If you’re selling online, there’s no question that you need to keep up to date with all the latest digital innovations. If you don’t, competitors will, and then they’ll have the edge over you. Here are some recent innovations that are changing the e-commerce world – from chatbots to smart mirrors.
Bringing the Offline Experience Online
One of the biggest reasons that people choose to not to shop online is because there are certain experiences that cannot be replicated via electronic devices. While this will always be the case to some degree, developers are working hard to bring the offline experience online. Here are a few examples:
Digital Viewing Rooms
These things help to make the online shopping experience a more appealing one and will help to increase the already large number of people who turn to the internet when they want to do some shopping.
This is an interesting one because it blurs the line between online and offline shopping. When businesses are running e-commerce websites while also operating in the physical space, they might use beacon technology to bring people from their website and into one of their stores.
How it works is that if a customer downloads a business’s official app, the app will then notify them whenever they are near one of the physical stores. It’s useful because if known customers are persuaded to pop into a store, there’s quite a high chance that they’ll make a purchase.
E-commerce Plurality Supported by Easy Tech
E-commerce platforms like Shopify have made it a lot easier for anybody to create an online store. This kind of innovation has had both positive and negative effects on the market. Here are some things to consider:
- There is now a large number of e-commerce websites run by people who aren’t really dedicated to their site and are just ‘testing things out’
- There now exist more sites dedicated to specialized niches, which otherwise wouldn’t have got much attention – a real benefit to consumers
- People who otherwise would have been unable to create a website due to monetary constraints have been able to make top-notch sites
- It’s harder for newer sites to make an impact with so much competition
When shopping online, consumers now have a much wider choice of niche websites to shop from than they do shops on the high street. These are so many platforms available for creating e-commerce websites — bringing down the barriers to market, but increasing competition.
Chatbots and Visual Commerce: The AI Awakening
When shopping online, customers need to be able to ask questions. Thankfully, live chat and chatbot services are improving all the time — thanks to huge improvements in AI.
Customers are becoming more comfortable with conversational commerce, talking to AI-assisted bots and getting the answers (largely) that they need. We are still seeing some bot clangers from time to time, but AI is moving at such a rapid pace, that we’re likely to see more and more bots and AI-led visual shopping experiences.
It’s in the visual arena that AI is really making some exciting developments — soon shoppers will be able to snap pics and make purchases directly from photos — a new era of visual commerce dawns…
Overall, the world of online sales is changing dramatically. You’ve got to stay ahead of the trends because failing to offer the services that consumers expect will harm your brand. What recent tech innovations have caught your eye?
This article is contributed by Patrick Foster
After a decade in the ecommerce industry, Patrick has been able to watch technologies grow and evolve. He likes to share his finding and observations in his articles, offering services as an ecommerce consultant and marketer.
- Updated On June 2019: Fixed Broken links and updated minor typos.