During the past few decades, the way business is being conducted and processes are being performed have been completely transformed. Thanks to the unprecedented propagation of the Internet and advent of mobile technology, a lot of unheard of things have been made possible over the World Wide Web. Retail industry has taken cue from the contemporary revolutionary changes – to find a niche online. Online retail stores are the order of the day now.
The concept of E-Commerce, especially online retail business, came into prevalence since the early 1990’s. It has been evolving greatly, enriching the lives of the common man and enterprises alike. Markets will be greatly influenced by emerging technologies in the year 2019, changing the way businesses and consumers interact with each other. Mobile E-Commerce has come of age.
There’s always a perennial shifting of customer trends and occurrence of innovative changes in the technology front. This necessitates retail businesses to keep tabs on them for succeeding and sustaining.
Which Way the Global E-Com and Retail Businesses will Tend to Lean in the near Future?
Today, it is almost imperative for any business to have its own mobile app. The once esoteric online retail application development has become common place now. The following are the potential trends that are expected to shape retail in the near future:
1. Customization and increased customer engagement
Unlike traditional retail business, Retail stores involve one-to-one interaction. In order to provide the in-store retail experience, E-Commerce will leverage personalization possibilities across the entire shopping journey of customers.
Personal online data will replace the recommendations of the clerk in a physical store who suggests products according to consumers’ needs and preferences. Customers’ queries, site visits, and purchase history are crucial data that help brands equip their online stores to understand customers’ tastes and interests. This in turn allows them to best serve customer requirements, earning their satisfaction.
Online shoppers share their preferences to a brand so long as they are benefited by the shopping experience. Moreover, they tend to get more engaged too.
2. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Chatbots
Robots in the form of chatbots are about to play a huge role in E-Commerce stores in future. AI-based processes will transform overall shopping experience of customers.
AI assistants are capable of multitasking and efficiently handling different processes such as responding to queries and managing inventory. Such digital assistants will be performing several functions related to online retail business. This will enable online retail store owners to focus better on their business.
The percentage of shoppers who are comfortable with being serviced by AI technology will increase with time. Chatbots, from their interaction with customers, will keep evolving and get better in assisting customers with their specific needs.
3. Search options will break barriers
With time, online shopping search will get more and more interesting and convenient. It will increasingly make use of voice and visual means. Mobile devices—especially Smartphones—are about to be predominantly used for the online shopping search process.
E-Commerce app development will ensure that visual search will become an inherent component in mobility solutions. Visual search will play a crucial role in a number of industries such as furniture, apparel, clothing, and others, products of which heavily rely on being visually appealing and unique. It will enable potential buyers to navigate smoothly and arrive at their purchase decision.
With the advent of devices such as Google Home and Amazon Echo, the use of voice search is also expected to increase. Prediction is that in a few years, a huge portion of consumers will be using voice instead of text for searching products and services via web and mobile solutions.
4. Increased and smarter payment options
There are quite a few instances when even after having made up their minds, customers slip away for the reason that payment process is complicated. In future, payment process related to online retail will become effortless, simple, and easy for users.
In addition to empowering consumers to pay using credit / debit cards, more digital options and cryptocurrencies will emerge that will make payment process easy for consumers. Cryptocurrencies specific to each segment will come into play. Online retail application development will include provision for more number of such alternate payment modes on the web as well as mobile-based solutions
5. The shift toward Blockchain
Although blockchain is presently in its nascent stage, blockchain-based E-Commerce apps are expected to have a huge potential in future. Transparency and reliability, the two crucial factors that enable business environments to excel, are effectively enhanced by blockchain.
E-Commerce platforms will be made on blockchain network, facilitating transactions in the online stores using cryptocurrencies. Freely available, it will enable anybody to set up their store with no need for programming knowledge.
This concept frees businesses from the need to have third-party mediators. The authentication, transparency, and freedom attached to the transactions will make it very popular. The coming year is about to witness several such blockchain-based E-Commerce platforms.
Emerging Future Trends in the Global E-Commerce and Retail Industry
The following are the major trends that are expected to shape the E-Commerce and online retail markets:
- Improved options for shipping: Innovative methods for shipping and short-time delivery capability will gain focus.
- Marketing automation: Including automated email campaigns, scheduled social media posts, and customized landing pages, automation in the marketing domain will become popular.
- Programmatic advertising: The new strategy of contextual and programmatic advertising will be adopted extensively.
- Snap & shop: This new trend will make use of photo apps to enable shoppers to just point their camera toward their intended product and order online for the same.
- ROPO will become a fad: Enabling bargain hunters to avail the best possible deals, the practice of research online purchase offline (ROPO) will see a rise in future.
- Increasing sales through influencer marketing: Online influencers have a tangible impact on today’s modern buyers. This aspect of marketing will earn more popularity.
- Increased use of subscription-based model: Subscription-based business models will witness a rise, facilitating new E-Commerce stores to obtain recurring sales on yearly or monthly basis.
Mobile technology has been witnessing steady progress over the years. Effortless and quick purchase potential has rendered online retail a much sought-after concept among modern users. With several enterprises pitching for their market share on the E-Commerce industry, it is essential to keep up-to-date with the latest trends in it.
Successful online retail app development calls for a close watch on the interests and preferences of customers as well as the imminent technology trends.
Prabin Samuel is a success-driven creative and technical content writer at Soft Suave, having expertise in the web and mobile app development industry. The enthusiasm towards growth and research made Prabin an expert in forecasting the future of the web and mobile app development industry.