30th April, 2021 | 8 min read

The Future of E-commerce: In 2021 and Beyond

E-Commerce is a gigantic world, it has revolutionized the way people buy and sell things, and the question what does the future of e-commerce hold? is always under speculation,

Thanks to the advent of the internet and the ongoing digitisation of modern life, every business landscape has undergone a substantial transformation.

E-commerce revenues statistics are forecasted to account for 18.1% of global retail sales in 2021, the future of e-commerce in India is expected to grow to US$ 200 billion by 2026 from US$ 38.5 billion as of 2017.

Graph showing online buyers data 2021

These numbers are just proof of how e-commerce is thriving and turning out to be a lucrative option for businesses. So it is crucial to think about the future of e-commerce globally. It’s also an industry that’s constantly changing owing to its dynamic nature. To shape the future, trends are continually evolving and redefining how people buy goods in every corner of the world. Technology is constantly upscaling, and companies battle against each other to win a more significant share of the pie.

How is technology redefining e-commerce?

Technology is the cornerstone of e-commerce. Thus, the advent of new information and communication technologies and the constant upgrading of existing digital domains are bound to revamp the world of e-commerce.

Overall, technology is transforming how business-to-consumer transactions are conducted.

Consumers can now use various resources to compare prices, find alternatives, locate shops and get discounts. Opportunities for a real-life buying experience are being curated with advanced virtual and augmented reality (AR/VR) technologies. 

In addition to facilitating seamless purchasing, technology is also benefiting sellers, through real-time connectivity, information transfer, feasible logistics management, and online networking, businesses can form stronger bonds with customers and develop their brands more rapidly.

Another boon for the e-commerce industry has been the smooth processing of payments, especially with the omnipresence of alternative payment options such as e-wallets and gift cards.

The prime reason behind this massive growth of the e-commerce industry is the rise of innovative and advanced technologies. And one of the game-changing innovations that top the list is Augmented Reality.

AR: Not just a new buzzword for e-commerce businesses

Brands are now investing in richer, more personalized experiences to better compete with marketplaces and retail monoliths. Humanizing their brand also helps with customer retention.

This is becoming more critical as acquisition costs increase and digital marketing becomes more unpredictable and this has massively been possible through AR, the most rapidly emerging immersive technology for consumers.

AR is a type of technology that incorporates multiple layers of digital sensory information into our physical environment.

When viewed on a screen, it provides a view of the real-life physical world with computer-generated images superimposed on top, thus combining the physical and digital worlds.

Before making a purchase, e-commerce consumers can preview goods or experience services in their environment and on their own time, thus enabling them to select the right product.

The technology may seem alien, but we all as consumers have been exposed to it in recent times - the trendy social media filters being the most remarkable example.

The Instagram and Snapchat filters that were once being used ‘just for fun’ are actually on the bandwidth of many brands as they include these in their digital marketing plans.

Try before you buy options provided by numerous brands on their websites, wherein online shoppers can precisely try to see how a product looks on them, is another slice of the cake.
 
In these unforeseen times of social distancing, AR can prove to be that magic wand that makes it possible for consumers to engage with the products just like they would in the brick-and-mortar world.

It can also ensure that higher engagement translates into higher sales for sellers. AR is the synergetic force that will improve buyer experience, sales, and brand visibility.

What “more” is happening in e-commerce

Amidst the massive global changes in the times of the pandemic, e-commerce stands not just as a convenient alternative; rather, it will be a pivot as people become more dependent upon technology and online purchase.

These shifts in purchasing patterns may slow down once people return to their daily routines. This means brands will have to adapt accordingly.

New-Age Technologies in E-commerce

Continuing with the previous points, Augmented Reality (AR) has completely turned the tables for e-commerce. AR truly transforms the buying journey in specific verticals, including jewellery, home decor and fashion, as customers can get a better sense of the products without looking at them in real life.

