Rarely do you discuss e-commerce without bringing up giants in the field like Amazon. And for a digital marketer, having them as competition is not particularly good news. But wait, Amazon only has warehouses and stores in only 16 countries.
What makes this important? Well, what about consumers staying beyond the target demographic footprint? They incur inconvenient and costly shipping fees. And if you think about it, they accept it as a last resort when the products are unavailable in the domestic market.
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What does this mean for you? Since e-commerce giants focus on target demographics, digital marketers can entrench unfavoured locations. But let us look at the other side of the story. Now, there are tech innovations capable of accelerating the e-commerce capacities of businesses.
With these technological innovations, e-commerce has a bright future. And competition for international e-commerce giants is ever brimming. Here are a few of those new emerging technologies and how they can develop the industry 4.0 initiative.
Adopting Blockchain Technology
In October 2008, the world saw the introduction of blockchain. Before, it was a virtual currency system created for cryptocurrency-related and bitcoin transactions. It also functioned as a public transaction ledger. Its functionality has nonetheless extended with ease into the e-commerce industry.
Now it’s a decade later and you may be one of the many still asking, ‘How does blockchain work?’. Really, all you have to do is study more on blockchain in Coruzant. But, first, know that blockchain mainly aims to eschew central authority. To do that, the ledger is digitally shared and distributed privately. Yet, no one can mutate or alter the digital ledger.
This is because just a cluster of computers manages the decentralized technology network. As it concerns e-commerce, blockchain implementation functions in a threefold manner;
We can say that immutability means transactions made on the blockchain are inalterable. Transactions on blockchain technology systems are date-stamped and time-stamped. That provides records that are preferable to the error-prone paper or computer alternative.
Blockchain technology is almost impossible for hackers to breach. Why? Blockchain technology uses end-to-end encryption in its decentralized ecosystem. Also, legacy computer systems store data by lumping them into servers. But, blockchain data spread across a cluster of computers. That effectively foils the possibility of hacking.
Additionally, conventional computer systems cannot sort out privacy concerns like blockchain technology. Blockchain anonymizes data and shuts out any unauthorized activity, which is more effective.
Many counterfeit products get circulated through the market over time. But how will you identify if and which products in your inventory are illegitimate? You guessed it, using blockchain offers a simplified way of tracking the origins of items or data. And this is an essential factor for the supply chain management of products. That means your business is more transparent.
Besides these, implementing blockchain technology finds foot in the e-commerce industry to;
- Reduce costs with efficient transaction processing
- Cut intermediaries, thereby increasing transaction speed
- Reduce chargeback fraud occurrences,
- Encourage innovation in blockchain application.
Still not convinced? Blockchain technology is a vast field, so there are more details. Then it’ll be a matter of time until you realize how revolutionary this technology is.
Shopping Tailor-Made for Me, by AI
When it comes to a personalized shopping experience, AI knows best, literally! Integrating a specialized AI bot into your e-commerce store helps detect consumer patterns.
AI analyzes previous orders, online interactions, locations, store browsing history, and customer profiles. Then, it determines suggestions on products that are relevant to the specific customer. Customers then receive these suggestions as pop-ups, recommendations, widgets, etc.
The best part? These processes execute in seconds. That keeps the customer enthralled the moment they login into your e-commerce store.
Let’s Talk Chatbots
“The customer is always right” is the rule of thumb in business. It is true because customer satisfaction is the priority for any successful business. But you cannot have customer satisfaction without a good communication strategy. With chatbots, you’re adopting as effective a communication strategy as possible.
Data from some business leaders revealed the influence of chatbot implementation on sales. They said their companies’ sales shot up by 67% once they introduced chatbots. Here are some reasons for that.
Chatbots operate on a round-the-clock basis. As a consumer, this is preferable to waiting for an available operator to get a simple query attended to.
Given your chatbots are working, responses to customer queries are almost instant. Furthermore, the bots can manage questions from up to a thousand customers.
Because these are AI-powered bots, they remain consistent in their responses. And this helps the company maintain consistency in services, thereby improving trustworthiness.
Chatbots are programmable to respond to foreign-speaking consumers.
Other benefits such as full automation and personalization are enjoyable for consumers. But there are even more benefits integrating chatbots yields besides increased sales. These include;
- Marketers incur the most negligible customer service costs
- Receive and observe consumer data to gain relevant insight
- Encouraging consumer-provider reliance
- Balance computerization with human capacity by re-routing complicated queries to competent human mediators.
The Internet of Things
Picture this; a car automatically starts when its owner enters a pre-set proximity. Or the security system of smart homes engaging whenever there is no one in the house after a pre-set amount of time. Or even how a modern HVAC uses the surroundings’ temperature to adjust its thermostat.
If you think any of these is not currently doable, you’re wrong. And the fundamental engine by which they all run is the internet of things (IoT).
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What does this have to do with e-commerce? Using IoT for E-commerce showcases excellent potential, making those applications seem small-minded. Here are a few of the promising ways investing in IoT will speed up e-commerce;
Have you found managing inventory changes tasks difficult? or is tracking consumer orders troublesome? Then using IoT is more of a necessity than an option.
Implementing IoT makes tracking assets in the supply chain seamless. And for digital marketers, this reflects later in simplified inventory management.
Furthermore, RFID and GPS work hand in hand with IoT. Relevant data about delivery status, weather, vehicle route, etc., are available with them. The data helps contribute to efficient inventory and logistics management.
IoT systems use predictive maintenance algorithms, product performance analytics, and remote monitoring. These tools serve to form new business lines and create untapped revenue streams.
IoT implementation will provide steady real-time data insights into consumer behavior. Also, IoT interconnects a network of devices while delivering data across them. Enterprises can build intelligent campaigns tailored to consumer preferences using these two factors.
Using IoT places you at the forefront of evolving trends in the e-commerce industry. But that’s not all. For example, IoT can work in concert with blockchain and AI. That opens a promising route for customer interaction and untapped revenue generation.
There are even more technological innovations in e-commerce to consider. One is the ground-breaking AR/VR shopping technology. Another is Progressive Web Apps (PWA) and voice search. All these serve to project a custom digital experience for consumers. That will, in turn, help you reap the many benefits of an industry 4.0 environment.
Suppose you consider the convenience of 24/7 availability that online stores afford. Or how easy it is to find products online, combined with the ability to research reviews. You can then infer that people would favor e-commerce over traditional markets.
Experts have predicted that e-commerce in 2023 will account for over $6.5 trillion in sales. And this comprises 22% of the global retail sales. These tech innovations are the best way to take advantage of the e-commerce evolution. And they are sure to play critical roles in the dominance of e-commerce over retail sales in the future.
For now, we can see how new technologies like 5G ensure more people spend their time online. That has only meant accelerated growth for e-commerce ventures. And as long as uninterrupted experience to the user is guaranteed through these technologies, that striking growth is bound to continue.
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