Published on June 11th, 2022
By its very definition, e-commerce is an industry dependent on technology. As technology changes for the better, e-commerce also has the potential to improve for both customers and vendors. For that to happen, though, e-commerce businesses have to be aware of tech changes. And then, they have to be willing to implement them.
Here are some of the top tech trends transforming e-commerce today. Being aware of what’s out there is your first step to implementing them and enjoying what they bring. Better tech will bring you closer to a complete e-commerce solution that works for your customers.
E-commerce Moves More And More On Mobile
As a HubSpot blog article notes, mobile retail revenue is measured in trillions now. It was estimated that in 2021, all sales from mobile would reach $3.57 trillion. That’s up from a confirmed $2.91 trillion the year before — a year adversely affected by the pandemic.
And yet, the same article noted that only 12 percent of consumers find mobile e-commerce to be convenient. Designing a mobile platform that’s customer-friendly can go a long way toward bringing in sales. Whoever is designing your platform needs to go beyond just being “mobile first” in their approach. Knowing how today’s smartphones work, including voice activation and smartwatch integration, is key.
You Don’t Have To Go It Alone
One of the biggest obstacles to better tech is finding a team to help you implement it. One of the biggest changes in e-commerce is the presence of turnkey e-commerce solutions. You don’t have to worry about assembling e-commerce experts in-house. They do that work for you.
Specifically, you should think about e-commerce logistics as part of its complete e-commerce solution for businesses. Three principal areas you can outsource include a warehouse management system (WMS), product information management (PIM) system, and an order management system (OMS). Through automation of processes, and through its reporting and analytics capabilities, tech can give you a better handle on your e-commerce.
How do those all work together? The warehouse management system lets you know what you have in stock and where you need to stock up. The product information management system allows you to automate prices. You can have your product pricing adjust to being competitive yet profitable, without dipping below a set price point you determine. And an order management system tracks returns as well as orders at every point on their journey.
AI’s Not Just For Science Fiction Anymore
Artificial intelligence used to be in the realm of the imagination. Today, though, we’re increasingly encountering AI in our day-to-day lives. Our smartphones and computers help us compose messages and emails via predictive text. We bark out commands to Siri and Alexa. And, increasingly, AI is coming to e-commerce and making it better.
AI is more and more becoming part of a complete e-commerce solution for businesses As Big Commerce notes, there are a few key components of AI that apply directly to e-commerce.
Data mining, defined as “the gathering of both current and historical data to inform predictions,” can utilize both information customers provide you directly as well as what they provide to entities like Facebook. Data mining can help e-commerce businesses point customers to products they’re looking for but might not otherwise find themselves.
As language processing continues to develop, machines can parse information from spoken commands. That makes it easier for customers to gather information and make purchases. Amazon’s evolution of Alexa over time points to its importance in the e-commerce equation.
Algorithms are an important facet of AI, and in e-commerce, they’re vital. Where your business ranks on Google depends on your understanding of its evolving algorithms. They’re simply key to machine learning.
Forbes notes, in assessing tech trends for 2022, how much e-commerce machine language touches. “Customer browsing habits, behavior, environment, and devices” all can be assessed and analyzed through machine learning,” that article notes. That can allow you “to create the ideal recipe for predicting shoppers’ desired selections and presenting messaging that resonates.”
Personalize Each Customer’s Experience
The same Forbes article preaches the importance of multichannel personalization. It notes that “multi-device customer journeys make up the majority of online sales.”
That has changed the e-commerce game considerably. Customers don’t just go directly to your website once and buy what they want to buy. They will sometimes research options for the purchases they want to make. They might be curious enough by a Facebook or an Instagram campaign your company mounts to provide their email addresses for more info.
When you have the information required to market to customers directly, you can tailor campaigns that seek to deliver what they might want and need. On platforms like Facebook and Google, you can tailor ads that pinpoint their demographics and their search histories. In doing so, you’re more likely to find customers open to the personalized experience you can provide.
As the article notes, “Whether scrolling on Instagram or browsing online, shoppers are consistently served content tailored to their specific algorithm.” As a result, they “expect automatically personalized results in their interactions online, regardless of the medium.”
Of course, this isn’t a complete and exhaustive list. And as tech and laws change — including those affecting data mining — it’s important for you to be on top of your tech game. Finding experts with e-commerce experience will help you do just that. But pay attention to trends as well as what your competitors are doing.
Because tech developments more so quickly, what you know today might be a thing of the past by next year. But if you’re willing to embrace the change, you can be first to the latest innovations connecting you to your customers.