Unless you live in a remote town, you’ve seen your local community embrace e-commerce. A busy hub town is empowering – it’s filled with small businesses peddling their goods. You may have seen these physical shops go empty as well.
E-commerce is the modern version of a busy shopping hub these days. It has become ubiquitous, so much so that it commanded a monstrous $1.3 trillion value industry in 2014. Expectations for the e-commerce industry predicts a $4.5 trillion explosion by 2021.
How did e-commerce grow this fast? It’s in the technology tools which have been available to people. E-commerce technology creates opportunities for businesses to improve.
Want a piece of the pie? Then ask this: what are the e-commerce tech trends which can help you run your business? Here’s the low-down.
Product Visualization Technology
Here’s the problem e-commerce business owners encountered over the last decade. It’s making the most out of the shopping experience. Unlike brick-and-mortar outlets, buying online composes of a few processes.
Find a product you like, click the cart, and check out. This offers no ability for interaction at all. No matter how HD your picture is, people will not believe it’s an accurate representation.
Product visualization technology is becoming necessary. It’s a step up from today’s buying experience. Some of these online retail giants have come the way of virtual reality (VR).
The integration of VR and augmented reality is empowering. It can result in a near life-like shopping experience. All your customer needs is their smartphone.
Another visualization tech tools for business owners is the use of 3D images. Facebook rolled out their 3D image technology letting users take 3D photos and see the subject in a 360 view.
The potential for 3D images is endless. This can provide e-commerce business owners the ability to show off their products.
3D can show accurate product visualization. It can show your product’s craftsmanship. It can increase customers’ confidence in your products, more than any 2D image out there.
How does product visualization help you run your business away from home? You run it and go away. It can reduce the need to keep convincing the buyer into the authenticity of your products.
Chatbots are fast-becoming a solution of choice within e-commerce tech trends. Their relevance is greater now more than ever due to the level of technology available. These tools for business owners improve product delivery systems while cutting down costs.
Their current use, however, is logistics. Chatbots can solve many logistical issues in small businesses.
You can use chatbots as customer service funnels. They provide advantages that your average human CSR will take time to do.
Bots can provide a personalized sales experience per customer. They can browse customers’ personal order history and make suggestions. Bots can provide branching resolutions to common product issues.
In the future, bots as technology tools can do more things. They can even answer calls. Chatbots are there to work when you’re away.
Improved Payment Processing
Here’s another of the e-commerce trends business owners can expect. It’s easier payment processing.
In the front end, e-commerce seems to be easy. In the backend, however, payment services need many steps to process.
Tax documentation. Inefficient payment schemes. These make the viability of online commerce a headache.
Emerging technologies push for a streamlining of the financial processes in e-commerce. This not only reduces workforce cost – but it also removes the headache of complicated financial hoops you need to take care of.
One such technology is factura electrónica or electronic billing. Simplified electronic invoicing can help businesses focus. Instead of handling payment processing, they can focus on their products.
There’s also a growth of alternative payment methods you can add during website building. Digital gift cards and e-wallets come to mind.
Once it takes off and stabilizes, Bitcoin can be the future of electronic payments as well. Bitcoin has much promise as a cryptocurrency but it’s unstable and unpredictable. This makes it one of e-commerce tech trends that are great in concept but has many real-life issues.
Regardless, payment processing technology makes it easier for your business to run. It will run without the need for you to take care of every financial decision.
Personalization and personalization technology. It is fast becoming one of the e-commerce trends experienced now. This technology makes shopping experiences more individual-based.
Some of these technology tools include social media analytics tools for niche marketing. There are also machine learning programs.
Netflix is a good example. It has added machine learning in their algorithms. This is to provide customized recommendations to their users.
How does it work? It takes into account viewing habits and past customer history. This can then predict customer preferences and give products catering to it.
Amazon has been using personalization algorithm as well. What they did is they studied their customers’ buying behavior. Taking this data, they leverage their customers’ order histories and recommend products.
The recommended products are a literal upsell. They come in the form of the “Bought With” and “Customers Who Viewed This” tabs.
Personalization technology runs in itself. If you’re away from home, you don’t need to spend time providing product recommendations. All you need is an algorithm to take care of it.
There’s zero doubt now how valuable artificial intelligence (AI) is. Among e-commerce business owners, artificial intelligence suggestion parsing is invaluable. For customer service, they are essential innovations in technology.
For starters, Amazon Echo acts as an assistant handling all purchases on a consumer’s behalf. It can provide suggestions, give fashion advice, and influence buying cycles.
AI has the potential to help with adaptable, data-driven targeting. These make them superb tools for business owners
The buyer persona processing can improve. It can add more variables to it.
Once optimized, the buyer persona can then dictate the right pitch. It can create a more appealing marketing strategy.
Artificial intelligence relates in efforts towards personalized buying experience. This provides a lead-up to you, as a business owner, for one-on-one lead conversion and scale this en masse.
Streamlining Supply Chain
E-commerce tech trends extend not only to the handling of consumer-related activities. Technology is also essential to streamlining logistical challenges.
Critical parts of logistics like inventory management, warehousing, and product delivery are emerging. Most of these technologies come in the form of better current technology.
Low-cost RFID technology for inventories. Drones for deliveries. High-speed product transfers for warehousing.
Investments in warehouse automation, for example, offer lower-cost solutions in scaling production. This can then underscore competitive advantage and, in the end, maximize the bottom line.
An excellent example of this, again, is Amazon. By using drones to perform same day deliveries, they can improve KPIs. These include customer satisfaction and product happiness.
This level of optimization ensures efficient and faster delivery. Faster delivery means speedier turn around times, which translates to more profit. Their pioneering work in forwarding e-commerce solutions made them the top business on a global scale.
In a world where e-commerce trends go toward empowering consumers, the blockchain touts much potential. It gears towards improving the ethical landscape of companies. The blockchain is democratic and transparent.
Data processed within blockchain receive timestamps. These can then verify the claims of business owners. This level of transparency is supply chain auditing.
Supply chain auditing makes sure that distributed ledgers only contain verifiable information. This data will then provide evidence of ethical business practices.
How do you take advantage of this as a business owner?
By having your supply chain audited by blockchain, you can create a “seal of trust”. This seal of trust is a branding strategy ensuring quality standards are up to spec without expensive authentication from standard-setting bodies. Add this to your PPC promotion strategies and you should be golden.
Here’s a word that is familiar for any e-commerce business: touchpoints. Touchpoints are an annoying but important part of the e-commerce business owners are growing. The primary problem about touchpoints is unification.
The need to combine many touchpoints into a single, unified technology is pervasive. If done right, it is among the valuable tools for business owners. Enter multi-channel e-commerce.
Multi-channel e-commerce is the ability to be ubiquitous on almost all touchpoint platforms across the internet. Because shoppers tend to shop in multiple touchpoints, a multi-channel infrastructure gives you more places to sell your goods.
You don’t have to get stuck in an online marketplace, an online store, in social media or brick and mortar business. Multi-channel e-commerce tech trends can put you into all these touchpoints.
This means more chances for you to sell. This means whenever someone wonders where a product is from, you can offer yours. Provide the one you have up for sale.
Multi-channel tools for business owners are not even simple ideas. They are, in actuality, available now as e-commerce visibility strategies. Comprehensive reports on multi-channel e-commerce are there to help you win out, too.