Latest & Upcoming eCommerce Technologies & Trends in 2024

Latest & Upcoming eCommerce Technologies & Trends in 2024

Over 26 million eCommerce websites exist on the internet. The competition is so intense that a few good products and free shipping will not be enough to disrupt the market. Given the evolution of e-commerce in the coming years, it is more essential than ever before to adjust and catch up with the latest trends.

Among the trends for impending times are those that employ artificial intelligence to customize recommendations as well as build metaverse storefronts. So, whether you run an online store or plan to launch one, check out some trends that will give you a head start.

1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)

It is no secret that artificial intelligence and machine learning are revolutionizing the way businesses are run, including eCommerce.This is the way in which these technologies will shape the future of the eCommerce world.

Personalized product recommendations:

Monetate recently released a report that states that 75% of eCommerce brands have a positive ROI from providing customers with product recommendations. This is where artificial intelligence can help you to do more than just suggest similar products.

AI can use strategies such as collaborative filtering, determining what other customers with similar buying behavior purchase, to offer items that the customer may enjoy.

Content-based filtering is a method that deals with aspects of a product such as color, size, brand, and type of material used to recommend products that are similar to the ones the customer has viewed or purchased in the past.

There is also a middle ground where the two alternatives are integrated to achieve the best results. Hybrid methods combine both collaborative and content filtering, which makes the recommendation system even more personalized to customers’ needs.

Several e-commerce companies use AI to generate recommendations for their customers. For example, the Swedish furniture giant IKEA employs Google’s Vertex AI to recommend products to its customers, and this has led to a 2 percent rise in the average order size globally.

So, here’s the scoop. The brands that offer personal recommendation services tend to have higher conversion rates, higher average order values, and overall, better customer experiences.

Predictive Analytics and Demand Forecasting

AI and ML can assist eCommerce businesses to finally channel into data-driven decision-making predictive analytics and demand forecasting and ensure that their operations are optimized. It can help businesses, basically, in two ways.

Predicting Consumer demand and inventory needs:

Using years of sales history, customer behavior trends, seasonal trends, and other market factors, AI and machine learning models can predict consumer product demand. Such information can assist eCommerce businesses in keeping stock at a minimum while improving the overall efficiency of the supply chain, as well as inventory optimization.

Optimizing Pricing Strategies and Promotions: ML and AI algorithms can analyze massive amounts of data including competitor pricing, customer behavior, and market trends among others in determining the best price.

For instance Carrefour a French online grocery store that is the world’s seventh largest retailer uses AI predictive analytics for retail business. They also use SAS’ Viya – an AI-powered program for inventory management.

Demand-predicting capabilities coupled with active predictive analytics will also help stores manage inventory more effectively and lower costs through data-supported pricing.

Chatbots and virtual assistants

AI chatbots, tools, and assistants are not just dialogue windows that reply to a user’s questions. They can be your round-the-clock customer service personnel and help answer basic questions that the clients may have.

They can interact with customers, answer their inquiries, recommend products, and help them to navigate the store. Not least, these conversational interfaces provide round-the-clock support, which enhances the perceived satisfaction levels of customers and decreases the helpdesk burden.

A recent survey on the use of chatbots indicated that eCommerce stores that provided round-the-clock customer support through chatbots had 30% higher leads than their counterparts that provided such services through human personnel. 

For instance, a chatbot or a virtual assistant can translate human language with the help of NLP algorithms such as slang, misspelled words, or context-based questions. This capability enhances the ability to communicate and interact with customers in a more natural and efficient manner, which enhances the customer experience.

Brands that are using AI chatbots and NLP assistants via APIs are many. As far as big names go, Sephoraand H&Mhave the best AI chatbots so far.

Visual search and image recognition

The eCommerce industry will shift to visual search and image recognition in the coming years. Data Bridge Market Research study shows that the visual search market value is projected to reach USD 32000 million by 2028. And AI and ML are both essential components to making this happen.

AI-powered image recognition algorithms enable customers to upload or capture images of products they’re interested in, which are then identified and matched within the eCommerce platform’s catalog.

Visual search and image recognition have numerous applications across various industries. For example, in fashion, customers can search for similar clothing items or accessories by uploading an image.

To illustrate, Asos, a clothing brand based in the United Kingdom, has integrated this visual search functionality into its mobile app and is helping customers easily find what they’re looking for.

2. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)

We are ready to bid farewell to the old-fashioned product images – Augmented and Virtual Reality revolutionize the online shopping experience by making the shopping experience out of this world!

This technology will keep on advancing and be more affordable in future times, thus increasing its uptake rate. A survey conducted in June 2020 showed that 35 percent of Americans had applied augmented reality to place furniture and cars.

Virtual try-on and product simulation

A good application of AR and VR in eCommerce is the virtual fitting and product demonstration. They allow customers to visualize how a product will look and fit in their home or workplace, so they can buy with confidence and avoid making incorrect choices that could lead to returns. For instance, you can choose clothes from a store without having to visit the store physically or place a sofa in your room before purchasing it.

The technology places the virtual products on the customer’s real-time video making it easier to show the customer what the products will look like on them. Thanks to the camera and spatial recognition, customers can use the device to place furniture or decor items into the space and see how they look and fit. 

Immersive shopping experiences

With the further development of AR and VR technologies, shopping experiences become more realistic and border on the physical and digital realms.

VR is being used by retailers and brands in their efforts to build virtual showrooms and display their products and services. Customers can walk through a virtual store, examine products in 3D, and comprehend their functions in detail thanks to such solutions. Customers can try out and understand complicated and expensive products like cars, household appliances, or industrial equipment before making a purchase. 

A gamification-based experience also has the potential to increase customer satisfaction and provide a more entertaining and engaging shopping experience. For example, virtual scavenger hunts, puzzles, and mini-games could be used to redeem coupons, product details, and virtual gifts.

Applications in different industries

AR and VR have the potential to be used in fashion and furniture but this is only the tip of the iceberg. It is a versatile tool that applies across all industries with unique functions and advantages. 

Fashion and Beauty: Enabling consumers to wear garments, accessories, makeup, and hairstyles before buying them.

L’Oreal, the leading beauty and cosmetic brand incorporates AR technology known asModiFacefor virtual try-on and has an average of 7 minutes visitors’ duration on its website.

Furniture and Home Decor: To guarantee accuracy in fitting the furniture, appliances, and decors that are going to be delivered to the customers’ homes. DFS, the UK’s major furniture company, provides its clients with a 3D and AR visualization of sofa sets. 

DFS claims to have achieved a 112% conversion rate and a 106% revenue increase in December 2020 among the shoppers who engaged with 3D/AR. 

Automobile: Augmented reality product presentations and virtual showrooms for the features and configurations, as well as the virtual driving experience. 

Retail and Consumer Goods: Virtual stores and products display in a virtual environment that allows the customer to browse and interact with products in a life-like manner.

Here’s the fact: Specifically, 71% of eCommerce buyers stated that they would make purchases more frequently if the AR is integrated into the website or app they are using.

Transform your online business by choosing eCommerce Development Services that integrate Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality, Voice shopping, and other technologies. Get in touch now!

3. Voice Commerce and Conversational Interfaces

The future of shopping is powered by voice! Voice commands allow customers to order groceries, view product details, or even make purchases. Online shopping is getting easier with voice commerce that is driven by conversational interfaces.

Voice search and voice-enabled shopping

With the rise of voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Google Assistant, voice-activated shopping has become a reality. This technology allows customers to find products using natural language. It is especially useful for hands-free scenarios such as cooking and cleaning.

Imagine a customer saying, “Alexa, order the Blue White Nike sneakers from My Wishlist,” and having it added to their cart instantly. If you ever shop at Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, you will be able to witness this in action.

Conversational commerce

Conversational commerce offers a step up over voice commerce. Customers can talk to virtual assistants or chatbots to make purchases in natural, interactive conversations.

With conversational interfaces, customers can search for products, ask questions, and receive personalized recommendations. A customer may ask, “What’s the best smartphone for under $700?” and follow recommendations.

As an example, prAna, a yoga and outdoor clothing brand based in the United States, handles automated orders and inquiries through Facebook Messenger.

As a matter of fact, around 65% of customers are satisfied with their voice commerce interactions, according to Coupon Follow. And businesses that allow customers to shop using their voice saw their revenue increase by 10% in the first six months.

As more brands implement voice-based and conversational-based shopping systems through NLP, it has become vital for businesses to cater to the convenience and accessibility of their customers.

4. Omnichannel and Headless Commerce

Whatever the way your customers interact with your brand, they look forward to an easy shopping experience. It is crucial that every interaction, from browsing on their phones to visiting your website, is smooth and consistent. This is where omnichannel and headless commerce comes into play.

