The future of the online shopping industry

The future of the online shopping industry

Author: Dmytro Naumenko

04 Jul 2021

While the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak was a severe challenge and disrupted the global logistics chain, it also served as a major boosting factor for online shopping. People made a transition from buying groceries in corner shops to online shopping in mere days, and e-Commerce platforms exploded with new customers. According to Statista, retail e-Commerce sales in 2020 amounted to USD $4.28 trillion and are projected to grow to a whopping USD $5.4 trillion in 2022.

This means that in order to remain competitive in this rapidly expanding and evolving market, you should provide an innovative and positive customer experience. Simply offering mobile-friendly cross-platform design won’t do, as people demand more functionality and convenience, forming new e-Commerce market trends for the years to come. Here is what you should deliver to ensure your visitors turn into customers and bring their friends to your online shopping platform.

A seamless cross-platform experience is a must

Since 2019, mobile traffic forms more than 50% of overall web traffic. In e-Commerce though, this is more like 90%, so you must ensure your platform provides a seamless cross-platform experience, loads lightning-fast, and is optimized to work mobile-first.

The problem here, however, is that there really is quite a limited number of design templates. We are not talking about coloring and fonts, but about the elements positioning and layout. So when there are hundreds of e-Commerce platforms, they feel like clones and lose their individuality.

There is a move towards so-called headless e-Commerce, where front-end storefronts are decoupled from back-end systems that run the platform. This allows experimenting with designs and creating truly unique and personalized customer journeys, but requires an in-depth understanding of the ways your chosen e-Commerce platform APIs work. Thus, to implement this approach and reap its benefits, you might need to go for programming outsourcing and use external help.

Hyper-personalized shopping using AR/VR and AI

This point naturally stems from the previous one. If you provide personalized shopping journeys, empower them to the extreme using AR/VR. According to Shopify, their merchants had a 250% increase in sales after adding AR-based 3D videos to their stores, so their customers could try the clothing and apparel on immediately. This removes the biggest online shopping roadblock when a buyer can’t see what an item of clothing will look like on them. Now they can.

Now they can.

In addition, according to Bllomreach, 87% of customers value personalization above all and are most likely to shop more on platforms that remember their preferences, previously viewed items, and provide relevant suggestions. This requires implementing AI/ML models that predict the best choices based on historical data. Luckily, lots of such models are now available from AWS, GCP, Microsoft Azure, and other cloud technology providers, so you only need your web development consultants to help you select the most fitting one for your business and train it for you.

Frictionless billing and verification

As mentioned above, when the customers like their experience, they tend to come back for more and bring friends. One of the key elements in ensuring a positive buying experience is providing a frictionless checkout. If each of your customers has to enter their credit card details and CVV code every time they make an order, it’s not frictionless. However, storing credit card details is dangerous as this is sensitive data. You must ensure it is not lost in case of a hacking attack.

This is why e-Commerce is now heading towards one-time QR-codes, Face ID, and fingerprint ID verification with digital wallets, etc. This way, the customer can input their credit card details only once in a secure environment, and after that, the technology handles the rest while ensuring the security of stored financial details. But to enable this for your online store, you need integration with other systems, as standard e-Commerce dashboards do not provide such functionality yet.

Hire a dedicated team to get it done!

The best way to reap the benefits of the online shopping boom is to hire a dedicated team to implement all the innovative functionality described above for your store. The companies that integrate the latest technology into their offers will attract customers from their not so tech-savvy competitors — and you definitely don’t want to be among the latter!

Spintech is a software development company with ample experience in building successful highly personalized e-Commerce platforms with robust and innovative features. If you want to future-proof your online shopping business — contact us, we will be glad to help!