Ecommerce is transforming and evolving at an exponential rate. It was not too long ago that purchasing online was the exception and not the rule. Still, with all of its growth, we constantly underestimate the possibilities it offers.
But that’s not the case anymore. Today, we can look towards the future with great confidence and optimism. Here are a couple of predictions that will most probably come to fruition during the course of the next couple of years.
Growth spurred through the omnichannel model.
We don’t expect the pattern of growth to stop. Experts anticipate it'll only increase as mobile phone activity also increases. Ecommerce is anticipated to reach $523 billion within the next 5 years, and the National Retail Federation estimates 8% to 12% growth this season alone.
While the digital and physical shopping worlds develop further, a growing importance is placed around the dynamic merging of both these activities. The brick-and-click (also referred to as click-and-brick, and click-and-mortar) business design emphasizes hybridization over completely switching to digital. This isn’t anything new and it’s already being adopted by most major retailers. However, as customers view both of these worlds through a single lens, the necessity of innovation will continue to intensify.
Even faster delivery.
If you think that two-day delivery is fast, the good news is that it’s it’s getting even better. Free next-day, same-day, as well as two-hour delivery are already being used. Amazon.com might even offer these types of services in your town in the near future.
And Walmart is going to take it up a notch as well- delivering groceries straight to your fridge! You do not even need to be there to receive them.
Fast delivery of custom order products
Want to get some special part for your car? Your printer? Your sink perhaps? In the near future, you probably won’t have to leave your home if you want to place a special order. Instead, a truck could drive to you and instantly make Bitcoin and the thing you need, using a 3D printer.
OK, this one could happen a little further down in the future, but doesn’t it sound super awesome?
More niche online stores.
Amazon. com usually gets lots of attention within the Ecommerce world, but there are many businesses that are carving out a substantial space for themselves in the market. The majority of them are doing it by concentrating on a smaller sized niche and enabling their clients to get a sense of belonging to a community.
In some cases, that community includes a social network. For instance, Houzz enables users to talk about home design ideas and inspirations and also to find home-related services and products. In some cases, this means sharing content their target audience would like to see. Thrive Market provides health products as well as sharing information associated with a healthy way of life.
In these two cases, retailers are allowing their clients to get a sense of belonging to a bigger group - instead of more general retailers like Walmart, Amazon. com and Target.
The rise of selling via social networks.
Pinterest and Houzz may spring to mind whenever you think of social networking systems that encourage product purchases, but this market is likely to start expanding drastically very soon.
Instagram has already released a “view products” feature that relates to relevant photos, and Facebook also provides a similar feature.
As mobile-driven impulse buying becomes more prevalent, we anticipate to see advancements in facilitating the transition from product discovery to product purchase when it comes to social networks.
Retail over voice search.
You’ve heard about Voice over Internet Protocol, better known as VoIP. Now is the right moment to become familiar with RoVS. Amazon Echo, Google Home as well as Apple’s Siri. All of these offer a limitless possibility of purchasing via voice search. Digital voice assistants have improved significantly and these nearly ubiquitous cloud-helpers will further modify the way people look for products on- and offline. For instance, you can type “bicycle store Brooklyn” into Google’s internet search engine, but in case you’re asking Google Home, you can say “Hey Google, find me a bicycle store.” Since these technologies are getting used more and more, e-retailers will need to adjust their keyword techniques for internet search engine optimization.
Sales bots and customer support bots.
Customer support is a vital factor when it comes to failure or success of Ecommerce stores, but the way that customer support is delivered will continuously change in the future.
The typical consumer today loves to solve their problems without having to talk to another person. 67% of shoppers prefer self-service, and robots could be the answer to making it more achievable.
Chatbots happen to be efficient at simulating human conversation. They enable people to browse and make purchasing decisions more easily. Additionally, they automate problem resolution, mediate product replacements and answer all kinds of shipping questions.
Since sales and customer support bot technology constantly advances, it could largely replace demand for human-run customer support model.
As online retail keeps growing, we’ll continue to look to the future with optimism. Not all of our predictions will become reality this season, but surely, some of them will and that’s a good enough reason to take on 2018 with excited motivation.