Electronic Commerce (E-commerce) can be considered one of the most significant initiatives of the Internet’s evolution. By redefining the way we bought and sold products, it has now become an essential part of our day-to-day life. But, when you look at the immense growth-potential and the untapped markets, e-commerce is still considered to be in its nascent-stage by experts. Its future is bright and promising as the technological-advancements in this field are all set to take the overall experience of both buyers and sellers to a whole new level.
Using the requirement and selection diligence, retailers are now able to understand the consumer-preferences which will lead to delightful online-experience for the end-user. Here are some of them –
Augmented Reality (AR)
This cutting-edge technology involves blending of virtual reality with real life. The AR technology enables the developers to craft images inside the applications and blend them with real-world contents. This lets the users to interact with virtual contents in the real world, while they can still distinguish between the two.
To understand it better, let’s consider example of an online optical retailer who sells spectacles and sunglasses. With the existing technology, the portal will first prompt you to upload your image. Subsequently, as you choose a pair of sunglasses by clicking on it, the tool tries to arrange its image on your uploaded image. While the process is tedious to implement technically, it is also inaccurate in many cases. On the other hand, imagine a technology by which the retailer can access your front camera to automatically position the sunglasses on your face. This will give you a much better idea of how you’d look wearing it from different angles in real life. This is what Augmented Reality can achieve to enhance the buying experience of the users.
There are various kinds of new AR apps coming into the market. Another example is an AR app which you can use to scan the poster of a movie, and the movie trailer will go live your phone, also providing an option to book tickets to that movie. Now, this is what we call an amazing buying experience!
Near Field Communication (NFC)
This promising technology is turning into a fascination for e-retailing stores. This is because the technology will not just enhance the buying experience of the customers who enter the store but will also drive the sales by simplifying the entire process. Customers in a retail store will now be able to buy the products they wish by just taping their NFC-enabled handset against the products. This will help the store gather and send personalized information to them on various promotional offers on their preferred items. As consumers walk around the store, they can receive this information. Once they arrive at the check-out, the consumers can then use handset at the POS terminal to redeem vouchers and collect loyalty points. This will not just boost the online shopping experience of the consumers but also change the way we shop, forever.
Cryptocurrencies & Blockchain Technology
Cryptocurrencies have been a subject of much enthusiastic debates. But a huge growth in their popularity cannot be ignored. This has led many prominent companies like Dell, Expedia and more recently Microsoft to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment option.
Blockchain technology was initially discussed with reference to Bitcoin only. But organizations have realized its potential to create scalable, and highly secure online-payment systems. There is an emerging ecosystem growing on it, and the developments can lead to enhanced consumer-experience as information security is highly valued by customers.
It has been estimated that by the end of 2016, online sales driven from the latest trends in social media will grow 93% annually. Also, it has been found that 43% of consumers in the age bracket of 18-29 use a brand’s SM platform for customer service interactions. These interactions can serve as a great prospect for companies to not just engage with their customers but also to drive sales.
Even with rapid growth, e-commerce sill transcends only a minute subset of overall retail market. While companies make the transition, the innovative technological advances are bound to help businesses to achieve massive growth in the future.
Throughout its evolution, technological advances have been an integral part of e-commerce. Keeping in with the trend, the hi-tech innovations like Augmented Reality (AR), Near Field Communication (NFC), etc., are bound to take the overall consumer-experience of e-commerce users to the next level.