More and more people today prefer to shop online, thanks to the development of e-retail stores and online payment systems, alongside their convenience and accessibility. Experts predict the number of digital shoppers will reach 2.64 billion, which is 33.3% of the population worldwide. At DigitalMara, we’ve put together a summary of the big trends in technology for e-commerce and how it’s possible to incorporate them into the sales flow.
It is expected that in 2023, 20.8% of retail purchases will be made online, while ecommerce sales are expected to grow as well and reach $6.3 trillion in 2023. Online shopping is evolving every day, giving customers the opportunity to make purchases any time from any place, using a mobile device. They can choose from several delivery options and payment methods, check product information and customer reviews, and enjoy a more personalized, user-friendly, and secure shopping experience. According to PayPal, 57% of online shoppers report purchasing internationally.
For sellers, effective first contact with potential customers is crucial; various analytics tools allow retailers to take advantage of Big Data to track customers and guide them through the process, from the first thought of buying to the actual purchase. There is still a large percentage of abandons when buying on mobile phones, as a lot of retailers and brands’ websites are not optimized for mobiles. While Statista predicts mobile commerce sales reach $710 billion by 2025.
Augmented Reality and smart shopping
There’s one big barrier that stops many customers from buying online. Choosing clothes, cosmetics, glasses, or furniture, it’s hard to imagine how the purchase will fit in real life. That’s why many retailers and brands are extending their apps with AR features, for example, Ikea, Sephora, Amazon, and Nike. This allows customers to interact with products via their mobile devices and check how they will look in their homes or on their bodies. And of course, there’s also the aspect of increased engagement.
Customers are becoming more conscious of what and how they are buying. They expect brands to adhere to principles of sustainable development and follow more environmentally friendly practices and operations, including sustainable and renewable products. Businesses are coming up with new solutions to meet these needs. For example, a new-generation shopping app that makes purchasing process eco-friendly and sustainable, by allowing customers to recognize dangerous substances in everyday products like household chemicals and cosmetics, simply by scanning a bar-code on the product and getting information about it in just one tap.
This app collects and analyzes product cards of the most popular online shops in the USA. Through an in-app search, customers can easily get to know if any product they’ve chosen is eco-friendly or not. The app makes it possible to distinguish products by their names or via the bar code.
Chatbots, or individual virtual assistants, are a tool to automate and enhance the first engagement with customers and improve the overall customer experience, especially when powered with Artificial Intelligence and natural language processing algorithms. A chatbot can give recommendations, answer questions, take orders and enable customer service 24/7, collect data about customers and their purchase behavior, and provide post-sales support. Also, chatbots can be empowered with multilingual options and voice commands and integrated with other third-party platforms.
Good data analytics allow e-commerce players to build their sales strategies, study their competitors and make better predictions and operational decisions. Special tools obtain real-time web data from multiple sources and integrate it into the database. Brands and retailers can spend less time collecting information and more time analyzing data and making informed decisions.
One smarter analytics solution is based on a web data extractor. The platform collects information from product cards from various e-commerce sites, such as Amazon, ALDI, Boots, Ocado, and RUBIX. Trade items can be found according to an Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN), keyword, stock-keeping unit (SKU), or brand page URL. Marketers, sales, brand owners, and business analysts can use it to compare pricing policies, evaluate statistics dynamically for a particular time period, and identify which items are selling better and which representation attracts customers.
Customers now prefer to have multiple payment options to choose from, such as credit and debit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and other digital wallets. When using wallet integration, it’s necessary to set up a payment gateway in the app. The key requirement for any payment system is compliance with security standards, in particular with PCI-DSS. And to keep customers’ sensitive information safe and secure.
Among the emerging payment trends for 2023 are Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) and voice-activated payments. The first one makes purchasing more flexible, being an alternative to credit cards, without the extra fees. There are a bunch of BNPL services in the market that are used by retailers and other commercial businesses to increase average order value and customer loyalty. Voice–activated payments are dependent on the development of virtual-assistance technology. Payment information must be added to the digital wallet. Adherents to this approach emphasize its additional convenience.
The importance of the digital experience is highlighted by the statistic that 63% of retail sales begin online, even if they end offline. Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence-based features, barcode scanners, and chatbots for improved customer service can bring commerce businesses additional value in the form of raising sales, attracting new customers, and increasing customer loyalty.