The global pandemic meant fewer shoppers in local stores. Thus, even businesses that never considered selling through technology were faced with a dilemma: either sell online or close your doors. The conversion in favor of e-commerce experiences was aided by the advent of new technology options that transformed the industry and built a stronger foundation for the modern online retailer. Without a doubt, technology shifted consumer patterns and helped increasingly tech-savvy customers track their purchases, compare prices with a few mouse clicks, and altered the way users accessed a range of products. As per the big picture, with the latest technology developments, new opportunities constantly grow and evolve to both support e-tailers (online retailers) and users. With a range of tools, e-commerce helped brands build stronger connections with consumers and fostered more positive attitudes toward their brands.
Shifting consumer patterns and participation in various aspects of brands’ technology, such as connected consumers who use multiple screens simultaneously to achieve their goals, drove massive changes in e-commerce experiences and continued as the primary fuel behind the e-commerce industry’s evolution and growth. Thus, as technology grew, it made the lives of consumers more convenient, exciting, and productive.
For brands seeking to capitalize on this evolving technology and improve users’ e-commerce experiences as a means to improve their e-commerce business operations the first step is to familiarize themselves with new technologies and evaluate which ones they should adopt to meet the growing needs of their consumers. The goal of this post is to introduce readers to some of these new technologies and offer insights as to how the use of these technologies can improve e-commerce experiences and increase profitability.
Improve e-commerce experiences
Enable faultless new payment processing options
With new technologies, e-commerce businesses can’t implement new payment options to facilitate the growing demand for buying and selling products with quick and secure payments. With several technologies pushing boundaries to create seamless payment processing and rollout alternative payment methods, new payment options save customers and businesses both time and money. Desktop options, such as PayPal, offer a secure and centralized payment portal that eliminates the need to share sensitive credit card information with website owners. Mobile options, such as Venmo, Apple Pay, and Google Pay, offer the same ease of use to mobile users. Because credit card information is stored securely on the portal, customers can pay with a single click or a tap at a physical location.
The emergence of blockchain
The emergence of blockchain transformed the face of e-commerce. With e-commerce moving to smart devices and mobile payments to suit the needs of an ever-changing consumer environment, blockchain technology solved the slow transaction and trust issues.
For those unfamiliar with blockchain, here’s something to help you understand the technology and the advantage it offers for improving e-commerce experiences:
A blockchain is essentially a digital ledger of transactions that is duplicated and distributed across the entire network of computer systems on the blockchain. Each block in the chain contains a number of transactions, and every time a new transaction occurs on the blockchain, a record of that transaction is added to every participant’s ledger. The decentralised database managed by multiple participants is known as Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). [source]
Cryptocurrency, a type of blockchain, is perfectly suited for improving e-commerce experiences by acting as a digital transfer of assets from buyers to sellers. Cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin, gained popularity in recent years based on political upheavals that make some country’s currencies unstable as well as the rapid appreciation of Bitcoin.
While still in its infancy, cryptocurrency is becoming more popular with more and more businesses offering transactions via cryptocurrency every day. PayPal will help you get started buying and selling cryptocurrency, which is now accepted at mainstream retailers like Burger King, Twitch, AT&T, Microsoft, and others.
New opportunities with social media and email automation
Social media platforms evolved a natural synergy with e-commerce businesses. While these platforms are not explicitly used for buying, they play a pivot role in sending traffic to e-commerce websites, using influencers to drive purchases, and creating positive attitudes towards e-commerce brands. From amplifying brand messages two actually accomplishing conversion, social platforms helped close the gap between social and shopping.
Email marketing and remarketing tools available through social platforms further enhance the ability of social media to contribute to firm performance. Yet, managing content marketing an engagement necessary to achieve success with either of these strategies can strain the resources of small businesses.
Enter automation tools. On social platforms, automation tools allow you service to schedule content for days or weeks at a time. This alleviates the need for someone to constantly and content to the right platform at the right time to reach the desired target market. Many social media automation tools also allow for active listening and help with other aspects to create engagement on the platform.
The same is possible with email marketing automation tools that help design emails and target them two subgroups within this subscriber list to achieve higher conversion rates. Another valuable aspect of email marketing automation allows customers to purchase items with a single click-through email and bring businesses and customers closer together.
It is great to see how social media technology fueled new iterations and profoundly impacted e-commerce experiences while channeling customers to direct purchases through social media pages.
Improved efficiency with artificial intelligence
Thanks to artificial intelligence (AI), we see a massive transformation in e-commerce. These AI-driven algorithms help to personalize a consumer’s shopping experience and assist in inventory management, among other tasks the create better e-commerce experiences. For instance, AI fulfills orders without issue, leads visitors toward conversation, and predicts a customer’s behavior to provide an individualized customer journey. With customer interactions, AI automates image classification and tagging and indicates the most efficient delivery routes to speed products to buyers at the lowest cost.
Most 3-commerce websites approach this technology for faster and more effective delivery, computerizing several routine tasks, and making business purchases at a lower cost. Thus, AI technology drives this shift by analyzing and predicting sales patterns in e-commerce.
The streamlined inventory management process
While managing the e-commerce inventory management process is daunting newer inventory software allows entrepreneurs to manage this tough task from anywhere in real-time, while ensuring high levels of customer satisfaction, since out-of-stock situations and slow delivery times engender dissatisfaction. Inventory management software made it easy to eliminate human errors and save time and resources. So, adapting to such technologies brought a significant change in streamlining inventory management and provides a competitive edge against other e-commerce businesses.
Enhanced customer experiences with better shopping interfaces
The use of technologies paved the way to serve customers better, and e-commerce businesses embraced it to seek ways to engage their customers. To outperform your competitors and provide a memorable experience for consumers, these measures proved successful among the masses.
For instance, offering customers a virtual tour around a digital store or offering tools that create virtual dressing rooms to try on clothing or test hair colors before ordering ensure customers are satisfied with their purchases once they arrive. These technologies also offer a bit of novelty that encourages sharing and repeat purchase. Thus, these relevant shopping experiences promote personalization to help customers connect with their brands.
With technology decisively impacting the way we shop and introducing new ways to do it, the E-commerce industry will continue to be propelled by emerging technologies. It will open up opportunities for the business and consumers and those who will adapt to the rapid change with blockchain technology or artificial intelligence. People will certainly get to experience efficient business solutions down their way. So why not take the success of E-commerce to provide personalized service and support to your loyal customers.