So, how to analyze different features of eCommerce platforms that are going to evolve the most along with the eCommerce ecosystem. As an Ecommerce-preneur, how should one look at it? How to compare eCommerce platforms under these scanners? How to choose the right one for your eCommerce business model?
Before you solve these riddles and choose the best eCommerce platform for your brand, you need to see the future through the glass of technology and learn your demands. Admittedly, there are visible parameters of evolving eCommerce platform features governed by user trends.
And, user trends are cardinally governed by the adaptation of new technologies. That’s where your ideal eCommerce platform needs to go.
The next phase of Ecommerce Platforms should Adopt Ecommerce Personalization.
Creating a better store experience for shoppers through the adaptation of futuristic technologies like AI/ML coupled with big data is going to be the next mainstream evolution of eCommerce and the eCommerce platforms providing their services both as stand-alone and platform as a service to the budding eCommerce business ecosystem should adopt it within no time.
Adaptation is innovation…
Technology has always been at the forefront of eCommerce innovation. The next phase of eCommerce platforms should adopt eCommerce personalization through artificial intelligence, and machine learning as these will improve major areas like buying experience and customer support, product price optimization, supply chain planning, and, most importantly, customer insight.
One way to achieve this is by using chatbots. These computer programs can mimic human conversation and are already being used by many businesses to provide a more personalized customer experience. Further, chatbots can gather customer data, such as preferences and purchase history, to create a profile for each customer. This information can recommend products, provide discounts, and customize the buying experience.
Customer experience starts with customer data.
Another way to use AI & ML for eCommerce personalization is machine learning algorithms. These algorithms can analyze large amounts of data in order to identify trends and patterns. Even simple ‘Yes’ & ‘No’ questions can do wonders.
Brand Insight – The ‘The Yes’ story
NJ Falk, a famous actionable business and lifestyle adviser, dropped this story of ‘The Yes‘ on Forbes.
According to her, AI-powered eCommerce is going to be the new normal, and the result is ‘The Yes’ – an AI-powered eCommerce store completely tailored to the individual customer that learns each customer’s style demand through a series of Yes/No questions.
It gets smarter with each buyer’s answer and creates the best shopping experience for them. And the store has already witnessed multi-fold growth by employing AI to create a better customer experience.
Do Not Forget The Voice Commerce Scope
Headless technology powered by IoT devices is rapidly shaping the way customers shop.
Still, there is some debate on this particular issue, but Gen-Z buyers are rapidly embracing the new IoT technology and want to be wrapped up in a virtual world around them. And the following stats are pretty vocal about the size of the total addressable market in the recent future:
More than 50 million US population owns smart speakers, of which the market leader is Amazon, followed by Google. The important thing is that 25% of this population chunk tried to buy things from eCommerce stores.
Recent research from the OC&C tells us that 44% of the British smart speaker owners have ordered items from eCommerce stores, whereas 66% of US users have done the same.
Added to this, there is a beautiful story published on the Customerthink regarding this market segment, and it tells that – “Nearly 75 percent of smartphone owners have tried using a voice search app or a digital assistant, and 20 percent use them monthly.” Here is how an eCommerce can implement voice commerce to their existing stack:
A major chunk of the global eCommerce buyers reorders their favorite items. Now, if an eCommerce platform remembers the brand, quantity, and quality choices of customers, then reordering through voice command becomes a breeze.
Does your eCommerce platform embrace this scope/ability? Are you catering to that segment of consumers as an eCommerce business? If yes, this is the future of your eCommerce business model. And you should not set brand from these opportunities.
Creating Rich Brand Experience – It’s going to be Omnichannel.
Brand experience is not fenced with the eCommerce store. It should not be. In the coming days, your brand needs to exist on multiple channels and devices to create a rich impression on the ever-evolving customer buying styles. And it starts with your eCommerce store. Thus, it begins with the eCommerce platform you choose.
Still budding eCommerce enthusiasts and brands are still scrolling through the eCommerce platform fights like Magento vs. Shopify or this vs. that, but they are not looking at the trends of the future technologies, which should be the prime factors in deciding which eCommerce platform they should choose.
Ecommerce brands should focus on these deep technical opportunities first before going hard towards any particular eCommerce platform that is yet to solve these customer behavior-centric challenges.
The Entrepreneur story defines it clearly – “As technology changes business-to-consumer transactions, new opportunities for both sides of the sphere are emerging. Consumers now have access to a range of tools that help them gauge prices, find alternatives, locate stores and receive coupons.”
So, how rich brand experience are you creating? What do you need to create a rich brand experience from your eCommerce platform? Is your platform equipped with this? These should be the questions that can guide budding eCommerce brands to their ideal platforms.
Appless mobile commerce
Native mobile apps have been there with us for a long time, and mobile commerce is a big thing that occupies a major chunk of the global eCommerce expenditure volume. And this mobile commerce will be there in the eCommerce ecosystem. But, times have changed. There are considerable number of researches on global mobile usage trends and customer behaviors that tell us a slightly different story.
Many customers don’t like to wait for native apps to buy something from eCommerce stores these days. Eventually, they expect a native app-like experience when they search for products on Google that they want to buy.
Nowadays, omnichannel brand presence is the bottom line for brand searchability, customer transaction, and communication. So, what bridges the gap?
Progressive web apps are typically termed as PWAs.
PWAs can deliver a native app-like experience on the web without diminishing the power of native mobile apps. If customers search for products on the web and eventually land on your product page, then they expect to buy that as they would have through native mobile apps.
Eminent eCommerce thought leaders like Bigcommerce have already picked up this upcoming trend, and they are pretty aligned with the sure-shot rise of the PWAs as the eCommerce storefronts. Platform agnostic PWA developers like Vue Storefront and Gatsby are busy mothering the ‘future frontend’ of the eCommerce arena that drives customer experience.
Admittedly, eCommerce stores should deliver the same native app-like buying experience to their customers through PWAs. It’s not always closing sales and revenue growth. Delivering an optimal buying experience to the customers across the web channels and devices is a responsibility.
Technology defines the present and the future of everything, including the eCommerce world. And the only solution is how, being a specific ecommerce business model, you are prioritizing your actions by analyzing the relation between modern technology and its relationship with the current population.
As a single ecommerce brand, if you focus or capitalize on each and every user trend, you will find yourself aimless. Your target market is defined, and you zero on the changing user behaviors in that segment only. That defines your demands from your ecommerce platform.
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