The ubiquity and convenience of digital mediums has made eCommerce the mode of choice for billions of customers around the world. At the core of the eCommerce experience is choice, customer context and customization and that will continue to drive innovations in eCommerce going forward.
Here are 3 Innovations that will drive the next wave of eCommerce in 2018 and beyond ...
Machine Learning: It would be an understatement to say that machine learning in conjunction with artificial intelligence has changed the face of commerce and transactions. Great strides have been made and eCommerce websites like Amazon are already using it to predict customer churn, contextualize recommendations and even anticipate shipping before the customer places an order!
Augmented Reality (AR): Augmented reality and virtual reality have been in the reckoning since 2010, but its only in the past couple of years that consumer applications are beginning to shape up. Unlike Virtual Reality, AR doesn't a require a specialized headset and the regular smartphone with its built in accelerometer, compass and gyroscope are all that is needed.
For example, using AR you could virtually place a sofa in your living room, choose between colors and designs before making a purchase. This would potentially reduce the number of returns or unsatisfied purchases.
Voice Search: With great improvements in Google Assistant comes better and contextual search results to the extent that we may prefer it over regular text searches. This has far reaching impact on websites from an SEO (search engine optimization) perspective since conventional search optimization will be less effective when it comes to tailoring results for natural language search. According to reliable sources, Google Assistant and Google Home reads featured snippets within websites to form context for a query.
Expect noteworthy innovations to happen in Asia (especially China and India) since the growth and scale of operations in this region is staggering, and continues to ratchet impressive numbers year-on-year. Since eCommerce in Asia thrive under complex scenarios in-spite of the various constraints, innovations in these markets can cascade down to other regions as well.