Top Emerging E-commerce Innovations to Watch Out In 2021
Blog: MattsenKumar Blog
Customer experience and the e-commerce industry are two parallel roads that progress simultaneously. Often e-commerce players have used flashy technology and unique paradigms to win customers but to retain them, these players have relied heavily on curating exceptional experiences.
The generic investment in customer experience witnesses a precedent rise but in the e-commerce industry, players are leveraging state-of-the-art technology like AI and ML to offer an unbeatable experience. By offering intelligent product recommendations and invincible search results, online stores have established customer experience benchmarks that are tough to beat.
In 2021, e-commerce marketplaces will continue to experiment and come up with contemporary solutions for modern-day problems. We have collated some of the leading e-commerce innovations that are likely to impact customer experience positively in 2021.
Top Emerging E-commerce Innovations to Watch Out for in 2021
1. Location-Based Mobile Selling
E-commerce leaders like Amazon and Myntra have established multiple warehouses. Earlier, these warehouses used to receive products from their local sellers, which means, a seller from Bengaluru will be able to store his or her product at the Bengaluru warehouse. Every time, a customer from Delhi makes a purchase, the product goes out from the Bengaluru warehouse.
With this model, the seller needs to pay a national shipping charge for every shipment, which affects the final cost charged to customers too. Now marketplaces are relying on artificial intelligence to identify locations and products that are popular there. Once they have sorted the data, sellers can have their inventory shipped to the final location, only incurring the one-time cost.
How the customer benefits from location-based mobile selling?
- They can receive products at the earliest.
- The shipping cost—often inclusive—reduces by 5-10%.
- Easier to return or replace.
2. Voice & Image Powered Shopping
The reliance on smart speakers is on the rise, almost 13% of American households are equipped with smart speakers that can run searches for you. All they need to do is say “Alexa, order cookies from Amazon” and it is done.
Not just voice, image search is also on the rise. More and more people are relying on Google Lens and other relevant tools to find a product online. All they do is, click a picture and the search engines produce results, which includes similar or exact products.
Both voice and image are simplifying search, helping people get chores done while on the move. Online stores that are not offering voice or image search are likely to lose business to sites that do. By leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning, e-commerce stores can simplify search and help customers get to their desired product through varied mediums at the earliest.
Must Read: A Guide to Improving B2B Catalog Management
3. Instant or Single Click Checkout
First seen on Amazon a few years ago, this innovation is likely to be the talk of the town in 2021. Earlier, Amazon holds an exceptional license to this tech but recently it was issued to players like Apple too.
With the decreasing attention span and wish to experience instant gratification, use innovation methods are likely to gain momentum. In the race of acquiring maximum customers, e-commerce players will adopt this technology, which simplifies login and checkout. With such technological advancements, online stores will be able to control cart-abandonment due to slow checkout, which stands at 24%.
How Instant or Single click checkout helps customers?
- It saves customers from the hassle of creating an account. Entire your contact number and an OTP and you are set.
- It makes repetitive purchases easier and almost effortless.
- Saves a lot of valuable time.
4. Shop Through Social Media
E-commerce leaders have used social media for scaling, acquiring customers, promoting deals, and customer servicing. In the coming times, e-commerce players will be able to sell directly on these platforms. No more redirection or “open in-app”, directly selling through social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Multiple players are already using this feature on Instagram, where they post a picture of the product on Instagram. The users can click on the links attached to the image and access the product details without being redirected. Such smart usage of technology will save both users as well as marketplaces from unnecessary hassle.
The increasing use of social media for discovering new products has coaxed e-commerce players into adopting the social selling paradigm. In the end, this innovation will help both customers as well as marketplaces. Stores will be able to improve their ROI on social media ads while customers won’t have to download too many applications.
5. AR Technology to Make Shopping Fun
Almost 24% of all products ordered online are returned because “they looked different in real life”. Well with the use of Augmented Reality to foresee how the product looks in real-life from varied angles, such return requests can be minimized heavily.
E-commerce players are not only gaining by reducing return requests but they will be enhancing customer experience by a notch, which affects CLV and retention directly. The augmented reality when mixed with user-generated content can answer almost every pre-purchase query, helping customers make informed decisions.
Augmented reality is an expensive option but it can help e-commerce players that deal in furniture and heavy electronics solve a pertaining problem. Ikea has one such tool, which allows users to envision how a particular piece of furniture will look in their house. By helping customers imagine the end-result, it facilitates easier decision making leading to satisfied customers.
6. Internet of Things
A reputed study suggests that retail investment in IoT rose to $2.5 billion in 2020. IoT is not only beneficial for customers, even marketplaces can use it to improve inventory and logistics management.
Amazon Dash Button is perhaps the perfect example of IoT enabled marketplaces. If you have the Amazon Dash button installed, you can order products just by clicking it. These buttons are customized for products and are placed in areas like the kitchen, washroom, and office cabins. All you need to do is click them and the product attached to them gets ordered from Amazon.
For example, if you are in the office and realize, you are running out of A4 sheets, then all you need to do is click on the Amazon Dash button designated for A4 sheets and Amazon will deliver it to you at the earliest.
Varied marketplaces are using IoT enabled tools to maintain inventory and improve logistics management. It helps them gain insight into the availability of the product and also ensures that the right product is shipped to the right customer.
7. Drone Deliveries
2020 was the year when multiple marketplaces applied for the licensed use of Drone deliveries. Amazon is leading by example, it has made over a thousand successful Drone deliveries. Multiple food delivery enterprises are also using this tech to simplify delivery.
In 2021, Drone deliveries will become as common as Amazon’s one-day delivery. More and more people will be receiving their products at the earliest with the help of these flying devices.
Amazon Prime Air and Alibaba have successfully delivered products using flying drones and are likely to make it the mainstream mode of delivery because:
- It reduces human error
- Reduces malpractices by delivery agents
- Offers faster delivery
- Improves customer experience
Final Thoughts on E-commerce Innovations 2021
2020 was the year of mass adoption and unprecedented growth for the e-commerce industry. Hit by a pandemic, the sales surged through lockdowns and various players were able to establish themselves as trustworthy. Going forward, customers are expecting more from these players but monotony will not be accepted by customers.
VC-funded players will continue to offer lustrous offers but players that offer the most rewarding and innovative experience will win customer loyalty. These emerging e-commerce trends are going to be non-negotiable in the future better start adopting these today.
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