The world of ecommerce has been steadily growing for the past two decades. Total revenues in this space are estimated to surpass $500 billion by 2019. That’s a major jump, considering it was about $360 billion in 2016. As more people get on board with online shopping globally, the industry is going to see some interesting changes. Some of these will come as a result of stronger usage numbers. Others will be derived from technological developments. Here are a few trends poised to change ecommerce.
Spreading Internet Access and Online Influence
There are a few things people need to buy something online: internet access, a device connecting them to the internet and money. You can’t make an ecommerce purchase if you’re lacking any one of these three things. Currently, just under half of the world’s population has access to the internet. As the costs of service and computers come down as a result of market forces, more people will participate in the online marketplace. This will create an even more prolific landscape of diverse online retailers.
New Delivery Options
Advances in delivery technology and methodology will further drive ecommerce going forward. Drone delivery is one of the biggest developments being touted by the likes of Amazon and other ecommerce giants. This will allow consumers to receive products in record times—as low as an hour. Conveniences like this will totally alter the sorts of products people choose to purchase online. Autonomous vehicles will also be a huge paradigm shift in that they will lower delivery costs, increase efficiency, and reduce transit times.
Improved Design and Usability
Many developments in ecommerce will happen at the website level. People wondering how to build an ecommerce website are finding a broad array of cloud ecommerce platforms offering highly attractive pre-build templates. In most cases, like with those offered by Shopify, the essential elements of a positive user experience are already baked in. Additionally, mobile friendliness is of crucial importance to ecommerce stores today. People are now spending more time shopping on mobile devices than on desktop computers. This trend will only broaden as time progresses.
More Artificial Intelligence Applications
Artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to radically change the world around us. Ecommerce is no exception to this. Business insights is one place where AI will have a future presence in online shopping. Data is essential to running an ecommerce operation. Identifying patterns in hard numbers is a good way to systematically improve performance. AI applications are capable of doing this at a much greater rate than humans. Further, accounting and customer service can be streamlined with artificial intelligence programs. These developments will save online store owners time and money, while simultaneously boosting productivity and customer satisfaction.
Augmented and Virtual Reality Integrations
Currently, the return rate of online products is higher than that of physical retailers. Because it’s difficult to know how something will look in person based on an online photo, returns can be an issue for ecommerce retailers. After all, paying for returns creates a financial burden. Augmented and virtual reality will help mitigate this issue. Soon, people will be able to use these technologies to get an accurate depiction of an item in their homes, or on their bodies. The proliferation of AR and VR testing applications will be a huge leap in lowering the return rate.
Ecommerce is still a relatively new industry, with many developments in its future. These trends poised to change ecommerce are going to be among the most formative over the next few years.