The transformation of the eCommerce industry was accelerated during covid 19 as a fast-growing and fast-evolving industry. Some people say that it was as fast as ten years. This year online sales globally are expected to reach $4.2 trillion, according to Adobe’s Digital Economy Index. Despite the American Rescue Plan, the consumers managed to spend $8 billion in excess, which was nearly one-quarter of the US accounts spending in March alone.
13.6% of sales worldwide were made from purchases done online around two years ago. It went up to 19.5% in 2021 .while other businesses like brick and mortar are opening again, the shares in the e-commerce market have increased by 45.8% over two years, and a big part of the growth will continue to come from the new shoppers.9% of US consumers say that they never purchased online ever before the march of 2020 while 47% of US consumers have not purchased a certain kind of item online as per the findings of Adobe. It is most likely that this new e-commerce will continue to stay.
We spoke with five different design leaders in the US, Australia, and Europe from the Society Of Digital Agencies(SoDA) to learn how this industry has evolved during the period of this record expansion. Here we will be talking and highlighting the most important shifts in e-commerce that are exciting to know and shape our experiences while we do our online shopping at present and in the coming future.
Tom Beck, the executive director of SoDAsaid that as the sales in the e-commerce industry continue to explode, we will be having an increasing need to make the experience of these virtual products as real as possible.
A few examples of how these new technologies will be going mainstream are here:
Switch to photorealistic 3D design
There are vast benefits to using photorealistic representations–by using 3D visualizations instead of doing product photography we will not be needing those extremely expensive live photoshoots which will also prove to be helpful in replacing physical samples that are otherwise environmentally wasteful. To have a completely virtual commerce experience you can try pulling in a bit of AR to allow the customers to have these 3D items tried virtually and by having a view in place.
Enhance customer interaction with augmented reality
Not just for low-cost purchases but also for high-end purchases augmented reality is now transforming itself into shopping online which was previously just being used for niche experiences.AR tools are now also found in fashion, home decor, food sites, and even cosmetics by consumers. apart from just pressing the buy button, AR consumers are now offered the opportunity to have a look at their purchases whether in person or in the room: which helps the customers to be more and more confident in the purchase decision they had made and reduces the chance of returning those purchases having a positive impact on the carbon footprints.
Mooi a design company that is built in Amsterdam has made a partnership with the international lifestyle in order to deliver improved customer value and additional business opportunities using AR.
Without actually traveling to a showroom by themselves customers can assess the products by voice and AR search on Moooi’s multi-sensory shops that are fully accessible. Furniture can be viewed in 3D by the help of a product configurator which is also a part of Mooois catalog and helps them in creating products that are custom-made and as per the preferences and needs of the customers.
To have more fun experiences with brands AR is being used and you will also see this in its partnership with Pizza Hut.
Go contactless with NFC technology.
Near Field Communication(NFC) and QR codes have risen in their popularity during the period of covid-19 for giving contactless options of payment that were being widely used at the checkout stands as the customers were very conscious of not touching anything during these times.
NFC is being explored even more for its contactless ways provided to customers so that they can interact with their products. For example to get connected to social media, read different reviews, and get information about products. One step ahead of them is Build in Amsterdam: this agency has just recently made it possible for Moooi customers to make sure that the product they are buying is completely authentic. Their team has recently produced an NFC chip that’s known as The Button to be placed on the Moooi products, which helps in giving proof of the product’s authenticity.
Set brands apart with immersive storytelling
E-commerce is something that is becoming more and more competitive each and every day, and this is causing a lot of people to suffer as they are unable to compete. This is the reason that companies are trying to stand out more and more by promoting their products through storytelling techniques. This technique will help to increase your level of interest in a brand or its products and help a customer to move through their purchase and attract them to your brand. If the customer buying your product feels to have an emotional bonding with it there is more likely a chance that they will share these with others and take care of them.
To get the customer a closer and better experience with the brand Build in Amsterdam, Mammut Expedition, Baikal was awarded the eCommerce site of the year which gives the customer an impressive experience with their online shopping.
Implement smarter and more targeted personalization
To stand out in the ongoing competition these brands are continuously collecting consumer data enabling them to have a better understanding of the behavior of the buyer and personalize and target the experience you have in e-commerce accordingly. They have tried to make it easy by reducing the cost and giving even more access to the data collected and analyzed.
Personalisation has played an essential role, especially during the times of covid 19 pandemic when consumers were avoiding personally visiting the stores.
Consider easier and more user-friendly online payments
There are a lot of improvements and innovations going along in the online payments made in e-commerce. Many mobile payment services like Squares Cash App, Venmo, and Paypal are making it possible for their customers to transfer money directly to bank accounts from their mobiles. Both of them also support cryptocurrency.
There are various options one has out there to choose from. Shopify with their Shop pay option allows customers to save their payment and shipping information which enables them to check out things more quickly the next time. Affirm and other firms that let people pay installments and not be burdened by debts and fees over time is another major option.
Continue to respond to changing customer behavior
The Covid 19 pandemic changed the world. Perhaps one of the most enduring ways is going to be the increasing use of online stores to shop.
The result has been that we now have much-raised expectations from our online shopping experience. The result of this is that now customers want to have the best of both worlds and want to have the great brick-and-mortar stores’ perks without their downsides.
“We can bring that ‘being there’ feeling online by investing in rich content that highlights fit, feel and quality through the use of images, video, AR, intelligent size guides, and social proof,” he says. “Equally important is designing a post-purchase experience that focuses on speed by providing same-day delivery and a seamless returns process, encouraging repeat buys and unlocking opportunities to deliver lifetime value through loyalty programs.”
Smaller retailers are thriving and making lots of money
The pandemic most definitely has disrupted the world economy and has had a huge and negative impact on stores, office space, and everything physical and now people are moving more and more towards the internet in the growing digital age.
Direct-to-consumer is booming
The pandemic has made people more comfortable with buying straight from producers and is cutting out third-party retailers altogether. The result of this is that both manufacturers and consumers are getting better and better deals by the day.
“We’ve seen a real acceleration in the willingness of brands to grow their direct-to-consumer relationships, whereas in the past they might have let most eCommerce transactions happen on Amazon or a third-party merchant service,” says Barrel’s Peter Kang. “Now brands are launching their own eCommerce websites with marketing spend on search and social channels to drive customers towards subscriptions and bulk purchases, so the shipping economics make sense.”
The power of embracing creative constraints
The pandemic has drastically fastened the e-commerce revolution by several years, maybe even a decade. All hosts of businesses both new and old are now standing up and taking notice and making sure that they change their strategy to be such that it helps them to get as many sales as they can.