E-commerce is a relatively new form of shopping, and has only been around for about 15 years. In that time, e-commerce has grown by leaps and bounds and is now one of the most popular forms of shopping in the world. Almost all companies offer online shopping and there are thousands of exclusive online shops without brick and mortar stores. In the future, e-commerce will continue to grow and change, and may one day completely overtake the traditional shopping experience. In the near future, we will see plenty of changes to e-commerce, including 7 changes that will make online shopping better. These 7 predictions for the future of e-commerce designers will soon change the face of online shopping:
Customized shopping: We have already begun to see the affects of customized shopping and advertising. Many advertisements use your computer’s cookies to tailor ads based on websites you have visited. In the future, further customization will occur each time you visit a website. Websites may pull information from your social profile, region, local weather, and other aspects of your life to create a truly customized experience every time you shop online. Visiting an online store on a rainy day may showcase raingear, or the site may suggest items your friends have viewed or purchased.
More mobile shopping: Mobile shopping is just emerging as a viable shopping method. Many companies have yet to take full advantage of mobile apps and shopping interactions. Mobile shopping is slightly different than online shopping, because there are more ways to interact with products and ordering is even easier. One-click phone ordering makes it easy to purchase items instantly that will ship directly to your home. Even while shopping in a brick and mortar store you can easily use your phone to compare prices and receive the best deal on your item.
Easier social interaction: The beginnings of social-media shopping are already starting to emerge. Today, customers can “like” or “share” a product that they love or have purchased recently. In the future, more websites will show friends or contacts who visit and like the website, and will offer product suggestions based on what your friends looked at or purchased. More companies will make it easier to share what you have purchased through social media outlets. Some companies may even create funny videos or images to go along with your purchase that make viewing the item more fun in a social setting.
More international shopping: Today, the majority of online shopping occurs in the most developed countries in the world. Many people in China, Africa, and South America do not have access to online shopping priviledges. As more people obtain computers, more people from other countries will start shopping online. This will require more companies to obtain a global mindset, offering additional shipping and language options for different countries around the world.
More virtual shopping: Part of what makes shopping offline an enjoyable experience is the shop displays, music, and helpful staff. Most online stores lack these conveniences, which leaves online shopping feeling rather impersonal. In the future, online stores will likely bring more traditional store elements to their online shops, such as manikin displays, live customer service, and musical playlists while you shop. These added elements will help online shoppers receive more of the full shopping experience and bring in higher sales.
Virtual model fitting customized to each customer: One of the problems with online shopping is that every brand has different sizing. This makes it difficult to order items online. Some companies already have started developing a virtual model that can “wear” the clothes that you are interested in based on the height and weight measurements you enter into the computer. This fully customized model will help shoppers choose items that fit them perfectly, reducing the amount of online returns.
Less offline shopping: As the online shopping experience gets better and better, people will begin to shop offline less often. Within a few years, the convenience of online shopping will be unmatched and e-commerce may one day replace traditional brick and mortar stores. The future of e-commerce is bright. As technology continues to increase, online shopping will change and adapt to fit the new needs of customers. In the process, companies will continue to offer more ecommerce solutions, creating a customized occurrence that is a joy to experience.
This article is written by Lisa Peteres, a part-time guest blogger and a full-time online shopping consultant. Over the past 3 years she has worked in huge projects involving eCommerce solutions and designs. Lisa currently works for Code23 a web design and developer company from the United Kingdom.