5 Ways Ecommerce Needs To Change In The Future
Ecommerce is a powerful force that is rapidly changing the contours of our economy. Ecommerce has made the act of purchasing virtually anything as simple as a quick search and click (as long as your payment data is already saved). The item arrives on your doorstep just days later. Ecommerce platforms allow purchases of virtual goods, large and small tangible items and just about anything that is available offline. However, the variety of choice and ease to sell means that margins are incredibly tight and profitability is low. The user experience suffers and some Ecommerce concepts are getting stale. In the future, there will need to be changes to incorporate new technologies and new demands. There are 5 key ways it needs to change.
From the beginning, Ecommerce platforms have been seeking ways to identify ways to better recommend purchases. Amazon started out by recommending books their customers would like. In the future, all Ecommerce sites will incorporate this type of technology. In addition, there may be recommendation engines that aggregate information across platforms and recommend things to you over the entire web.
2. Incorporating Virtual Reality
Virtual Reality technology is growing by leaps and bounds. Facebook, Samsung, Sony and other major players all have VR technology platforms. In the future, these can be applied to Ecommerce so that the consumer can literally visualize what the product will look like in a different place. Imagine literally picturing your new couch in your living room or shoes on your feet. VR technology has the power the revolutionize many industries and also reduce the return rate substantially.
3. Online – Offline Integration
While online sales are growing rapidly, they still only represent about 7% of the total consumer market. The inevitable progression of Ecommerce will continue to chip in to this percentage. As online sales takeover offline sales, integrating the two will become even more important. That means that online purchases can be picked up at the store or the store have a computer that provides additional options for every purchase.
Consumer micro-targeting is another emerging trend that Ecommerce players are beginning to pick up on. They are developing products not just in several different product categories but in hundreds or thousands of categories that are made for thousands of different sub-group specifications. For example, a company may produce a purple dress for moms that are size 4 – 8 and live in the Midwest. These specific products are then micro-targeted to the exact demographic group which produce a huge conversion rate based on the dollars spent. Helping companies reach this level of specificity is an emerging trend.
No longer can companies feel free to focus on their home market. From the beginning they have to be ready, willing and able to tap an international market. As the battlefield for growth goes global, all Ecommerce players should understand how to market and win in different countries around the world. Obviously, that means incorporating different language, payment and localization options. More than that, the experience and marketing efforts must be geared to local populations to help the company really take off.
Overall, Ecommerce continues to grow and evolve and new players and new technologies emerge. Companies will have to continually adapt and integrate the concepts above in order to compete and win.