Digitalization has significantly accelerated ever since the 2019 pandemic. Fortunately, Ecommerce is a flexible industry that is capable of constantly evolving with changing digital trends and global developments. 

Customers today use multiple devices like smartphones, laptops, and desktops, and employ all these channels to gather product information. Ecommerce businesses offer omnichannel shopping for these customers to seamlessly shop between all these devices, with multiple payment options.

Customers’ increasing demand for omnichannel shopping is resulting in the emergence of new trends that can positively impact the global Ecommerce industry.

Which data-related Ecommerce trends can impact the future of Ecommerce?

Table of contents

AI-Assisted Hyper-Personalization

Ecommerce thrives on positive user experiences that are crucial to customer retention. Businesses have been using personalization to enhance customer experience where they target specific customer interests based on demographics and consumer behavior data. But as technology and Ecommerce are evolving, so are their customers. Customers value a personalized experience where brands engage with them and offer relevant product recommendations catering to their specific demands. This is where hyper-personalization comes in.

Hyper-Personalization is the use of customer data for recognizing customers and presenting them with relevant content and offers. The data comes from customer profiles created using the customer's location, demographics, purchase history, browsing patterns, etc. Hyper-Personalization can result in increased ROI by increasing customer engagement and building lasting customer relationships

On a larger scale, hyper-personalization is impossible to implement by manual customer segmentation based on customer behavior. With the help of AI, growing Ecommerce businesses can optimize their customers’ experience through the automation of hyper-personalization. AI holds so much potential for Ecommerce in the future. With technologies like machine learning algorithms, NLP, and sentiment analysis, AI will significantly optimize hyper-personalization for brands to live up to their customers’ evolving expectations. 

Example: AI Chatbots. Chatbots have a lot to offer to Ecommerce websites. They understand contextual relevance and are capable of producing human communications. From responding to FAQs and customer queries to taking customer reviews and telling customers about new offers.

Related Reading: Ecommerce Data Tips: How to Use Data to Get Ahead of The Competition

Integrating Influencer Data For Niche Selling

The growing popularity of social media platforms has paved the way for new Ecommerce channels for business; social commerce. Social commerce is particularly becoming popular among small Ecommerce businesses with specific niches. A niche refers to specific products that appeal to specialized market segments. Social media is a great platform for niche selling as it helps brands target the exact market of customers for their product.

Social Media is ruled by influencers who have a collection of followers that engage with them regularly. These influencers specialize in a niche and have direct access to followers who are interested in that niche. 

Ecommerce businesses spend a great deal of time and budget on reaching their specialized segment of the market. Influencer data can play a huge role in shaping the future of Ecommerce. Collaborations with influencers can bring brands closer to their target audience to implement successful marketing campaigns. These collaborations can be in the form of, sponsored posts or videos, gifts, brand ambassador programs, and more. The data collected from these collaborations can help brands predict and track their reach. The insights derived from influencer data can positively impact a brand’s niche selling profitability.

Example: Brands targeting millennial social media influencers to increase their product’s reach, as millennials form the largest generational group of consumers.

Integrating Augmented Reality in Ecommerce-More data in 3D 

The restrictions on physical stores during the pandemic forced customers to rely on Ecommerce and online retail stores for their purchases. One of the capabilities online stores have been lacking is the immersive experience that physical stores provide. Customers today want to be able to physically handle products without having to leave the comfort of their homes. To satisfy such customers, Ecommerce brands are looking to bridge the gap between online and physical shopping experiences.

Thanks to Augmented Reality, a real-time shopping experience is no longer a distant dream and is only going to get better in the future. Augmented Reality is a three-dimensional representation of an existing environment on two-dimensional smartphone screens. AR can ensure contextually accurate representation of a product that goes beyond what static images and videos can offer. Being able to view a product from multiple angles and evaluating it in reference to their environment, can boost a customer’s confidence in online purchase of products.

Augmented Reality is capable of breathing life into online Ecommerce products. But reaching its full capacity requires the collection of loads of 3D data. The good news is that AR is still a relatively new technology and has the potential to transform the online shopping experience and increase retail sales. With the increasing generation of product data, advancements in AR show great promise for Ecommerce in the future

Example: An online furniture store that uses augmented reality to allow customers to view furniture in the context of their rooms. Allowing customers to understand the exact dimensions of a furniture piece and see how it fits know their home environment without having to physically go to a furniture store. 

Learn More: How Business Owners Can Use Data Integration to Their Advantage

Voice Data to Enable Voice Search

In today’s fast-paced world, people are very sensitive about their time and how they want to spend it. They highly value their convenience and are always looking for quick ways to get things done. To not waste time typing commands on search engines, people are increasingly adopting voice searching to simply speak to their mobile devices to get tasks done, e.g. checking the weather. 

