By Ankur Dayal
The pace of e-commerce is colossally changing today, thanks to the pandemic. The businesses today are in what we may call the “optimization era” of e-commerce marketing with industry growth strategies focused on improving the online experience- making discovery and communication more compelling and the overall user experience more interactive. Statistics show that e-commerce sales have gone up by over a billion dollars in the last financial year and have been projected to grow exponentially, reaching over 6.5 billion dollars in 2023. Innovative technical tools that help brands aggressively compete in the market while also defending their share are providing the ignition that the industry needs to grow at these notably high rates.
Amidst the constantly changing business landscapes, an aspect that has remained unchanged, however, is the significance of offering an outstanding consumer buying experience. The below mentioned technological innovations have been predicted to shape the way businesses connect with their audiences, thus enabling e-commerce brands to optimize their marketing strategies throughout the consumer buying lifecycle:
Voice Assistants are changing the way we shop: the advent of eCommerce has over the years altered the way customers shop, and as a result, e-com related transactions are on the rise. Voice-enabled searches are gaining massive popularity for going one step ahead and further adding ease to the virtual shopping experience. These smart virtual assistants, like smart speakers and voice search, enable consumers to avail a multitude of services with ease. Due to the feature’s benefits like being faster, frictionless, and an ability to convert leads into sales, it is predicted that the voice shopping market will grow to $40 billion-plus in 2022 and the number might cross $80 billion by 2023.
Blockchain and e-commerce make a winning combination: Blockchain technologies and e-commerce platforms are forming an ecosystem feasible to consumers and online retailers. By promptly adopting the distributed ledger technology in their business processes, online retailers can offer an effective way of refining the consumer shopping experience. This technology can handle user activities like product searching and purchases, payment processing, and customer care. Faster transactions, cost reductions, and convenient solutions to cyber threats and financial security concerns are some of the reasons behind this technology’s unmatched potential.
Mirror technology, bridging offline and online shopping: This technology is an AR tool for shoppers to virtually try on different clothing items in a smart virtual dressing room having mirrors equipped with sensors. These interactive mirrors alter the image replicated back to quickly show how you look without actually having to try an outfit. By empowering a motion-triggered virtual change of outfits, these superimposed live images help consumers make informed choices. Many applications use this “3D try-on” technology to make the virtual shopping experience as similar to a real one as possible.
Chatbots boosting smart buying experience: Chatbots are powered by neural networks, AI, and machine learning technology. The result – they are highly spontaneous, can store data, and offer customers exceptional services. Their lightning-fast responses, precise information, and round-the-clock availability make chatbots the future of customer service in virtual shopping.
There has never been a more critical moment for companies to know their audience and relate to their smart buying expectations. Brands making an effort to capitalize on appreciating their customers’ diverse perspectives, can gain a competitive advantage by delivering connected and contextualized engagement.
The e-commerce technological innovations like artificial and virtual reality, voice assistants, and crypto-payments are an indication that the consumer’s journey of purchasing goods could exceed our imagination.
(The author is CEO & Co-founder of Primarc Pecan Pvt. Ltd. and the views expressed in this article are his own)