As anyone in this business surely knows, ecommerce is changing fast. Retail is changing along with it. Each day, it seems, an innovative marketing scheme, sales platform, or mobile gadget crops up to alter the landscape of the online marketplace. Traditional brick-and-mortar stores are becoming increasingly digitized. Ecommerce sites are increasingly able to provide customers with shopping experiences that mirror the best aspects of buying in stores.
And social media, of course, is rapidly transforming the way businesses connect and interact with consumers across the globe. Today’s mobile technologies are revolutionizing e-commerce.
Today, traditional retail stores that don’t also sell their products online are few and far between. The web’s ability to reach massive audiences and provide customers with unprecedented convenience makes it a sales tool few businesses can afford to do without. But while more and more business moves online, the ecommerce world has seen a recent trend working in the opposite direction: online businesses are opening physical shops.
After generating large customer followings, demand arises (particularly in the clothing industry) for traditional stores where shoppers can try on clothes and experience products firsthand before buying.
But another exciting tech innovation has created a whole new shopping experience altogether. Today’s pop-up stores can now establish themselves (quite literally) on walls. Customers browse 2D store shelves in public locations traditionally used for billboards and adverts. Using QR codes and apps on their smartphones, they can select items to purchase, and have them shipped directly to their houses with the click of a button. Tesco, for example, recently used the new technology to set up shop in a South Korean subway. Now commuters in Seoul can visit the grocery store while waiting on their train.
It seems everyone has a smartphone today, and apps are multiplying at an astonishing rate. Now shoppers can find items in stores, and quickly research them online to find better deals on ecommerce sites. They can also scan QR codes in magazine adverts to place orders while they go about their busy schedules. Mobile technology is making it easier than ever to shop online. Fortunately for ecommerce owners, it is also making it a more tactile, enjoyable, and convenient experience than sitting in front of a home computer.
While it may not be exciting as smartphones, QR codes, and apps; increased online banking security has proven a tremendous advantage for ecommerce. Whereas many consumers were once nervous about giving credit card information online, today it is commonplace and (thanks to recent encryption and privacy advancements) more secure than ever.
Between the massive marketing potential of social media platforms and the countless novel resources businesses have to target their advertising campaigns like never before, ecommerce sites are enjoying an unprecedented level of exposure. Social sites, business blogs, and the countless new avenues for multimedia marketing (YouTube, Flickr, Pinterest, Instagram, etc) are connecting ecommerce sites directly to the consumers most interested in their products.
Close Enough to Touch
360-degree photography, flash videos, HD photography, and interactive viewing platforms are bringing online products to life. When web-based businesses implement the latest technologies, online shoppers can experience their products more intimately every day––and that means more sales, higher revenue, and a leg up on the competition.
Online businesses with the ability and wherewithal to adapt to today’s rapidly evolving technological landscape have a massive advantage over competitors who cleave to outdated sales strategies. Commerce on the web—and the web itself, to be more specific—simply changes too fast to support stagnating business models. So while technological advancements can be a major boon for your ecommerce site, they can also be a considerable detriment to those who fail to embrace them. To put it simply, evolution is the cornerstone of ecommerce. So if it isn’t also the cornerstone of your ecommerce business, you might already be anachronistic.
License: Creative Commons
License: Creative Commons image source
Amanda Ryder blogs about her passions, technology and social media, for web retailer, Design55online.co.uk.