Gearing into 2021: Three Technology Trends that Reveal the Future of Ecommerce

As we gear into 2021, there are many questions about the future of ecommerce. The world of online shopping has grown significantly over the last decade. Last year alone, consumers spent nearly $3.5 trillion online. Moving forward, this number is only projected to grow. The best way for business owners to get ahead of the curve and drive traffic to online stores is to learn about and lean into ecommerce trends and predictions. With that in mind, here are a few technology trends that are poised to shape the future of ecommerce:

Voice Recognition

Voice searching is becoming an increasingly popular way for consumers to search for services and products. By 2022, voice searching is projected to grow by 1,900%. One of the biggest reasons that voice search is soaring in popularity is because it’s much like having a personal assistant.

Voice search is readily available, convenient, and eliminates much of the hassle associated with purchasing products. Current estimates suggest that roughly 35% of all households in the United States have at least one smart speaker. Furthermore, in 2019, 26.1% of consumers made at least one purchase on a smart speaker.

Currently, voice-enabled products are used most as a source of information, versus buying. However data indicates that it’s becoming increasingly common for users to start their purchasing journey through voice recognition, even if they don’t end there. And in the future, we can expect more people to both search for and purchase products—especially when it comes to products they already purchase and brands they already use.

Roughly 40% of voice results are pulled from search engine results snippets. For this reason, it’s important for brands to optimize their content to make it search-friendly for voice-based devices. Businesses can also leverage existing voice recognition technology by working directly with products in question. For example, with Alexa for Business, brands can set up Alexa skills to make it easier for consumers to find and purchase through them.

Headless Commerce

The next generation of ecommerce solutions is all about optimizing the online shopping experience. Today’s consumers expect a personalized, seamless, and convenient shopping experience each and every time. They want to be able to purchase products and services from different devices and to make transactions using alternative payment methods. Headless commerce makes it possible for businesses to offer a 360-degree experience by separating the front and back ends of their ecommerce applications.

With this architecture, backend developers can use APIs to deliver products while front-end developers can benefit from more freedom to present it however they see fit—with much less coding limitations. Amazon Prime is the biggest example of a headless system, and it couldn’t achieve the same results with a traditional ecommerce solution. If you want to embrace the omnichannel movement—where consumers can receive information and products from any device, anywhere—headless commerce is one of the best ways to do so.

Livestream Shopping

Streaming e-commerce, or live selling, is a way for any brand to turn their social media platforms into miniature shopping channels. TalkShopLive is a live social selling platform based on the live social selling premise. Although it recently debuted in 2018, its user base is growing regularly. Even amidst COVID-19, sales were up seven-fold.

Streaming creates an emotional connection between the host and the viewer, and live selling combines the power of demonstrability from traditional shopping channels and the convenient, social power of live networks. Already, major companies like Amazon and Facebook have begun investing in social selling to some capacity. 

For instance, Amazon Live is a video shopping platform reminiscent of QVC. The livestream featured energetic hosts showcasing some of the products sold on Amazon, and what makes this ecommerce strategy so appealing is that it’s interactive. Viewers can ask questions and hosts can answer live, while other viewers can answer in the comments. While Amazon Live isn’t structurally much different from livestreams on other platforms, it does reveal the powerful potential for businesses to interact with consumers from strictly a product perspective.

Live selling helps bridge the gap between online sales and brick and mortar. Already, the Chinese retail market is ahead of the livestreaming trend, and 9% of total ecommerce sales in the country come from this avenue. In order to compete, businesses must focus on growing a more human-to-human connection with their audience and market.

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