As we end a monumental year and move in to the next it is time to sit back and evaluate all the awesome new technology that found its way into our lives this year. Now we can make some educated guesses about where the future may take us. eCommerce as an industry has grown into such a big part of our lives. The industry is worth over $22 trillion globally and continues to rise. So what is the future of eCommerce? What are the technologies that will/could grow to revolutionize the way it functions today? What role will Artificial Intelligence play in it?
Here’s our list.
As we’ve already mentioned in other blogs, mobile now drives a large part of eCommerce sales. In fact, this year saw Mobile overtake other channels as the primary source of eCommerce traffic (based on Shopify’s data, at least). So what does this mean for the future of eCommerce. Since mobile phones are already almost an extension of our bodies, it won’t be long before features such as projection make the mobile platform a great portable shopping device amongst other things.
As the Apple Watch, FitBit and various other forms of wearable technology enter the eCommerce market, the implications for vendors and eCommerce retailers are plenty. It is estimated that by 2018, the wearable industry will be worth close to $12.6 billion. So why would this be useful to eCommerce platforms? Because wearables have the ability to collect data beyond just what eCommerce platforms do today. Right now, they can see what products you view, what your taste is depending on what you buy and like, recommend personalized products for you and so on. Imagine if they had your physical data. Your vital statistics, measurements, pupil dilation rate — the potential list goes on. The level till which recommendations could be personalized is phenomenal.
The way Amazon Go promises to revolutionize your shopping experience by making it cashless — you don’t have to take out your wallet — wearables could also be the new key to a ‘checkout-less’ shopping experience. The future of eCommerce could see growth of technology like Google Glasses moving the shopping experience out of mobile and computers and entirely to a google-glass-optimized eCommerce store.
We wrote about the impact Artificial Intelligence will have on customer relationships and eCommerce in our blog ‘Artificial Intelligence in eCommerce.‘ From Watson to his sucessors, forward thinking eCommerce retailers will want to build partnerships with the best AI tech to stay in touch with their growing customer global customer base.
Training eCommerce websites to get our taste right may not be easy, but when they break it down and start to think the way we do to find the right products, that’s when sh*t gets real.
Augmented reality is already a big part of the eCommerce industry – with projected growth of upto 56.8 billion dollars by 2020. Companies like Augment, Echidna and Marxent have created some truly functional yet awesome apps and uses for this technology to help shoppers put their minds at ease by literally visualizing the look and feel of products for their desired spaces. This is great especially for people planning their home decor, office spaces, commercial buildings, public spaces and a whole lot more. The future of eCommerce will see more companies riding this wave, offering customers a more immersive, visual shopping experience.
Ever since Occulus Rift hit the scene, the excitement about virtual reality became very real and tangible. Once Facebook bought Occulus Rift, the possibilities became even more mind blowing (albeit a little scary.) At the Virtual Reality Facebook demo this year, Mark Zuckerberg hung out with his friends – via avatars – and virtually travelled to his house to check on his dog. Although eCommerce stores still don’t boast of the kind of conversion rates that traditional retailers do, the possibilities that immersive tech like AR and VR will change that is huge. These technologies help create the sensory experience that is very missing in eCommerce today. Although there is little information on the revenue that VR has brought in so far, eBay and Myer are already ahead of the game: with the first virtual reality department store. The future of eCommerce will definitely see more virtual experiences, changing the ecommerce experience as we know it.
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