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Many businesses took a massive hit over the past couple of years due to the pandemic, but none more than retailers. As lockdowns went into place and shops closed their doors, there were concerns about how they would stay afloat and if they would ever recover.
Luckily, recent advances in tech-enabled many retailers to quickly adapt and improve their online business. As a result, the eCommerce industry is now booming and will only continue to grow as new tech trends emerge, continually improving the digital marketplace.
As the industry grows, brands will need to stay on top of the latest trends and adopt the latest technologies to stay ahead of their competitors. Though many may revert to traditional retail services, this is unwise. Today’s consumers prefer online shopping, businesses need to find ways to meet the demands of eCommerce by utilizing technology to move forward instead of falling back on what’s comfortable.
Just as traditional retail businesses can run into problems, so can eCommerce brands. Though many companies have seen an increase in profits recently thanks to tech that has enabled them to meet the demands of online shopping, it is still a struggle to keep up.
As customers increasingly turn to the internet to meet their needs and buy their products, eCommerce brands are having a hard time keeping up with fulfillment and customer service. As such, customers are facing high shipping costs, slow shipping speeds, and items that are getting lost or damaged without quality customer service to resolve the issue.
To resolve these issues, brands need to be even more proactive about their use of technology. While initial tools and systems may have enabled them to get online, it’s necessary to continually make improvements by utilizing the latest tech specifically directed at solving a lot of the problems eCommerce brands are facing.
In the first few months of 2020, the retail industry took a massive hit, losing around 1.3 million jobs. Unfortunately, retail is one of the primary contributors to the U.S. economy, so when sales plunged, it was damaging to the entire economy as a whole. In recent months, however, there has been significant growth in eCommerce thanks to technological advances, which is now helping to restabilize the retail sector.
Not only are businesses and the economy starting to get back on their feet, but forecasters are expecting record-breaking growth in the coming years, thanks to online shopping. With technology making eCommerce more efficient and accessible, new merchants join the online marketplace every day, with 1.1 new online sellers having emerged just by the end of 2020.
As an eCommerce brand, it is now essential to make the most of technology to be as innovative as possible. With all of the tools, systems, and technologies available, there is no excuse not to make improvements to your digital supply chain processes to provide better customer service and experiences.
If you want to be successful, you must continually grow and adapt using the latest technology. Below, we’ll review some of the most recent and emerging tech trends to watch out for as you seek to improve your eCommerce business:
Chatbots are becoming increasingly common, especially with advances in artificial intelligence (AI). Chatbots essentially work like digital customer service agents. They can help you troubleshoot a problem, answer questions, and direct you to what you need. Many businesses started using them as an initial point of contact for customers that had very simple problems that could be solved without the need to get a live representative involved, allowing customers to more quickly and easily get what they need.
However, if an issue was too complex, it was usually still necessary to call in for live assistance. But now, with advances in technology, chatbots use machine learning technology to mimic real human interactions and customer service representatives. They can make more advanced decisions and offer better advice based on what they learn from what a customer says to them.
Though customers might still need live assistance in some situations, AI-powered chatbots are becoming so advanced that they can often handle many issues on their own. This enables businesses to free up time to focus on other more important tasks and allows customers to have a seamless experience and get what they need quickly and efficiently.
Advances in mobile tech and mobile commerce have also enabled businesses to run more efficiently and meet the demands of today’s consumers. Most internet traffic today comes from mobile users. So brands must have a successful mobile platform and use the latest tools and systems, such as e-wallets, payment integrations, one-click checkouts, and more.
Mobile tech is also essential in helping improve the workplace for eCommerce businesses with remote workers. A key element to providing quality service and experiences in the eCommerce setting is ensuring that productivity levels stay high to keep up with customer demands. Some of the latest apps and systems allow remote employees to stay connected so they are always in the know and can more easily stay on top of their workload.
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) now make it possible for customers to shop from their homes as if they were physically present in a store. VR technology essentially creates an artificial digital world that customers can see and walk through to shop for items. Or, they can use AR tech, which doesn’t entirely change their setting but places virtual elements into the real world.
For example, with VR, a customer might wear a headset that fully immerses them in a digital world that looks like a store where they can pick out the items they want. Or, with AR, they can use their phone to see how certain items, like a new pillow or curtains, might look in their existing space. Many companies are already using this tech to help customers shop for things like clothes, home goods, and even cars.
Having a quality data strategy is essential to running a successful eCommerce business today. While data analytics has been around for years now, big data continues to evolve with the advancement of new technologies.
Tools like Google Analytics, for example, are continually evolving and becoming more advanced, enhancing capabilities when it comes to measuring and analyzing customer data and behaviors. The more data tools and systems evolve, the more accurate the data and results will become, enabling businesses to make more informed decisions to improve their eCommerce processes.
Though we refer to some of the latest technologies as trends, they are not fads that will fade out of interest. With eCommerce, these are all essential tools and systems that are here to stay and will continue to evolve and advance over time to improve capabilities. Technology can help you grow your eCommerce business in many ways, and it’s important to stay on top of these trends to implement the latest tech to stay ahead of the marketplace and continually provide the best customer service possible.