Technological advancements in the 21st century such as the birth of the internet have transformed how business is conducted all over the world. Instant access to resources and people all over the world has been made possible by the World Wide Web and has become the preferred medium for working, marketing, socializing and even buying specific products and services from online stores. The evolution of the internet, CIO trends and development of technologies in the last ten years has led to the growth of the E-commerce industry which can otherwise be defined as the activity of selling and buying products using a website in the place of a physical shop.
Online stores now have a competitive edge over the traditional brick and mortar store due to their 24-hour accessibility from any geographical location. Online stores also give the consumer the convenience to go through hundreds of products that are available for purchase by browsing through the website. The website offers a variety of products that enable the consumer to make an informed decision, use a cart to put the product of choice and then pay for the product through a checkout. E-commerce giants such as eBay, Amazon and other startups such as jet.com and Trunk Club are all success stories when it comes to the E-commerce industry. Amazon has been in the retail sector for a record 23 years as of December 2017. PayPal and Google launched their operations in 1998. By 2020, the revenues generated from E-commerce are expected to plummet to $523 billion in the United States. The projection figures in themselves prove that the E-commerce industry is experiencing breakneck growth.
In this article, we shall discuss the e-commerce trends that have revolutionized the way we have conducted business in 2017.
By 2020, consumers will make use of mobile devices and smartphones in particular to make online purchases worth $129.44 billion annually. This statistic was released by the Rapid Growth Report from eMarketer’s US Mobile Commerce Update 2016. Google has said that over 40% of all the people who browse the internet on a daily basis are currently not on desktops and laptops but are using mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. Many online retailers have increased their market share by making their websites mobile-friendly, therefore, making its constant reachable to a vast pool of potential consumers who are using smartphones and tablets.
Most consumers go through the whole spectrum of the shopping experience using their smartphones. There is a trend where consumers prefer to make their purchases and payments using their mobile devices without having to deal with the time and resource constraints of having to go to a brick and mortar retail store. The development of iOS and Android-based e-commerce applications have created numerous business opportunities for companies to engage their consumers.
E-commerce has revolutionized the way businesses do their product promotion and their strategies for retail marketing. For the success of any business, a smart strategy on digital marketing is crucial. The digital marketing strategy should be able to reach out and convince consumers to purchase your product and the numerous advantages of making the purchase online. Digital marketing has made it possible for businesses to reach their consumer base to places where they spend most of their free time which includes social media platforms, blogs, applications, emails, and websites. Technological advancements and innovations in the inventory management systems have made it possible for online retailers to stream stock management and business operations which have improved the consumer brand experience tremendously.
Virtual Reality (VR) technology
Augmented reality and virtual reality technologies have helped online retailers create more immersive consumer shopping experiences. The future of e-commerce will be based on virtual stores. Consumers can use a VR headset to browse through the diverse categories of products, select their items of choice, put them in the cart and then proceed to checkout for payment. Augmented reality, on the other hand, makes enhancements to existing reality using digital reality.