The ease of access to the internet has created a level playing field for retailers, making it simple for individuals and businesses to sell products without geographic limitation. The advent and growth of e-commerce have not only changed the way customers shop but also their expectations of how brands approach customer service, personalize communications and give customers choices.
The future of e-commerce depends on savvy professionals who are able to create a personalized, engaging online shopping experience for consumers. To capitalize on the opportunities presented by e-commerce, retailers must be well-versed in the latest technologies and trends, including the following:
Customer Data and Analytics to Improve Marketing Tactics
Online stores may not have retail clerks or dressing rooms, but they can recommend products based on customers’ interests, style choices, and preferences through the use of data. The future of online shopping relies on capturing patterns of shopping behavior. This then allows the brand to create strategic pricing, advertising, and cross-promotions on both an individual basis and based on widespread trends. For example, a brand may run social media ads during peak shopping hours, promote items that are often bought together, or show an ad for a specific item a consumer has viewed before.
Machine Learning Creates a Personalized E-Commerce Experience
In the world of e-commerce, shoppers require a more personalized experience. According to recent market analysis, 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands that recognize, remember, and provide relevant offers and product recommendations. In fact, when online stores personalize the experience, 87% of shoppers said they tend to buy more, according to the same research.
Rather than manually analyzing customer information, data analysts utilize artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies to compile data and create customer profiles. Analysts use these profiles and insights (with the help of AI) to deliver personalized recommendations and relevant content, based on an intelligent algorithm. Experts predict that businesses that implement smart personalization in e-commerce can expect a profit boost up to 15% by 2020.
Although AI handles much of the analytical processes, market research analysts apply their own insights and understanding of consumer behavior to make recommendations and spearhead the continued optimization of e-commerce.
Online Shopping Is Going Mobile
The retail industry has been significantly impacted by the increasing use of mobile devices. With mobile e-commerce, shopping happens everywhere, no brick and mortar storefront or laptop required. So what does mobile mean for the future of online shopping?
Mobile retail accounts for 45% of online orders, so smart brands are creating a mobile-friendly e-commerce experience. The website and online store should not only be accessible on mobile devices but also optimized with a design or application that makes it easy to browse and buy from a smartphone or tablet.
The mobile e-commerce experience provides customers with customized products, more competitive pricing, and increased accessibility. Analysts and business professionals must consider the user journey across multiple devices (including mobile, desktop, and in-store) and integrate a multi-channel strategy to optimize conversions. For example, if a customer places items in a cart on mobile, and then moves to desktop, the information should update in real-time to create a seamless shopping experience across platforms.
Analysts Are Key to Executing E-commerce Trends
The e-commerce shopping experience is more personal, accessible and data-driven than ever before. As the industry evolves, there is an opportunity for business professionals to make a profound impact on the future of online shopping. An online degree in business offers students extensive knowledge of advanced business practices and the latest in trends, tools, and technologies. Business professionals can apply their knowledge and insights to make an impact on the future of e-commerce.
Be a Leader in the Future of E-commerce
If you’re interested in harnessing the future of online shopping for your business, consider partnering with Linkeo Ltd and our excellent platform, Deliver By Linkeo, to create a high-performance online shopfront that can easily be edited and maintained as your business grows over the years. Call us today for details.