Voice querying is changing the way we perform everyday tasks with intelligent virtual assistants like Apple’s Siri, Google’s Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, and more. Voice searches can prove to be revolutionary for the Ecommerce industry with the implementation of voice-activated online orders. 

Voice searches can potentially step up a brand’s personalization of a customer’s shopping experience. The voice-activated assistants use artificial intelligence to mimic a human conversation that keeps the customer engaged. From being the quickest way to obtain query results and enabling multitasking, to anticipating customer needs and enabling a smart shopping experience, voice searches can be game changers for the future of digital commerce.

As with any artificially intelligent technology, the accuracy and efficiency of voice searches highly rely on the collection of more and more voice data. The growing popularity of virtual assistants is a step in the right direction for Ecommerce sites to gain relevant voice data for the optimization of voice searches.

Example: Amazon Echo powered by Alexa offers voice-enabled purchasing when shopping on Amazon.

Even More Images as Shoppers Leverage Image-based Shopping 

The Ecommerce market has been around for a long time now. But the accurate visual representation of a product is still as crucial to a customer’s purchasing decisions as it has always been. ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ holds true for Ecommerce products where a visual representation of a product can make up for a detailed written description. 

Online shoppers prefer to trust products they can visualize to be sure of what to expect from their purchase decision. Since every online business is using images, how do emarketers compete to boost their retail ecommerce sales? The standards for product imaging are getting higher by the day and are giving rise to new ways of visually exploring a product. 

The possibilities of presenting a product image are increasing beyond simple static photos. With the advancements in technology, images are offering interactive 3D experiences. Augmented reality is another form of interactive imaging that offers contextually accurate product representations. Another important aspect of images is the use of color psychology. Using the right colors to capture relevant customer sentiments can be a silent contributor to an Ecommerce platform’s conversion rates

Lots of good-quality images of a product will always be beneficial for online sales. Image-based shopping is not going anywhere in the future. Instead, it will introduce many advancements in product imagery and digital marketing that global Ecommerce can benefit from.

Example: Using image-focused social media platforms, e.g. Instagram, to market products in visually appealing grids.

Gamified Shopping Experiences

All Ecommerce business models today have access to the same new technologies that they can leverage in their favor. In this intense competition for gaining customer loyalty, emarketers are always looking for new ways to stand out in the Ecommerce marketplace. The trick to grabbing a customer’s attention is to make a customer feel important.

A new type of interactive experience that is becoming popular in Ecommerce is gamification. Gamification is a play and reward-based shopping experience where customers are encouraged to engage through games. Rewarding tactics play a vital role in triggering a customer’s positive emotions, making them feel appreciated. 

Gamification is not a limited concept. A brand's creativity is the key to unlocking endless gamification possibilities from setting incentives for a certain number of purchases, to providing mini-games for customers to play. An enhanced shopping experience like this can contribute to not only retaining customers but also attracting new customers. cannot only retain customers but also drive. Interactivity and immersiveness will be key components of successful ecommerce businesses in the future.

Example: Games for guessing the incoming products to be launched, where winners get a certain discount on the new product.

Moving from Digital Shopping to Virtual Shopping In the Metaverse 

As the concept of virtual product interactions using AR is becoming common, the idea of popping up an entire virtual store seems like a logical next step. Alternate or virtual reality is a popular concept in gaming but can be expected to transform the digital shopping experience as well. A concept like the Metaverse might soon bring the virtual retail experience to life.

The Metaverse is a parallel reality to the physical world that users can virtually ‘live’ in. It is a virtual world that exists in real-time and continues to evolve even as its users are offline. Just like in the physical world, shopping in the Metaverse can be in the form of virtual stores or even entire virtual malls. 

The reason why virtual shopping in the Metaverse is appealing is because of its sustainability. Especially in occurrences like a global pandemic, ecommerce businesses in the Metaverse can remain unaffected and can continue to offer their services. Virtual shopping would not just be about purchasing goods, but also complete entertainment on its own as users can simply enjoy browsing the store. From the retailer’s point of view, they would no longer be bound to physical store designs. They can use their creativity to build unique environments for their customers.

The virtual retail possibilities and opportunities in the Metaverse seem endless. Only time can tell how Ecommerce trends evolve in the Metaverse and how retailers adapt to it.

Example: A fashion store in the Metaverse where the customer’s avatars can try on clothes and even ‘window shop’ as they browse multiple outfit options.

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Concluding Thoughts

The rapidly advancing technologies will continue to introduce new opportunities and trends in the future of Ecommerce. The downside to this is the equally increasing competition among businesses. The only way for emarketers to stay ahead of their competitors is to stay up-to-date with the latest technologies and to creatively leverage those technologies to their benefit.