Technology has transformed nearly every part of our day-to-day lives, but perhaps no activity has been more greatly impacted than the way we shop. eCommerce has come a long way in a short period of time, and the possibilities of where it can go are endless.
In order to stay ahead of the game we must stop and ask ourselves: what does the future of eCommerce hold?
Although the answermay be uncertain to some degree, some future trends are already well known, and leading businesses are already experimenting with cool new features to stay at theforefront of the industry.
So what can we expect to see? Here are four examples of the most interesting trends to watch from brands that are successfully adopting and implementing the future of eCommerce.
- Augmented Reality: “Ikea places”
Ikea has launched an AR (augmented reality) called “Ikea Places”. The app lets customers upload photos of their homes and virtually ‘place’ furnishings in their own space. You can finally see what Ikea products will look like in specific rooms, as well as if it’ll fit!
Everything in the app is 3D and designed true to scale. Products are automatically scaled based on room dimensions with an impressive 98% accuracy, so there is no need to remember room measurements ever again.
Ikea is one of the first home furnishing brands in the world to use this kind of AR technology. It just goes to show that we are at the dawn of some game-changing eCommerce technology.
Homeowners of the future may never know the struggle of buying a couch from Ikea and lugging it home, or having to carry tape measure around.
- Drone deliveries: JD.com
JD.com, a Chinese eCommerce company has spent the past year building a drone-delivery network covering 100 villages in rural China. Many villages currently receive a couple drone drops every day, with packages ordered through the company’s app.
The drones operate autonomously with no human guidance and are monitored remotely. Villagers can expect delivery on the same day that they place an order, just like urban shoppers in major cities.
JD.com is racing companies from across the world to develop drones with the strength, range and reliability to deliver eCommerce goods on a large scale. They aim to solve the expensive “last-mile” problem a majority of couriers experience.
The company has about 40 drones designed to cut down delivery times, specifically for items being delivered to remote areas where land transport is too expensive or slow.
They expect costs to be less than those with human delivery once the technology is ready for wide-scale use.
- HelloFresh Freddy Chatbot:
HelloFresh was founded in 2011, and is an online meal kit company that delivers prepared meal recipes along with the needed ingredients.
The company recently introduced their chatbot, Freddy, who is a a customer support bot that helps reduce wait times for customers. He can respond automatically to numerous customer queries, and many customers often interact with the bot before speaking to a human representative.
Aside from offering customer support, Freddy’s also offers a range of other options, including:
- A reminder service to give users a nudge to complete their weekly food order
- Spotify playlist recommendations to give you something to listen to while you’re cooking
- Latest news and blog content from HelloFresh
Freddy provides HelloFresh customers with an experience that extends their engagement with the brand far beyond just placing an order.
The chatbot has proven to be incredibly successful for the company. Freddy has reduced the average customer wait time by 38%, despite a 44% increase in total conversations.
It just goes to show how artificial intelligence can improve the shopping experience beyond what a regular eCommerce site has to offer.
Fun fact: Freddy was also used in a Black Friday promotion that managed to bring in five times more daily users to the bot than average.
- Skk Shopify Pay: Accelerate Checkout With Shopify Pay
We know that long and complicated checkouts are less than ideal for today’s shoppers. And can actually negatively impact sales and leads to greater shopping cart abandonment.
The frustration of finding cards and filling in banking details every time you want to make an online purchase however may be a thing of the past. Shopify has come up with a solution for this customer pain point, creating Shopify Pay. Customers can now check out in seconds by entering a 6-digit verification code that will be sent directly to their phone.
Thanks to this new technology, over 400,000 Shopify users sent over $30 million three times faster using Shopify Pay.
This new pay implementation is making the user experience more simple and easy. This can drastically help influence shoppers to make that purchase at the most critical moment of the consumer’s buying behaviour.
As the eCommerce industry is evolving, new advancements are making the online shopping world more user friendly and personal than ever before. Whether you are ready or not, the future of eCommerce is a lot closer than you think.