July 22, 2021
Five E-commerce Innovations to Look Out For is part 2 of the two-part series The Future of E-commerce. In this series, you will learn:
We highly recommend reading part 1 first then continuing with this second part. By doing this, you can have a more overall view of the topic we’re sharing.
Don’t miss it: Part 1 of The Future of E-commerce
This week, we will point out five innovations in E-commerce to really help you step up your game and be a rising star.
Since technology progresses over time, merchants should keep in mind that e-commerce innovations will continue to transform how we interact with and trade goods.
Over the past few years, technology adoption has increased gradually. This tech adoption curve (as shown below) helps us understand and evaluate the risks of adopting new technologies in e-commerce. This graph indicates the most prominent e-commerce innovations affecting the whole industry. Above all, it shows us the customer’s level of acceptance.
It may take some time before most players adopt new trends to their system, but keeping an eye on emerging technological advancement can come in handy.
Definition: A chatbot (also known as a conversational agent) is software technology that simulates human interaction through text voice interaction. It can be represented as a website bot, social media chatbot, chatbot app, or voice assistant.
Working principle: In simple terms, chatbots learn by using natural language processing (NLP). When implementing this technology, it is essential to choose the right NLP engine. For example, if the user interacts with the bot through voice, the chatbot will need a speech recognition engine.
Using this technology, we can reduce overhead costs by using wiser support staff time and quickly support customers when live customer service agents aren’t available.
Chatbots can generate leads, thus, revenue by gathering also preliminary and basic information about a client. Added to that, they can adjust the information displayed to fit a prospective customer’s interest better.
For instance, Hipmunk, a travel search engine, uses chatbots to gather questions and recommendations about traveling on their website. Another example is Staples, an office supply retailer. They use this technology to offer products based on previous orders. It even helps to complete purchases directly through live chat.
If you wonder why personalization is vital in E-commerce, jump to our previous post.
Learn more: Four trends of E-commerce
Moreover, chatbots can help users find answers regardless of where they are and the device they’re using when used with messaging apps. This way is much easier because customers don’t have to fill out forms or waste time looking for the answers they need.
Definition: Virtual assistants (also known as intelligent personal assistants or intelligent virtual assistants) are online personal assistants. They help us with our daily activities like managing our email, scheduling meetings, shopping for our monthly grocery, booking movie tickets, etc. Some examples are Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, Microsoft’s Cortana, Amazon Alexa, etc.
Working principle: Similar to chatbots, voice assistants embed NLP technology. They combine specialized computer chips, microphones, and innovative software that actively listen for specific spoken commands from you and can answer back. However, these virtual assistants must be connected to the internet. In this way, they can search across the world wide web to find suitable answers and even communicate with other intelligent devices.
Voice assistants are becoming more and more popular. Everybody had heard about Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, or Amazon Alexa. As of now, there are actually more than 20 voice assistants helping users communicate with their smart devices to find any information they need, and the best part – hands-free. In reality, voice assistants are not something futuristic.
These virtual assistants can suggest the most commonly requested items. In other words, the top player will tend to make all the sales. So, in some way, we can optimize our website searches using the Google algorithm – just like using voice search logic.
In our busy lives, we need quick and easy ways to do mundane things like reordering your pet’s food, reordering washing essentials, etc. When you get home from a long day at the office and are too tired to cook, this virtual assistant can even help you order food delivered from local restaurants!
Thanks to this technology, customers can order goods directly from Amazon using voice commands. Added to that, voice assistants can quickly search for attractive deals and coupons to help you save that bucks.
Many people, especially millennials and gen Z, started using voice assistance before they shop. With the ongoing adoption of smart speakers for home, like Google Home and Amazon Echo, we can gather that customers’ first connection with a specific product would be through a sort of “word of mouth.” In your case, what would you ask a voice assistant?
Many people may be confused between Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality because they apply very similar technology.
Definition: Augmented Reality (AR) adds virtual elements into a live view, usually using the camera on smart devices. For example, Snapchat filter lenses, Pokemon Go games, etc.
Virtual Reality (VR) builds an entirely new artificial reality that shuts out our physical world, like another dimension, you can say. For instance, VR devices like Google Cardboard or HTC Vive let users transport into imagined environments. These imagined environments can be medieval villages from video games or on the back of a dragon.
You may think to yourself, these things are great and all, but how do they fit in eCommerce, and how can I, as a business owner, really take advantage of this and create innovative solutions for my business?
