E-Commerce is going to undergo a high number of changes because of technological and social factors. I’ll describe the future of e-commerce and 9 trends that will exist in the future.
1. Augmented Reality Will Be Commonly Used
Augmented reality simulates in-person shopping experiences by allowing customers to see how a product might look on them or in their homes. With AR, customers click on a product and instantly see it overlaid wherever they point their mobile device. And when customers can view products from every conceivable angle in an interactive 360-degree experience, it gives them a better idea of the value that the product can offer.
Smartphones, smart glasses, and other handheld and wearable devices will provide the bulk of these experiences.
Shopify AR is an example of a tool that already allows customers to view products in natural environments before buying them. This helps to ensure that the product is fit for the purpose intended. This helps customers make informed decisions quickly when it comes to choosing a brand to buy from.
And here’s what most people don’t realize: augmented reality is likely to be more widely used than virtual reality.
According to Grand View Research, the global virtual reality market will be worth $67 billion in 2028. By comparison, the augmented reality global market will be worth $340 billion in 2028. That means that the augmented reality global market will likely be 5 times larger than the virtual reality global market.
2. JARVIS-Like AI Assistants
Most people in developed countries could have AI assistants to improve the quality of their lives.
According to Peter Diamandis, founder of Singular University, services like Alexa, Google Home, and Apple HomePod will expand in functionality. They will eventually expand beyond just the home and become your cognitive prosthetic 24/7. Depending on what permissions you grant to it, a secure JARVIS-like software could listen to all your conversations, read your emails, monitor your blood chemistry, and more. With access to all of this data, this AI-enabled software would learn your preferences, anticipate your needs and behaviors, shop for you, monitor your health, and help you problem-solve in support of your mid and long-term goals.
And by the mid-2030s, we will begin using brain-computer interfaces to connect to the human neocortex, according to Ray Kurzweil. This will allow us to interact with AI assistants with our thoughts and bring this technology to an entirely new level.
3. Crypto May Become A Common Payment Option
To reach more consumers, especially Generation Z and Millennials, brands will need to accept as many payment options as possible. The price fluctuations for cryptocurrencies may begin to stabilize over the next decade, which will make them more attractive payment options for large companies like Amazon and large payment processing companies like PayPal.
On top of that, most cryptocurrencies use blockchain technology to record transactions. Basically, blockchain is a shared database that allows multiple parties to access data and verify that data in real-time. Blockchains make it difficult or impossible to change, hack, or cheat the system. According to Grand View Research, the global blockchain technology market will grow from $6 billion in 2021 and to $395 billion in 2028. That’s a whopping 65 times increase in just several years. With such a massive increase in the use of blockchain technology, most industries will have a far greater familiarity with blockchain and cryptocurrencies in general.
4. Autonomous Delivery Drones Could Become Mainstream
Delivery drones are capable of handling and automating shipping in different volumes, all without human intervention.
The advantages of automated shipping for e-commerce are many. They include:
- Speed in delivery time
- Reduction of freight costs
- Accident reduction
- Decrease in human error
- Reduction of co2 emissions
- And customer satisfaction
Amazon Prime Air will deliver packages up to 5 pounds within 30 minutes or less using small drones. Amazon has been developing and testing the platform through Prime Air development centers in the U.S., the U.K., Austria, France, and Israel. And in August 2020, Amazon received approval from the FAA to operate its Prime Air delivery drones to “safely and efficiently” deliver packages to customers.
Also, UPS Flight Forward was the first company to get the U.S. government’s full certification to operate a drone airline. In 2020, UPS Flight Forward and CVS partnered to deliver prescription medicines from a CVS pharmacy to The Villages, Florida, the largest U.S. retirement community in the U.S.
5. Virtual Reality Will Play An Essential Part Of Marketing Initiatives
The use of virtual reality devices will allow people to view products from any angle imaginable and see those products in action within virtual environments.
With virtual reality, we could quickly change the type of product we’re looking at and change the environment so that we could view the products in different contexts.
It’s expected to transform multiple industries such as education, social media, video games, and entertainment.
6. In-App Purchases On Social Media Platforms Will Be Common-Place
Facebook and Instagram make it easier than ever to let consumers buy products without ever leaving those platforms.
Facebook Shops lets you set up a shop that people can browse and lets people buy your products directly on Facebook.
You can already see brands like ThreadBeast setting up these types of social media storefronts.
Instagram Shoppable posts allow you to add your products to your Instagram posts and enable easy checkout without ever leaving the platform.
Likewise, Pinterest has a Buyable Pins feature that allows shoppers to buy products directly on Pinterest.
These are perfect tools for companies to increase their sales because 54% of social media users research products using social media. Not only that, these tools simplify and shorten the customer journey and reduce abandoned transactions.
7. Emerging Markets Will Play A Huge Role
In July 2021, there were more than 4.8 billion users online. That was 63 percent of the world’s population of 7.7 billion.
Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that there will be 7.5 billion Internet users by 2030—that would be 90 percent of the projected world population of 8.5 billion in 2030.
A high percentage of those additional internet users will live in emerging markets like India, China, Brazil, Russia, and South Africa. That’s going to lead to an extra 2.7 billion potential consumers on the internet.
That could lead to a massive increase in profits for e-commerce based companies of all sizes.
8. Voice Commerce Will Grow In Popularity
Voice commerce will top $40 billion in the U.S. by 2022. Even though the global smart speaker market is growing rapidly, the majority of voice activity occurs on mobile devices through virtual assistants.
It’s also very common for consumers to use voice search features in search engines such as Google and Bing to search for products. Since voice search typically happens in the form of questions, the page ranking of various websites and web pages could be greatly affected over time.
9. More Product Descriptions Will Be In Video Format
According to studies conducted by Social Media Today, 60% of shoppers would rather watch a product video than read a product description.
Also, 64% of shoppers are more likely to purchase a product after watching branded videos on social media.
These studies help prove that shoppers want more interactive experiences when making a purchase to better understand the value being offered.
Additionally, the video format is ideal for providing product demonstrations and utilizing internet influencers.
Amazon is already using more product descriptions in the video format and this trend will only grow throughout the entire e-commerce space.
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