Seamless customer experiences across channels

Companies that employ an omnichannel approach to engage with customers have a retention rate of 89%. An omnichannel strategy is designed to guarantee that brand message, visual identity, and overall consumer experience are seamless across all possible channels. This is because customers are bound to develop confidence and loyalty through persistent exposure to certain branding and messaging.

Customer information and buying patterns are the keys that enable omnichannel commerce to provide individualized services.

Headless architectures: flexibility and scalability

Headless commerce is a concept used in the context of the omnichannel approach when the front-end and the back-end are separated. This architectural approach offers several benefits.

Decoupling the Front-end and Back-end Systems: In a headless architecture, the front-end user interface is decoupled from the back-end systems, including the eCommerce platform, inventory, and order management. This makes the front end to be developed and changed without interfering with the back end, which provides more flexibility and quickness. 

Enabling Faster Iterations and Easier Integrations: In a headless model, organizations can quickly experiment with new front-end experiences, interfaces, and touchpoints without affecting the back-end infrastructure. Consequently, it becomes possible to work with third-party services, APIs, and innovative technologies, which helps businesses to be more adaptive to changes in the market and the needs of their consumers.

According to the State of Commerce, 77% of the organizations that have implemented headless architecture improve the speed at which they can change their storefronts. Many eCommerce businesses have moved to headless commerce to be able to offer more customer experience options.

5. Mobile Commerce (m-commerce) and Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)

It is no shock that we have our mobile phones attached to our hands, which is why m-commerce is growing. While this trend is not that new, many eCommerce stores still do not utilize mobile applications, which is crucial nowadays.

In the United States,76% of adults are said to use their smartphones for internet shopping and e-commerce purposes. As of 2024, mobile shopping sales in the United States are predicted to reach $558.29 billion. Namely, they account for 7.4% of total retail sales.

You should therefore ensure that your online store is mobile-friendly to win the battle in this mobile-first era.

Improving the mobile shopping experience

It is vital to design for the mobile-first! Ensure your website is mobile-friendly. In other words, the website should be able to adjust to any screen size. The responsive interface can let customers easily navigate through menus on a smartphone and zoom in on product images.

Second, create a smooth checkout process. On a small screen, checkout can be a hassle. You should simplify your checkout flow, offer multiple payment options, such as mobile wallets, and ensure a fast and secure mobile purchase process.

Use Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)

Progressive Web Apps, or PWAs, are web applications that run in a mobile browser and mimic mobile apps and are the most popular with eCommerce stores with limited budgets. Building a mobile application is great, but when you don’t have a budget, it’s best to get ahead with a progressive web app.

PWAs provide features similar to apps without requiring users to download any apps. Instead, they offer push notifications, offline capabilities, and fast loading speeds.

They leverage service workers and caching mechanisms to deliver lightning-fast loading times, even on slow internet connections. For mobile shoppers, who may be browsing on the go with limited data, this is crucial.

PWAs also can notify customers of abandoned carts or notify them of new stocks in the store or in the process of getting them to buy more. They can also be used offline, so users can browse products and add items to their cart without having access to the internet.

There are countless number of eCommerce stores that choose to go with a PWA. But for the best among all, try looking at Oliver Bonas, a feature-rich clothing, homeware, and accessories brand based out in the UK.

(Your online store’s design plays a crucial role in providing an engaging user experience. Partner with professionals for eCommerce Website Design services.)

6. Wise Use of eCommerce Platforms: Making the Right Choice

In order to manage your online business effectively, the choice you make about the eCommerce platform is essential. There are numerous marketplaces available, but the most popular ones you can name are WooCommerce, Magento, and Shopify. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages and knowing what you require will be the way to go.

WooCommerce

WooCommerce, used by more than 6 million websites worldwide for their e-commerce activities, is a free and open-source software that converts your site into an online shop. Because of its widespread availability, it is cheaper for businesses already on WordPress sites.

Flexibility and customization: WooCommerce is an adaptable plugin that can be used in e-commerce with ease. With numerous plugins and themes available to choose from, you can customize the appearance and characteristics of your store so that it reflects your vision. This level of control is especially useful when a business has special needs or when a corporation wants to give its customers a distinct shopping experience.

