Online shopping was introduced back in 1979 when English inventor Michael Aldrich connected a modified TV to a transaction-processing computer via a telephone line and opened the information systems for secure data transmission. With that one step, the foundation of e-commerce was laid.
And since then there has been a continuous shift in the e-commerce industry. A decade ago, when people wanted to shop they would browse through aisles in stores and stand in lines.
Today, a whole lot of people shop online whenever and wherever they find convenient. Some prefer to shop while in bed, others shop while in transit. Some shop at the wee hours of the morning. Such is the ease that online shopping brings.
Even though there are certain individuals who still prefer to shop in stores, there has been a rapid increase in the number of people making use of online channels. A recent study predicted that mobile commerce (shopping from mobile devices) will take up 45% of the entire eCommerce revenue by 2020.
With that in mind, it has become increasingly important for marketers and business owners to know what trends will shape the future of eCommerce.
From couches and fridges to blenders and lamp-stands, consumers will be able to see exactly how an object looks and fits into their homes and offices before ordering. It is estimated that this will cause an increase in orders for larger items, such as furniture.
In fact, IKEA already has an augmented reality app that allows consumers to experience and view how its products fit into any space.
Next, personalization and a better customer experience will be the benchmark for e-commerce businesses. This trend will occur as a result of customers opting for businesses that offer an experience closer to that of an offline store.
Stats have it that 41% of consumers switched companies due to poor personalization. To that end, large e-commerce stores are already working towards making things more personal for their end users.
Drones will be sent directly from the distribution or pickup centers to the delivery addresses. The use of delivery drones will not only allow companies to deliver packages faster, but it will also reduce cost and existing logistics problems.
Also referred to as ‘omnichannel shopping’, this form of shopping is basically the practice of using a number of different platforms to purchase a brand’s products. This trend will become more prominent as 73% of retailers claim that omnichannel shopping is essential to them.
Additionally, businesses that use four or more digital platforms will do better than those using one or two platforms by 300%.
Cryptocurrency as a Payment Method
It’s no longer news that cryptocurrencies are taking over in a lot of industries. The e-commerce industry isn’t left out. The use of cryptocurrencies will benefit both retailers and consumers as their transaction fees are usually low.
For example, one of the most popular Bitcoin payment provider, BitPay, takes a flat 1% settlement charge for Bitcoin payments. Cryptocurrency transactions are also faster and more secure than traditional forms of transactions.
These are only a few of the trends that will take over the e-commerce industry in 2018 and beyond. To find out more, check out our infographic.