For many industries, 2022 proved to be the year of bouncing back into action after a long and hard battle with the pandemic. eCommerce is one such industry. Although eCommerce sales during Covid-19 were obviously at an all time high, the industry has seen some major developments even in the post-pandemic world, which has caused eCommerce businesses to flourish like never before.
There are many factors that contribute towards the progression of eCommerce as an industry, but the most prominent one has to be technology. Technology has really been an integral aspect of growth for eCommerce businesses for years now, but in 2022, it really did wonders.
Let’s have a look at the top 18 technologies that have driven eCommerce growth in 2022, so that we know what to expect in the upcoming year.
Technology No. 10: Live-stream Commerce
Number one on our list are AI chat bots. If you have been in the eCommerce industry for a hot minute, you are probably familiar with chat bots. AI chat bots are software programs that understand human language, thanks to natural Language Processing (NLP) functionalities. Instead of providing direct contact with a human agent, eCommerce businesses have increasingly been employing chat bots to conduct online, human-like conversations.
As opposed to fixed/rule-based bots, AI bots are based on dynamic learning, and self-update in accordance with the needs of the user. This means that AI bots can easily change their language, and provide adequate assistance that resonates with the aptitude of each user.
Needless to say, AI chat bots have proved to be great eCommerce additions for brands that want to enhance the digital experience they provide. Because AI chat bots can handle complex questions and queries, they are a go-to choice for businesses looking to improve their customer service capabilities.
Ever logged onto a website with the intention of buying one, maybe two things; but ended up buying 10 just because you kept getting irresistible recommendations? We feel you, because we’ve been there as well.
Before you label yourself as the most hopeless compulsive shopper in the world, listen to this: this behaviour is more common than one would think! People not only pay attention to the recommendations they get during their eCommerce journey, but they also listen to them and are even willing to pay more.
In a research by McKinsey, more than one third of Amazon’s sales were attributed to its recommendation system. By utilising behavioural analytics to predict your customer’s preferences, you can actually boost your sales and increase your revenue, which is why recommendation systems are one of the top technologies that have driven growth in 2022.
When you come to think of it, we are literally living IN the future. 20 years ago, no one would have thought that some of the most complex transactions in the world would be taking place behind a tiny screen; i.e. the smartphone.
The unparalleled convenience smartphones provide us with means that the majority of the people in the world rely on them for almost everything. This is especially true in the world of eCommerce, as more and more people are more interested in buying things online rather than at brick-and-mortar stores.
In this regard, smarter mobile shopping tools are not an option, but a necessity – as proven in 2022. Businesses that provide a mobile-optimised eCommerce experience are likely to do better, because it is easier for the customer to engage with them. It is important to understand that in this day and age, even as much as booting up your laptop to log into a website is considered too much work, and conducting the shopping journey would much rather be preferred for most people.
Let’s be real, competition in the eCommerce industry is pretty cut-throat, which means that you have to constantly stay in touch with what your competitors are doing in order to make sure that you are armed with all the knowledge and tactics that will help you stay on top of the game.
That’s where AI-based pricing tools come in and save the day. These pricing tools enable you to change your prices regularly and automatically in accordance with those employed by rivals. This is important because if you are offering prices a little too less than your competitors, you are signing up for loss, whereas if your prices are way higher than your competitors’, then you will lose customers and your conversion rate is likely to be affected by it.
To keep it short and simple, AI-based pricing tools make sure that all your bases are fully covered, and that your competitors can’t outtake you in any regard.
In 2022, more and more businesses have become omnichannel – which means that they are present on multiple channels. Having an omnichannel presence means that you have to manage more than one platform, such as an online storefront, website, and social media page.
With the help of the right omnichannel tools, you can fully streamline customer experience. So, if your customer enters information on one channel, you can access it on all the other channels as well; that is how streamlined omnichannel services are.
Some examples of tools that provide omnichannel support are fulfilment software like Canary7, a content management system like WordPress, CRMs, analytics software, and even social media management tools that can help you connect all facets of your eCommerce journey together. Essentially, all software that can help you connect to other platforms and gives you the ability to form a holistic fulfilment strategy, is an example of an omnichannel-friendly software.
Consumers of the 21st century are creatures of convenience, and this translates to their preferences for payment methods as well. They want their payment methods to be fast, seamless, and efficient; which is why we saw an increased reliance on e-wallet technology in 2022.
