in Misc

Tech Transformations: How Ecommerce Continues to Evolve

Have you ever stopped to marvel at the advances of modern technology? Just 200 years ago, Samuel Morse invented the telegraph and today we have the world wide web in our front pockets. Just under 100 years ago, the Wright Brothers were the first people to fly an airplane, and nowadays drone enthusiasts are taking to the skies and seeing the world from a bird’s-eye view.

The way we shop has evolved too. As of last year, the majority of purchases were made online rather than in brick-and-mortar stores. Ecommerce is an almost $300 billion a year industry in the United States alone! So it’s no mystery why so many people are joining in on the fun and creating their own small digital businesses.

Below are a few of the technological advances expected to alter the industry in the next few years and decades.

Social Media & Two-Way Marketing

Brand relations used to be about placing an advertisement wherever the most eyeballs would see it. Things are a little more complicated today. A business isn’t even considered legitimate by consumers if you don’t have an active social media presence.

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram allow brands to engage with customers in real-time conversations and gather feedback from their audience. Take full advantage of this opportunity by hosting giveaways, encouraging users to share your page with their friends, asking users to offer honest feedback on their favorite products and more. It might take a little extra work to keep your social pages active, but it will pay off in the long run.

Making the Move to Mobile

Mobile ecommerce is still up and coming. Users are looking for easy-to-read, easy-to-use sites and services that can fit on a tiny screen without sacrificing image quality. While reports show that mobile conversion rates are lower than desktop conversation, there is a prevailing theory that consumers prefer to ‘window shop’ on mobile and close the deal on desktop.

When you are investigating how to build and ecommerce website, remember to take into account the need for mobile compatibility. Some platform providers, like Shopify, make it easy to display your ecommerce site on a desktop web browser, mobile phone or tablet. Neglecting to do so will likely send shoppers to one of your competitors; and you certainly wouldn’t want that.

Drone Delivery

Drone delivery is one the most intriguing inventions to come to ecommerce in over a decade. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos believes that in a few years, seeing drones in the sky might be as common as seeing a mail truck. In fact, the company was the first to complete a customer delivery by autonomous drone in December 2016. The airborne bot carried popcorn and a video-streaming device several miles to a remote farmhouse near Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Experts expect drones to revolutionize delivery by carrying light-weight products to remote areas in a manner cheaper than ground delivery. Still, there are some hurdles to overcome. FAA regulations are still being developed to better address security concerns and privacy requirements. How long until small ecommerce vendors can send their products via drones? Only time will tell.

Artificial Intelligence & Chat Bots
There is, of course, another futuristic invention affecting the ecommerce world that may dramatically change the way brands interact with customers known as artificial intelligence. AI and machine learning are already being used by some of the world’s leading companies to transform the way they do business.

For example, AI is being used to provide better product suggestions to customers based on their shopping habits. Similarly, customer service centers are being replaced by chat bots that can assist buyers, answer questions and troubleshoot issues without the need for human oversight.

Of course, these are only a few of the innovations already remodeling and reimaging the industry. What shopping and ecommerce will look like in 50 years in anybody’s guess.


Bogdan is the founder of Top Design Magazine. You can find him in Bucharest-Romania so next time you want to drink a beer there and talk about web and stuff, give him a message.