Commercial web retail has been in widespread operation long enough to start utilizing more niche technological trends for different verticals, which are directed at enhancing the level of user experience and providing innovative profit-making capabilities for companies.
At Anyforsoft, we lead Drupal-based e-commerce projects to deliver a technologically polished products. In this article, we want to share the e-commerce emerging tech trends we’re keeping an eye on this year.
A list of major e-commerce trends for 2019 just would not be complete with without mentioning “gamification.” Gamification brings excitement to the online shopping process that your company provides. There are many technological strategies at play here, but they all fulfill a single purpose — to engage users and lead them towards targeted actions that are also enjoyable (a sale event or discount offer can be supplemented with interactive elements, for instance). To see an example of a successful case of gamification, take a look at the Bonobos’ marketing campaign.
Statistics supports the notion that visual, motion information is better perceived by the human brain than written or typed text, which is not necessarily a new or surprising fact. You can use this to your benefit, for example, by adding a small, short video review of a product to the description. An online store that includes convenient and informative product descriptions automatically becomes more attractive and accessible for users. Even the most detailed photos cannot define the item visually to the fullest extent. Keep in mind that including pictures of items boost customer attraction and engagement.
A renowned product promotion advisor and retail expert — Sarah Doody — has stated on Twitter that customer communication is more effective at boosting conversions than high click rates. This is why chatbots are among the leading tools used by e-commerce solutions developers. Chatbots are, basically, virtual consultants and customer support providers that work 24/7 without requiring any manual input. An example of the successful launch of such a product is the Lego Chatbot (a proprietary product in the form of a messenger). Yet, only advanced chatbots with a firm artificial intelligence-powered foundation can establish sufficient user experience, which means that technical implementation requires added expenses and complexities.
AI-powered technologies have great potential in optimizing search through millions of similar-format pieces of data on websites. Obviously, the UX enhancing tool that guides users through the marketplace’s assortment is the intelligent search feature which is considered to be one of the major e-commerce trends of 2019. A successfully implemented example can be seen at Amazon. Additionally, AI can help create insightful product recommendations. This is the way Netflix and Spotify use AI for their resources.
2017 was a significant year for cryptocurrency investors: The price of bitcoin rose to an astronomical extent, beating the 20,000 US-dollar mark. That’s the year many of us ran to buy some crypto without even getting into the topic of such economico-technical innovations. Unfortunately, not every investor, by a long way, managed to profitably resell the crypto and now their digital coins are mostly gathering dust in their crypto wallets. You profit with digital currency by offering to pay your online store customers with crypto. This way, you’ll provide a more flexible and convenient means of payment for your users (crypto payment support is practically a ‘must’ right now — even Microsoft has it). But in order to implement it, you’ll require a payment gateway API with cryptocurrency support, like BitPay, PayCoiner, SpicePay, and others.
The augmented reality concept began taking over the hearts of mobile users several years ago, when first applications like Pokemon Go and the like started to appear in app stores. Commercial developers grabbed their chance to use the hyped-up tech trend for the expansion of a target audience. In particular, the world-renowned furniture and domestic interior provider IKEA launched their dedicated smartphone app back in 2013, with which users can see how furniture items fit their home interiors in the virtual mode. Thus, the brand boosted their total profits, which can be clearly traced in the Statista report (and the numbers rise as years go by, in large part due to an advanced dedicated app). The AR capabilities are unlikely to be sufficiently integrated with the desktop, but an AR-based mobile app is a pretty efficient business solution. Don’t forget to place the link to your app somewhere on the homepage.
Direct-to-Consumer or D2C is the retail marketing model where companies produce, promote, distribute, and deliver products without any third-party involvement. Considering online retail resource development in accordance with the main e-commerce website trends, such an approach will help you reduce the initial promotional costs (because resellers only start coming when you gain a certain status among your competitors) and also the risks of your product being counterfeited. From the technical implementation perspective, this means that you will have to develop not only an online store but a whole authentic platform that would represent a solid brand through unique design and navigation. This is the way fashion labels do their business (at the mass and middle market level mostly). Among such successful cases are companies like Pandora, Zara, Massimo Dutti, and others.
Last but not least in our top e-commerce technology trends, this isn’t a new solution in the web store niche, but nevertheless it is still extending its scope of application. A great example is multibrand store Asos, where customers can set their stature parameters in order to get the precise size.
As you can see, global IT trends like artificial intelligence and augmented reality are having a huge impact on e-commerce. However, you can go for simpler solutions and still keep up with e-commerce website trends (simpler doesn’t necessarily mean worse). The main thing is to always focus on conversion and profitability of the technical means you adopt.