How is technology changing the way eCommerce works?
ECommerce is ever-evolving and continually being shaped and influenced by the impact of new technology. There are gains for both consumers and businesses as a result of the changes brought by tech adoption, from a more personalised shopping experience for individuals, to giving a wider range of businesses the opportunity to connect with new customers.
Opportunities for all businesses
Technology has proven to be a great leveler in eCommerce, providing opportunities for start-ups and smaller businesses as well as big-box retailers and big-name brands. Peer-to-peer eCommerce sites, such as Shopify, put both small and large brands on the same platform, providing equal opportunities to reach the same vast audience. Tech has also made smaller brands more discoverable – thanks to smartphones and social media, retailers can reach consumers all over the world without already having an existing network of stores or the budget for global advertising spend.
Apps have brought brands and consumers closer
The presence of an app on a customer’s phone keeps a constant channel of communication open. Customer engagement with a brand can be triggered by a notification, there is no need to wait for the customer to engage with advertising or physically walk into the brand’s retail premises. Even the app icon on the smartphone screen is a constant reminder to the consumer that the brand is there as an option. As a result of the popularity of apps, brands have discovered a way to avoid being filtered out of customer attention as might be the case for a promotional email landing in an inbox or a social advert, scrolled over. Instead, thanks to app technology, smartphone push notifications provide a direct channel to commanding customer attention.
Meeting increasing customer service expectations
In particular, customers today expect much more from retailers with respect to delivery. Although there is still a need to meet consumer requirements for low prices in eCommerce, attracting and retaining customers through great service is increasingly also about convenience. Same day delivery, for example, is already offered by some brands and so consumers are beginning to expect this across the board. Our recent “ Future Shopper ” survey found that 43% of online shoppers now expect delivery within 24 hours, and a further 54% expect it to be free. While many retailers struggle to incorporate the costs of such instant service today, tech solutions that could make this affordable are already on the horizon, from drone delivery to automated vehicles. Early adopters of these technologies could create a competitive edge in eCommerce where service is concerned.
Personalisation as standard
It’s no secret that customers are more engaged with personalised and relevant eCommerce experiences. However, the big technology-enabled change is that personalisation is evolving from a marketing technique to an industry standard. Automated, impersonal customer service is no longer appealing, not when there are mobile personal assistants and AI available to personalise the experience for customers over a range of channels, from social media, to brand websites.
Thanks to tech evolution, a quiet revolution is taking place in the eCommerce world, and one of the ways this is happening is through the use of voice. Newer technology such as Alexa or Google Home are just a couple of examples of devices that allow customers to browse and shop online using voice commands. Although this has not yet fully taken off, it is expected to change eCommerce is the future as more and more customers utilize this method of buying.
Technology is constantly driving change in eCommerce, pushing brands to do more and to engage with the cutting edge. We can help your brand to integrate the latest tech to generate better results and engagement – contact Salmon to find out more.
To get the latest ground-breaking research into the technologies currently influencing consumer online shopping habits and spend, and the shopper technology consumers are likely to be using in future, download our "Future Shopper" report.