Let’s imagine you are a buyer from Texas, and the clothing shop is located on the Upper East Side of The Big Apple – New York. You could virtually interact, touch the items, feel the fabrics and try them on before actually purchasing them. With the current global economic situation, some countries haven’t lifted international travel restrictions; applying VR and AR in your eCommerce can be a game-changer and really make your business stand out.
We, InApps Technology, are currently rolling out a tons of appealing E-commerce packages, tailored to your specific needs. Having diverse expertise in developing E-commerce for retail, restaurant, hotel, FMCG, etc., we have the skillset required to help you quickly becoming a rising star in your respective fields. Don’t believe us? Check out for yourself!
Banana Flame, a British clothing e-store, has already successfully incorporated AR into their business. By doing this, shoppers can use their web cameras as interactive mirrors.
Not only the fashion industry can benefit from AR or VR. Industries like beauty, furnishing, automobiles, etc., also need visualization. Companies like Swiss retailer Ikea or German automobile Audi have used AR to let users design their kitchens or check out the cars for themselves!
Big companies like Google, Apple, Facebook have invested heavily in these technologies. Added to that, Microsoft or HTC are researching and developing their AR technology in-house. According to TechCrunch, the value of the VR and AR market accounts for $108 billion. There is no denying that AR is becoming essential and dominant, especially for the future of eCommerce and online shopping.
E-commerce is one of the industries being changed drastically by the revolution of blockchain technology. And no, we are not just talking about Bitcoin or Ethereum alone.
With the dramatic growth of e-commerce in recent years, some issues are inevitable. These issues can be customer trust in online payment, slow transactions, higher fees and policies, digital data ownership, and many more.
Take Amazon, for example. It has specific policies for its listed retailers to reduce contact between sellers and their customers. So, Amazon hires its own customer support that is unfamiliar or acquainted with the merchants’ products. As a result, this reduces the credibility of the retailers and leads to a higher cost to the customer.
The need for a distributed, open ledger of every digital transaction, eliminating fraud, is starting to grow, and Blockchain is born. Blockchain technology helps business owners regain trust in online payments. We all have at least heard of cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, Ripple, etc., but it has yet to be put into daily commercial use. So how does Blockchain fit in eCommerce?
As you are reading, experts worldwide are tirelessly working on the future of eCommerce, where Blockchain is at the forefront. It is called ECoinmerce and will be blockchain-driven to solve the above issues finally. ECoinmere sets out to revolutionize how we buy and sell goods online, aiming to connect consumers and retailers in ways never seen before.
The concept of trading using digital assets excludes the need for a third party. In addition, these transactions are much faster and lower fees for both sellers and buyers. All data entered into a blockchain is stored there forever and indefinitely. In other words, no matter how many times the goods are sold or purchased again, the transaction history remains the same. This can help you eliminate fraud and increase transparency. Above all, gaining customer trust is among your top concerns.
In the last century, we have seen robots replacing human activity from books to movies. In the past, automated machines started out working on car assembly lines and food production. At the moment, motorized vehicles still need a human operator. However, as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) evolve, machines will carry out more mundane tasks. Especially delivery systems like drones and droids.
The future of automation lies in the drones that embrace the sky and the drones on the ground. While there are many obstacles to drone delivery, the benefits of adopting it are huge for retailers. This will significantly reduce costs in various logistics operations.
When it comes to testing new technology, Amazon is on the front lines with a fast drone delivery system – Amazon Prime. Another leading example is Domino and its drone assistance delivery in New Zealand. Once drone airports become a reality, transit times will be shortened to even a few hours. This will definitely boost online purchases.
The future of the e-commerce delivery system is not expected to focus on a specific address but on an individual and their desired place and time. Express shipping, as mentioned, will embed sophisticated AI.
Every new year is sure to bring more technological innovations to the online shopping industry. To stay competitive, brands should explore new technology solutions to retain loyal customers, attract new ones and provide a unique e-shopping experience. Now, firms need to be active on social networks and in e-commerce. Meanwhile, IoT is gaining popularity and soon incorporating smart devices to create a flawless voice assistant experience for customers.
Even so, there is still much more to look forward to in the future of e-commerce. The successful cases of AR & VR, delivery drones, voice assistants, and crypto payments in e-business show that our buying journey can be more innovative. The sky’s the limit.
Thank you for reaching the end of this blog. As part of our long-term vision to keep you updated with the latest industry news, we keep on posting relevant articles for your consideration.
We, InApps Technology, understand starting a new business can be challenging, that’s the reason why we roll out new offerings in E-commerce to help your journey easier. If you are curious to learn more about our Special Packages at an affordable competitive price, please jump to here!
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