Talking about augmented reality facts and figures35% of customers say that they’d be shopping online more if they could virtually try on an item before purchasing it and 22% would be less likely to go to a physical store if their favourite e-commerce store offers AR features.

A lot more companies (of all sizes) are likely to leverage AR for their offerings and businesses - so much so that it is expected to become more mainstream in social media and e-commerce platforms in the coming years.

Omnichannel Communication will Become the Norm

A study reveals that omnichannel strategies can generate a 250% better engagement rate versus single-channel marketing. Meanwhile, customer retention surges by up to 90% with an omnichannel strategy.As such, it makes sense to leverage every opportunity to communicate with consumers and market your brand across all platforms. An all-inclusive strategy will ensure every channel delivers a top-notch customer experience, with analytics to track its efficiency.

New channels incorporate everything from websites to pop-up retail stores. But don’t forget the more conventional approaches, such as SMS. For instance, about 98% of messages are opened compared to 18% of emails.

Customer Data will Continue to Gain Value

Data is very important. But that belief has always been limited to theories with many businesses failing to understand how they can collect relevant data and, most importantly, how to use that data.

However, that is changing now with renowned brands, as well as new eCommerce businesses, proactively leveraging data to optimize their marketing and sales strategies. More companies, including jewellery businesses, are expected to follow suit, especially today when competition is high and there’s a critical need to lower customer acquisition costs.

Businesses can collect more relevant data about their customers to create an effective pipeline that converts better at the lowest possible cost. And this data won’t be just limited to the demographics of the target audience but even cover their psychographics and other details. This includes what’s their income level, which website they spend most of their time on, which influencer they follow the most, what kind of series or movies they watch, and so forth. More data will enable businesses to craft fitting Below the Line strategies.

Customized Products will be Ensuring Better Customer Loyalty

Customers, both in B2B and B2C, are seeking personalized buying experiences online. The insights gathered from AI make it possible for a shopper to get customized product recommendations and in-depth customer support.

Executing personalized experiences on-premise or in marketing strategies significantly impacts revenue, with one survey finding it had a 25% revenue surge for retailers scaling innovative personalization abilities. On the other hand, retailers that were ‘developing basic personalization abilities’ clocked an incremental revenue surge of at least 10%.

AI-driven personalization is becoming increasingly relevant in 2021, and the trend will stay put in the near future. As companies harness more data, they can create remarkably relevant experiences for buyers that seem tailor-made.

Setting for Sustainability

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, a lot of businesses had to shut down; many permanently. This has put every business owner in the e-commerce segment on alert about their sustainability. 

After a setback of any kind, can their business survive? Will the customers still buy from them or will they flock to their next competitors?

Such questions and fear will expectedly steer attention towards measures and strategies that enhance business sustainability. 

Brand building will be a key part of this trend, with more businesses investing more resources in building and shaping their brand identity that people recognize, trust, buy from, and recommend others. So, that even when there’s any kind of setback, that strong brand identity can stay intact, which will eventually result in good retention and consistent growth. 

The journey ahead - future of e-commerce

The future of e-commerce in India will prosper at a fast rate even the government of India agrees to this.

Thus, as a business, you have to tap on the right opportunities and trends and create a win-win situation for your brand and customer.

The jewellery industry can benefit significantly from the new-age digital technologies and make their e-commerce presence thrive in the current times. 

The AR technology can prove to be a powerful catalyst for online jewellery business owners. One of the biggest roadblocks between jewellery and customers buying it online is that they cannot try it on themselves.

Without an actual in-store experience, trust between a brand and a customer is hard to build.

But through virtual try-on platforms for e-commerce like mirrAR it is possible that customers can easily try the jewellery pieces from the comfort of their homes with AR technology.

A virtual try-on feature is no longer an option but a requirement if a retailer wants to remain competitive. If jewellery business owners want to thrive now and stay competitive, they must take this path.


Get more information about MirrAR by clicking here or write to us at mirrar@styledotme.com

Posted by mirrAR by SDM



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