With seemingly no slowing down, eCommerce dominates worldwide marketplaces and connects customers to a greater variety of businesses and product options. Companies of all sizes and industries can boost their sales by embracing the technology that boosts online sales platforms and techniques such as AI and websites optimized for mobile devices.
Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence
Machine learning and deep learning both fall under the umbrella of artificial intelligence. You can use all three of these tool types in eCommerce to examine market trends and interact with online customers. ML and AIs can even predict which products and services will be in demand, which will be impacted by world weather or political events and which will disappear over the next few years. The next trend in AI technology will be optimizing the hardware for a larger neural network batch size, allowing for faster and more detailed reports. AI technology allows customers to have a more interactive and personalized experience by responding to queries at any hour, sometimes with text-to-speech capabilities that seem almost human.
Mobile Devices and Virtual Wallets
Online shopping can take place on multiple devices, but mobile ones such as cellular phones and tablets are gaining popularity in recent years. Consumers value the ability to search for and purchase products while on the go, paying for them with a virtual wallet app. Customers can even use these apps in brick-and-mortar stores to reduce the need for bulky wallets. Customers can even use their mobile devices and augmented reality technology to overlay the picture of a product on real-time video of their homes and see if the color and shape are what they are looking for. Optimizing your eCommerce website for either mobile viewing or virtual wallet apps is often not enough; consumers expect you to have both technologies available to them.
Voice Search and Personalized Recommendations
As search engines compete to offer the best information and services to businesses and their customers, technologies like voice search and personalized recommendations are becoming more effective. These technologies use AI and machine learning to recognize speech patterns to translate into text. They also recognize shopping patterns for individuals to refine search results by location, past shopping habits and recent related searches. While this can be, and is, seen as a privacy issue, consumers who opt-in to personalized ads and search results will often find the specific things they need more quickly and effectively. Location tracking, for example, can be used to find the closest burger joint and provide directions to get there. If that restaurant has optimized its website and menu for mobile purchases, you can even order dinner in the elevator after work and pick it up on your drive home.
Customized Products and Subscriptions
With the increase in product availability from various types of vendors and manufacturers, customers expect increased customization and convenience. Manufacturers offering custom colors, embroidered or embossed words or even items customized with the customer’s artwork often see greater demand. This same trend can apply to the customization of subscriptions or even subscriptions for regular resupply of consumables. The best example of this is the ability to find subscriptions for everything from groceries to craft supplies to keep your home fully stocked with the things you use most.
The world of eCommerce grows more prominent and more interconnected every year through technological innovations. Some of these were developed for the online retail industry, but others were innovations in video game technology or Big Data, which have applications in retail. With each boost, customers see more personalized and customizable options to help them feel more valued by the companies they patronize.