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Impact of Technology on E-Commerce Industry

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Shiwani Prakash

The impact that tech-savvy customers are having on the ecommerce world is not just stronger than ever, it's faster than ever. Companies embracing ecommerce marketing strategies are experiencing rapid growth with the intent of providing a seamless and engaging shopping experience to customers. Not only we witnessed increased consumer interest and participation, but the industry also recorded humongous sales figures and increased demand. In 2017, there were 1.66 billion online buyers. This number is expected to reach 2.14 billion by 2021. Alike, retailers are also seeing benefits in this as well as technology help them make stronger connections with consumers and build their brands faster. Altogether, technology is revolutionizing how business-to-consumer transactions occur.

Technology Involving Ecommerce
AI is one of the media for channelizing the entire growth of e-commerce industry. It assists the businesses to easily target the customers as per their requirements and even aid them in getting customer-centric as well as the personalized shopping experience. AI is set to bring efficiency for businesses in terms of decision making around purchases,automation of several mundane tasks,

provide critical insights, free-up several man-hours behind procurement and making business purchases intelligent and low cost.

More so, Chatbots are also rapidly replacing humans when it comes to customer management. However, both AI and Chatbots are at their nascent stage and their demand is growing rapidly. The use of chatbots in the years to come will become more prevalent. By 2020, according to research by Spiceworks, 40 percent of companies will be using chatbots. Even the report in a 2017 Statista study stated 34 percent of respondents stated they would be comfortable getting answers to their questions from AI, such as a chatbot or virtual assistant, when shopping. In future, 85 percent of interactions from customers will not involve humans which is why as a retailer you need to leverage the use of chatbots after all a majority of your customers already prefer talking to them.

Personalization and Customer Engagement
The fact that consumers want personally relevant shopping experiences is nothing new. Compared to traditional retail shopping, ecommerce stores lack face-to-face personal interaction. To mimic this experience, ecommerce companies leverage personalization opportunities throughout the shopping journey. Much like personalized emails generate higher transaction rates and convert well than cold emails; consumers spend 48 percent more when their experience is personalized. In an age where privacy is the priority, studies also showed 57 percent of online shoppers are comfortable with providing personal information to a brand, as long as it directly benefits their shopping experience.

Conclusion
Technological advancements continue to shape customer experiences. Consumers seek to trust in a channel, which can only be built over time by providing a consistent quality shopping experience, in the case of e-commerce, that trust is still developing. Online shoppers have high expectations and little patience. They want an experience that’s customized to their needs, they want to try out the product as much as possible before the purchase, and they want to make ethical decisions. They also want the checkout experience to be as painless as possible, and that includes flexible payment options. As such, it’s up to business owners and retailers to keep up with these emerging ecommerce technologies so that they can meet the needs of their consumers and at the same time increase sales and customer loyalty.

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