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Top 5 Tech Trends To Watch Out For
How online marketplaces can further enhance customer experience
From our pro Tech and Product head — Ramneek Khurana, Co-Founder at Lenskart. Here are some amazing tech trends transforming the E-commerce industry.
Technology is redefining and reshaping the e-commerce industry. Covid-19 has acted as a catalyst for companies such as Amazon, helping them achieve double the growth they achieved in the past 10 years. India has also seen digital adoption grow — everything has moved online and people are very comfortable making this shift.
Here are the top five technological trends transforming the e-commerce industry:
- AR and VR: The biggest challenge in online commerce is that customers can’t try the products themselves before purchasing. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality technologies alleviate this by enabling customers to virtually try on the products to get a sense of the look and feel before deciding, thus improving the shopping experience further. All it takes is switching on the mobile camera. AR has proved to be a complete game-changer, providing a better shopping experience to customers and helping them make better decisions. This technology will surely become the future of e-commerce.
2. AI-based user-level personalization: Each and every customer is unique, and so are their needs. E-commerce platforms are bringing in ‘user-level personalization’ and ‘super exclusive experiences’ for every customer. By analyzing the browsing and buying patterns of the customer, companies now provide a personalized experience, and deliver better product discovery via ‘view similar’, ‘recommended for you’, and ‘curated for you’ features which recommend products similar to what the customer is looking for. This has also become an important discovery tool for users to find book recommendations and other curations online.
3. Improvements in payments: The UPI initiative has put India ahead of China and the US in terms of digital transactions done annually. This simple-to-use device, which does not require a credit score and only a bank account to activate, has been key to unlocking digital payments in India. Additionally, the ‘buy now pay later’ feature has further unlocked higher average ticket value purchases online. Payment gateways have evolved to become more intuitive and mobile-friendly. Further, the government is also helping by reducing friction for subscriptions and lower ticket size products by removing the need for OTPs.
4. Voice search and chatbots: Virtual assistants such as Siri, Amazon Alexa, and Google voice search have brought a change in the way customers search and purchase online. Voice search has been one of the significant innovations in the e-commerce industry. In India, especially, vernacular language support will further boost the trend as we are already seeing an exponential rise in voice search queries with increasing internet penetration.
Likewise, chatbots have emerged as a new way of conversational marketing and selling goods. They have become the first interface to address customer queries to reduce the load on customer support teams. The deployment of voice search and bots has been adopted widely for the post-sales experience, but is now making its way into pre-sales — from product selection to check-out.
5. Ubiquitous commerce and omnichannel: With a mobile phone, users can access all kinds of information. More than 70% of users now shortlist products before walking in for considered purchases.
Being present on multiple channels like retail stores, mobile applications and social media is now a necessity and a powerful tool for e-commerce, as users are already present here and using these tools simultaneously. This ubiquitous presence helps customers approach the brand anywhere, anytime, and enables cross-channel research consideration and purchase, thereby boosting overall conversion rates.
These emerging trends will further focus on the customer experience and satisfaction level, acting as a catalyst to help e-commerce marketplaces evolve into platforms that serve consumers better.
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