What would you do if you have a commodity to sell, but are devoid of the bricks and mortars to shelve it? If this question was asked a few decades earlier, the answer would have been a certain ‘NO’ mixed with a sardonic smile. But fast forward things to today, to this very moment, and a hundred suggestions would pour in for the same question. All pointing towards a single direction, E-commerce.Call it a savior for low-capital startups or a wave of concern for the long-established retail juggernauts, E-commerce has brought all sorts of businesses on a common digital platform. And the combat between them has only just begun. Even the online retail sales saw a higher than expected rise in the UK in the past 3 years. And as the struggle to maintain the larger grasp on consumers’ pockets gets more and more intense, we bring to you the top 5 technologies that have revolutionized or are currently revolutionizing this field:
One of the most ancient, well established and rapidly developing technology in e-commerce is the implementation of web-based or smartphone based applications. As the youth and millennials couldn’t find an escape from their smartphone screens; retailers used this digital disorder in their favor and started launching apps which gave rise to what we now call ‘mobile shopping’. One can safely assume that the mobile shopping trend has got the consumers’ confidence under its belt through years of research & development and is now reaping the fruits of the years of hard work put in by software developers. For finding a best smartphone which supports a wide range of applications, you can also explore online and grab some amazing deals on VoucherBin for efficient shopping of your favorite brand.
Retailers constantly look around for ideas and platforms which will help them expand their trade links and probe in deeper into their consumers’ world; and what can be more helpful than the rostrum where you and I eat, sleep, lament, rejoice, play and perhaps breathe every second of our lives? Yes, we are talking about our very own favorite, the social media. If there is one stage which all the e-commerce rivals can consider as ‘fool-proof’, then it’s their presence on social media. Be it sponsored or non-sponsored marketing pages, consumers easily fall prey to social media advertisements and a single click on a flashy icon can sometimes lead the user to purchase an item. And even if the click doesn’t end up into a commercial transaction, it most certainly makes the individuals share the advertisement within their family and friends circle, which may ultimately benefit the e-retailer. One way or the other, social media has been one of the most successful tools in the e-commerce system.
A very common apparatus used in the social media marketing world is the chat bot. And what is a chat bot? It is nothing but a human inspired chat responder which initiates and/or builds conversations with consumers who visit chat bot enabled sites or drop-in inquiries on their instant messaging service. It’s like a robot that is available to assist you during your shopping with an in-built feature to help you browse through the products of your interest, display the price and ultimately complete the financial transaction or re-direct you to the concerned team. This way, the consumer never loses interest and is constantly engaged within this virtual paradise of online shopping.
Online consumer collaboration
As unlikely as it might sound, but one-to-one social collusion between buyers and sellers is now a reality! “We sell exactly what you wish to buy.” There is nothing that can instill more confidence within the consumer than this unique method. It channels creative minds onto specific products, for example, consumer electronics, which are used on a daily basis and help them chip in their ideas on ways to improve and customize these goods for maximum utility. At the end of the day, purchasing what ‘you want’ is more important than purchasing what is available. This methodology of bringing an interface between the two parties is very young and less researched and will require some solid steps from both the consumers and suppliers.
Mobile based websites
Last but not the least; we touch the topic where others take off. Many mobile apps suffer low performance over a period of time and as a result, the owners have to flush in a lot of money and man hours in their redevelopment, adding to the initial launching cost. On the other hand, low performance on mobile apps leads to consumers shifting to desktop websites which are usually heavy on their smartphone devices. And even when they are fully loaded, the individual does not get a user-friendly feel. This led to brand owners developing sites which are dedicated to mobile phone interface and this ultimately led to fast browsing and ease in handling. Such implementations also allow the user to work offline up to a certain level. Another disadvantage which such mobile based websites eliminate is that they are independent of the mobile phone operating system, unlike apps which are dedicated to certain platforms only. And launching in each platform involves more cost and as mentioned earlier, more man hours.
E-commerce has presented or rather spoilt the digital world with options right at their fingertips. And with the increasing number of consumers opting for online transactions, the future certainly looks bright for entrepreneurs who once suffered due to the lack of initial capital to build their shops and has put them head-to-head with well-known corporate retail giants. And as the competition heats up, one thing is guaranteed, an ever-improving shopping experience for us consumers.