Without a doubt, technology is the backbone of eCommerce. From helping customers find their products easily to optimizing delivery and payments, there is technology everywhere. It is not possible to think of a single interaction touchpoint where technology doesn’t feature for the seamless operation of the eCommerce site. In this article, we will look at how technology is changing the face of eCommerce.
Here are 10 ways in which technology enhances eCommerce today:
- 24*7 sales:
Mobile devices have become an integral part of our daily lives, and we keep them in our person most of the time. With the rolling out of 4G connectivity in mobile phones, the world is enjoying a faster mobile experience, and affects mobile commerce as well. With mobile-based apps, businesses can find their customers anytime. The average customer will order products from the comforts of their homes at any time of the day, and at their own convenience.
One of the best use cases for chatbots is their ubiquity as a customer support engine. It is available round the clock, can answer questions posed by customers and can be scaled as much as you want. If you use AI-powered chatbots, they can also answer better by learning previous conversations, chat histories, and other related documents.
No matter how many customers are on your website asking questions from the chatbot, it will be able to handle all of it simultaneously. By providing instant customer support, it will help the customer make buying decisions immediately. Even if there are a few blocks for the customer from making the purchase, chatbots can handle all of them with finesse.
- Digital Supply Chain:
In the ecommerce space, making sure that the product reaches the customer in the time promised is crucial. Optimising the supply chain process needs to be focused on, and that’s how an eCommerce business can ensure efficient and faster delivery models. Technological innovations are allowing for better solutions to supply-chain issues.
It helps with inventory management by leveraging RFID tags, autonomous freight shuttle helps port management, drone delivery, fights counterfeit products, and automated order picking that helps with warehouse management. There are many more.
- Demand-driven forecasting:
Imagine your favourite shopping portal predicts your next shopping list and sends the products to their nearest fulfilment centre even before you place your order. How cool would that be! Amazon is already experimenting with it. It can save a lot of time for your customer and brings them closer to your brand as well. While this is still in its nascent stages, there is a lot more potential and use cases with this technology. One can do a lot more with such powerful data analytics.
- Customer recommendations:
The technology for sending recommendations is powered by machine learning algorithms. When an AI system knows the customer’s behavior patterns, it can recommend tools that are most likely to be bought by the customer. Apart from that, they will also recommend products that are complementary to the ones that they had bought.
The algorithm is able to forecast this information by going through previous search history, buying patterns, decision making triggers, and other third-party data. The accuracy of the recommendation engine increases with each source of data that is added to the algorithm.
- Better marketing:
Technological advancements in the field of ecommerce has touched all aspects possible, and that includes marketing as well. It even provides you the opportunity to localize your website so that local users can access it. Thanks to the modern suite of technologies available, it is easy to do it in a short period of time. How? There are localization software and multiple plugins which can provide customers with a chance to browse your website in their local language. It will help you reach a wide array of audience and helps your marketing campaigns by a huge margin.
- Augmented Reality:
One of the biggest boost to online shopping is augmented reality. This technology has the potential to personalize and enhance your customer’s shopping experience. When you offer augmented reality features for your online shopping, you will be able to increase the number of sales, shorter sales cycle, and even increase the number of products sold. It will help the customers make informed decisions as it allows customers to see the products in real-time and gives them the feel of being present in the shop.
- Loyalty tools:
A loyalty program software is a customer retention tool whose main objective is to keep the engagement of customers high. It will keep the customers with you and not run to a competitor at the sign of a price drop or a new feature. When customer retention programs work successfully, your customers will buy in higher quantities, up-sell and cross-sell easily, they will recommend you to their friends and family, and more. With the help of a customer retention program or a loyalty software, you will be able to offer your customers a fantastic experience while reducing your churn rates.
- A number of payment services:
Offering convenience to your customers is a value proposition that they will appreciate you for. Helping your customers make payments with the help of a hassle-free and secure payment gateway is critical. Otherwise, most of them will walk away from the cart. Apart from offering the usual set of payments such as debit card, credit card and cash, there are a number of other payment options available too.
Of late, there have been new contactless payment options such as Google Wallet, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay. They have a higher degree of security and will instill customers with more confidence. It will also give a boost to cardless payments, and will result in increased eCommerce sales.
- Emergence of blockchain technology:
Blockchain is a ledger-based technology which stores information about transactions, and it cannot compromised. It is decentralized through a peer-to-peer network. In the ecommerce industry, blockchain helps to secure transactions, prevents fraud, improves supply chain management, and so on.
There are a few ecommerce companies which already use Blockchain-powered cryptocurrencies. By applying blockchain technology in an ecommerce portal, as it is a decentralized environment, any wrongdoings by a business can be easily brought to notice. A transparent marketplace also helps in conducting business in a frictionless manner. Security breaches in blockchain-powered networks are negligible.
If you observe, almost every aspect of ecommerce that a customer enjoys is enabled by technology. Without the use of technology, it is impossible to provide a seamless experience for your customers. Every single facet of the ecommerce site is driven by a myriad of technologies. What’s the best part about it? They are not the enterprise-grade software of yore which requires hundreds of thousand dollars to setup, nor does it ask for a hefty maintenance fees every month. You can run a brilliant ecommerce site with the help of SaaS tools that lets you pay a minimum fee every month, and most of these tools integrate with each other, that solves the problem of automation as well.
If you want to set up a loyalty program for your eCommerce portal, get in touch with the team at 99minds.