuss the changing nature of ecommerce customer experience.