Digital Transformation and the Future of Ecommerce
From the “big bang” to the “e-commerce boom”, we have surely come a long way.
The e-commerce industry has fared against many challenges, including product pricing, delivery time, packaging concerns, and not to forget stiff competition from offline stores. But figures convey a different story. According to a report by Statista, in 2019, U.S. online retail sales of physical goods amounted to 365.2 billion U.S. dollars, and this number is only going to double in the coming years.
“It is no longer the big beating the small. But the fast beating the slow.” – Eric Pearson
The above statement stands true in today’s retail industry, which is sharply divided into offline and online stores. We have witnessed a large number of online companies that were mere start-ups a few years back and today are dominating this multi-billion dollar sector. This evident shift in power can be contributed to the digital transformation of how people buy and sell products.
Today more and more people are connected over the internet than ever before. No wonder that online businesses are striving hard to set foot into the smartphones of users by opening the doors of their store through a mobile application.
The future of eCommerce does look promising. Let us see what lies ahead for this ever-evolving industry.
Ecommerce Digital Transformation- the Way Forward
There was a time when minimal options and endless scrolling characterized online shopping. However, digital transformation has changed the face of the e-commerce industry altogether. Almost everyone is using digital mediums to buy, sell, and interact with each other. However, digital transformation can mean different things for different businesses.
In case you are looking for the perfect digital transformation definition, we have one for you- “Digital transformation can be defined as the adoption of the latest digital technology to solve existing business problems.”
The adoption of digital wallets by online firms for facilitating easier payments is a great example of a digital transformation strategy in eCommerce. In addition to this, we have also witnessed the extensive adoption of Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning to drive eCommerce digital transformation further.
Also, rapid innovation in digital platforms and technology has enabled contemporary online businesses to effectively reach out to customers and market their website where the millennials spend the majority of their time. Therefore, digital transformation is surely the way forward, and it is going to disrupt existing business processes like never before.
Let us look at a few trends that will dominate the e-commerce sector in the year 2020.
Trend 1: Mobile Shopping to Take the Front Seat
Around 1.2 billion people use the internet on their smartphones across the globe. To put things into perspective, that is 4 times the population of the U.S. According to a report by Pew Research Center, around 51% of online shoppers use their smartphones to buy products online. As a result, the fastest growing eCommerce companies in eCommerce industry have been quick to realize the importance of offering a seamless mobile shopping experience.
It is crystal clear that eCommerce opportunities are not limited to people shopping online over their laptops or computers. According to e-commerce experts, mobile apps will prove to be a game-changer and give grave reasons to worry for offline stores. A majority of online companies can constantly be seen optimizing their apps and ensuring that their website is mobile-friendly. After all, compromising with the mobile shopping experience would eventually mean compromising with your online business.
Trend 2: Voice Commerce- The Next Big Thing?
Voice shopping has arrived, and it has arrived in style. As we see more and more people interacting with their voice assistants, voice commerce is expected to grow to a whopping $40 billion by 2020. Moreover, nearly 225 million smart speaker units are expected to be sold worldwide in 2020. E-commerce giants are already getting geared up as voice commerce seems to be the next big eCommerce digital transformation.
The popularity of voice assistants like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa has taken the entire online industry by storm. It is important to note that currently, a tiny fraction of online shoppers use their voice assistants to buy products. However, the potential of voice shopping just cannot be denied.
Now that every small item is available online, people feel more comfortable using their voice to command voice assistants for ordering groceries and other day-to-day household items. After all, who would not love the idea of ordering their favorite book online while they are busy cooking.
Trend 3: Greater Focus on Personalized Support
While offering the right support helps an online business win customers, delivering a highly personalized support experience helps in retaining them. In this fierce competition to retain customers, you need to know the likes and interests of your customers inside out. Customers often differ when it comes to their preference for using a support channel to seek the desired assistance. During such an instance, a helpdesk software for business can prove to be of immense value as it allows the integration of multiple support channels under a single roof.
A significant proportion of customers prefer self-service. No wonder that enabling a robust FAQ or Knowledge Base section is considered as one of the best help desk principles. Online shoppers can often bombard your support team with product or service related queries. As a result, it becomes important that customers get the option to navigate through the tool and resolve basic queries themselves effortlessly. This is a sure-shot way to improve ecommerce customer experience.
So What Is in Store for Online Stores?
“If your business is not online, does your business even exist?”
The traditional brick and mortar stores are experiencing a decline in consumer footfalls, and this is likely to continue. However, the best solution would be to create an online presence to cater to a large audience of online shoppers. And the businesses that are already selling online, you need to realize that the market is going to get even more competitive.
For eCommerce start-ups, they need to understand that overnight success is a myth, and what worked for a similar online company in the past might not work for you. Embracing digital transformation and technology would be the best thing to do for any business looking to make a name in this vast industry.
Jared Cornell is a customer support head, a marketing evangelist and a book lover, associated with ProProfs Help Desk. Jared is passionate about customer support and loves to solve customers’ queries. He is always keen to develop new strategies to help customers seeking Help Desk assistance for a delightful experience.