From disruptive technologies to emerging channels, E-commerce retailers are currently gearing up for the opportunities that the year 2020 has to offer. Technological advancements such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning will assist businesses to tackle current and upcoming industry challenges. In the highly competitive sector, relevancy is critical. As a result, companies must continuously monitor and adapt their products according to the changing market demand.
Personalized Products and Services
Statistically, over 60 percent of online shoppers prefer to shop from E-Commerce retailers that offer personalized products and services. Inclusion of AI algorithms enables businesses to gather customer data from various sources such as online queries and purchase history. Retailers can then process the data generated accurately and in real-time to assist in developing personalized strategies to cater to their customers. Furthermore, companies providing customized products and services can also reduce returns by more than 20 percent.
Inclusion of digital assistants and chatbots will play a significant role in the success of E-Commerce firms. According to industry experts, these advancements will assist retailers to accurately manage inventory and introduce optimal resource planning strategies to reduce overall costs incurred by businesses. Chatbots interact with shoppers on product information and respond to any queries, thus, building strong customer relationships. As a result, over 45 percent of shoppers prefer shopping from E-commerce retailers with chatbots.
Challenges faced by E-Commerce Firms
A significant threat faced by E-commerce firms is the lack of loyalty amongst customers. Due to the ever-growing presence of physical and other online retailers, it becomes difficult for firms to promote repeat purchases. According to industry experts, loyalty programs are crucial in maintaining robust customer relationships. More than 60 percent of shoppers prefer companies that offer a good loyalty program. Loyalty programs assist retailers to understand customer shopping habits better and generate personalized services to satisfy and retain customers.
In the day and age of social media, customers are more aware of the impact of products on the environment around them. Over 70 percent of shoppers are more likely to shop from businesses who offer environmentally friendly products or support social causes currently present in the world. Furthermore, more than 35 percent of shoppers switch brands to avoid shopping from retailers who don’t operate on sustainable practices.
Developments in the field of Data Analytics, Internet of things and Virtual and Augmented reality will play a significant role in the growth and success of E-Commerce retailers. According to a recent study, these advancements will enable in reducing costs by 30 percent. Moreover, they will also assist in eliminating corporate bottlenecks and improve organizational capabilities. Due to the ever-growing presence of online threats, over 40 percent of the customers prefer to shop from physical retailers. Developments in the field of AI and Data Analytics assists retailers to promote data security and privacy. And thus, attracting more in-store traffic and boosting corporate sales.
Despite various challenges within the E-Commerce sector, businesses must continuously monitor and adapt to new and upcoming market trends. This enables retailers to capitalize on opportunities and prepare for industry threats. Introduction of technological advancements to the store infrastructure is crucial in enhancing the competitive positioning in the market. Furthermore, it will also play a significant role in promoting brand loyalty and advocacy amongst store customers.
Written By: Ranjeewa Dias
Business Technology Manager