The future of ecommerce looks bright, particularly after the pandemic has shone an earth-sized spotlight on digital transactions for the past 19 months or so.
It is expected that by 2025 the global ecommerce market will be valued at a princely sum of $4.2 trillion. To put that in perspective, in 2020 this number was $2.9 trillion – projections for the end of this year are set at $3.3 trillion.
2020: $2.9 trillion
2021: $3.3 trillion
2022: $3.6 trillion
2023: $3.8 trillion
2024: $4.0 trillion
2025: $4.2 trillion
However, as fast as the ecommerce market is growing the market is also evolving into fresher areas. And this could make the whole landscape of digital commerce look quite different in just a few years.
But what is contributing to this reshaping of the environment? Let’s take a look at some of these factors.
First trend: artificial intelligence and augmented reality. These two types of technologies (although different and their developmental histories unique) they have become complementary in their use of brands and retailers that are operating in the digital world.
Both artificial intelligence and augmented reality have been growing quickly within the last few years all over the world. By 2026, the international AI market is expected to hit $299 billion while the international AR market is expected to reach $88 billion.
Technologies such as chatbots, virtual assistants, and more generally personalized shopping experiences have settled to become the norm for online businesses. And now built on top of that, artificial intelligence and augmented reality are capabilities that businesses are seriously scrambling to implement.
Second trend: omnichannel. Omnichannel shopping is the operation of ecommerce across all channels – website, apps, social media, and yes also in-store sales. Omnichannel is essentially the integration of digital and physical and provides interaction between them in order to deliver customers a seamless shopping experience.
The line between the digital and physical is continuing to become blurred, and this has consequences for companies in how they operate and interact with their customers.
When its implemented well, omnichannel strategies can be quite lucrative, helping to boost in-store visits by 80%. And this becomes obvious when you know that the majority of in-store shoppers (74%) first carry out online research beforehand.
Third trend: new payment options. Within the current phase of ecommerce, one of the defining features is to enable seamless experiences, including payment. As part of this, it is crucial for customers to be offered a variety of payment options so that they can shop with their preferred plastic or payment method.
This means digital wallets, spearheaded by Google Pay, Apple Pay, Alipay, etc. It should go without saying by now that companies must be offering mobile payments, considering the majority of us use our phones to research products before buying, and the share of ecommerce via phone is increasing at the expense of desktop/laptop.
This also means taking an interest in cryptocurrency – not necessarily accepting all crypto but considering whether it’s an avenue worth driving down.
Ultimately, providing multiple payment options beyond cash or credit reduces the rate of cart abandonment, leading to higher revenue streams.
Fourth trend: data-driven pricing. Dynamic pricing, despite being a new phenomenon, has taken on a new lease of life via modern tech and artificial intelligence enabling it to be more accessible and more accurate.
Some of the largest ecommerce companies have already implemented modern tech that can optimize their pricing strategies, while others have now started to follow in their footsteps.
And by integrating dynamic pricing strategies, according to one study, a large retailer found an increase in revenue of 3%.