The Technical Side of Things: However, this flexibility has its drawbacks. WooCommerce store management and its initial setup depend on your technical expertise or the availability of a developer. This can be a problem for non-technical users.

Craftsy, Root Science, and Only Mine are some of the most popular websites.com.au are some of the best and most successful WooCommerce shops out there.

Magento

Magento is a very powerful and fully functional system designed to meet the needs of enormous companies with high sales rates and diverse requirements. It has some of the most outstanding features such as scalability, marketing automation, and product management. Magento currently hosts about 149 thousand sites as of now, which proves its applicability to serve enterprise-level eCommerce requirements.

Scaling to Meet Your Needs: Magento also supports full scalability and integration, so your store can seamlessly grow along with your business. This makes it a future-oriented choice for any company that seeks to grow and expand its operations. And as always, this scalability does not come without its drawbacks.

Cost Considerations: Magento, however, is a highly demanding platform that demands considerable commitment in terms of time, money and resources invested in the platform, the development of added features and the consistency of its maintenance. This can be seen as a disadvantage, particularly for smaller businesses that might not have the financial capacity to sustain such affiliations.

The most successful stores built on the Magento platform are DIOR, Paul Smith, The Irish Store, etc.

Shopify

Shopify is used by more than 2.3 million merchants to sell their products across the globe. Shopify Plus is currently popular among nearly 50 thousand stores. This one is a paid platform, and its main advantage lies in its simplicity and navigability. The process of creating a store on Shopify is quite simple and is even accessible for people who have minimum experience with the IT sphere.

All-in-One Solution: Shopify provides web hosting services, shopping carts, payment gateways, and a lot more options that are already built-in. This makes it as a good solution for those who plan to get a business off the ground as fast as possible. However, these basic functionalities come with certain limitations when compared to their advanced counterparts.Customization Considerations: WooCommerce is more flexible than Shopify as it allows users to customize their stores through themes and apps, although the app

integration in Shopify is also great. This could prove to be a drawback for businesses with uniquely special needs and requirements.

Tentree, Hiut Denim, and Color Pop sell their products on Shopify and perform exceptionally well.

(Hire experts for eCommerce Website Development to create a feature-rich, scalable online store for your business. Get in touch with our expert eCommerce developers today)

7. Metaverse and Web3 Experiences

eCommerce may not just be on your screen, but also inside! To illustrate, via the metaverse and Web3 technologies, your customers enjoy unique shopping experiences. A new age of e-commerce is now coming and virtual storefronts and new-age experiences are expected given the fact that the market will reach 201.80 billion USD by 2030.

Virtual storefronts and immersive shopping environments

A virtual store can replicate a physical one in the metaverse, so customers have an experience similar to their physical counterparts. Using a virtual store, they can browse products, interact with them, and even socialize with other shoppers. Amazing huh! Shoppers will have a more memorable experience this way.

The metaverse allows for social interactions and collaborations that can make shopping more enjoyable. Customers can explore virtual stores together with friends or family, engage in real-time discussions, and even seek advice from virtual sales assistants or influencers present in the metaverse.

For a real-world example of a virtual storefront in the metaverse, a trip to Nikeland is a must-do for any Nike fan. In its first two months, Nikeland attracted 7 million people from 224 countries, generating revenue and engagement. Not least, the Nikelandmetaverse is visited by 21 million users as of now, which is quite impressive.

Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and Digital Collectibles

An NFT refers to a tokenized form of digital property that is registered on the blockchain. Blockchain and Non-fungible Tokens (NFTs) based on Web3 technologies are providing new ways for eCommerce businesses to make money.

Non-Fungible-Tokens can also be implemented to build and monetize digital products like music, painting, or virtual clothes. These are special digital tokens that the customers can purchase, exchange, or even sell on NFT markets that help the companies extend their clientele.

Businesses can use NFTs and Web3 technologies to create creative applications beyond selling digital collectibles. They could, for example, offer exclusive events, memberships, and access to special content related to NFT ownership.

In a nutshell,

You must track trends in eCommerce and ensure that your customers are enjoying their shopping experiences. Adopting change and maintaining customers will help you stay ahead of competitors in the market.

Right now, it’s all about artificial intelligence, and you may want to make use of every AI technology to impress your customers. For a more future-proof online store, focus on developing your own metaverse to get an edge over competitors.

(A great eCommerce store has great customization capabilities. Get started with Custom eCommerce Development services and build a highly customizable online store. Request a quote today)

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