An e-wallet is an electronic card that is used for transactions made online through digital means. So, think debit card or credit card, but make it virtual! By linking your e-wallet to your bank account, you can make payments in the same way as you would with an actual debit or credit card, but it is more convenient for online transactions as the whole thing is digital, and you don’t have to worry about handling the physical cards.
Digital wallets are a great addition for eCommerce because they can also store identification cards, driver’s license, hotel reservations, event tickets, coupons, loyalty cards, gift cards, and a plethora of other things.
Perhaps the most interesting one on the list, this technology refers to augmented reality, and its relationship with eCommerce growth. As we all know, Facebook is not Facebook anymore; it is slowly evolving into a whole separate ecosystem for digital endeavours known as the “Metaverse”. From casual social media communication to formal brand marketing, everything can take place in the Metaverse, and 2022 is a testament to the fact that this is only going to evolve further in upcoming years.
In fact, we think that the rise of Metaverse indicates that eCommerce brands are going to start selling virtual products. Nike is already a step ahead with the advent of Nikeland, a collaboration with Roblox that enables users to buy Nike gear for virtual avatars in their games. This trend seems like it is definitely here to stay.
This tells us that augmented reality, especially the Metaverse, is going to be a central point for eCommerce growth in upcoming years, and we will look back at 2022 as the year where it all technically started!
The process of extracting data from websites is known as web scraping. Web scraping proves to be a great tactic when it comes to harnessing customer data, product data, and financial data, and making informed decisions that can actually contribute towards your development as a business.
How is this done? Well, you use bots to extract content and data from a website. This is not to be mistaken with screen scraping, which is the process of copying only the pixels displayed on screen. As opposed to that, web scraping involves “scraping” and extracting the underlying HTML code as well as the data stored in a database.
If you are a company that is aiming to stay competitive, understand customer demand and behaviour, determine who special users are, work with targeted ads, and conduct customer sentiment analysis, you should turn to web scraping as it can help you achieve all of these things single handedly. As a whole, it provides a flexible and dynamic method of experience optimisation.
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is another example of technology that has driven growth in the eCommerce sector. An enterprise resource planning software helps you improve your decision-making processes in connection to a lot of areas of your business. An ERP will be used to streamline all the components of your business operations and hence, is a crucial part of many business strategies.
One of the best things about ERP solutions and technology is that they help businesses gain complete visibility into core business processes. This means that they have full control of their operations, and hence can make contributions to increase their productivity.
Because ERP will help you eliminate all your manual work, it makes it easier for your employees to stay motivated and focus on their respective tasks without any distractions. Of course, automation is another element that ERP brings to the table and hence makes your processes a lot more efficient as well as helping you save a considerable amount of time.
Live-stream commerce is another eCommerce trend and technology that took the industry by storm in 2022. It refers to the streaming of a video on a commercial platform where the host of the video showcases various products in real-time, accompanied by descriptions of the products. Sounds a lot like TV shopping channels, right? It’s very similar to that actually!
Although this is something that has not yet been normalised in the West, it is pretty big in China and has actually resulted in boosted sales for many brands. Our prediction is that we will be seeing a lot more of this technology next year and the years following that, because it is truly engaging way of interacting with the customers and winning their interest.
The best thing about this technology is that it is dynamic; it helps you interact with the client in real-time without it becoming overwhelming for anyone involved, and is hence one of the best ways to draw their attention.
Logistics are an important part of the eCommerce experience. Without streamlined logistics, you can’t really hope for a seamless eCommerce journey. This is something that most businesses seem to have realised this year, based on their interaction with various fulfilment and logistics software.
Integrated logistics software like warehouse management systems, inventory management systems, labour management systems, and order management systems are very important if you are hoping to make sure that your business becomes an established contender in the long run. This is because it is only with the help of these software solutions that you can create an interconnected eCommerce set up that supports productivity and efficiency on every end.
This technology is particularly beneficial because instead of offering one or two solutions, it offers all sorts of solutions that can help you fully improve your fulfilment experience – from the beginning right till the end of order processing, which is how it turns out to be a beneficial element for your overall eCommerce strategy.
2022 has proven to be a blessed year for eCommerce. As can be gauged from our discussion of the best technologies we got to see this year in terms of eCommerce growth, it is evident that the industry is evolving to a great extent and will continue to do so in upcoming years.
On the subject of technology, why don’t you check Canary7 out? We are a fulfilment software solution that can help you improve various aspects of your business, including but not limited to warehouse and inventory management.
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