eCommerce on verge of big change.. what lurks ahead…
Only thing that is constant in this world is 'CHANGE', in the technology ecosystem, this is ever so prevalent. eCommerce is ripe for this change now.
Here we will discuss some of the technologies that have the potential to completely change the world of eCommerce. They include: Augmented Reality, Crypto-Currencies, 3D Printing, etc. These technologies can have an entirely different impact on the now existing eCommerce business models. So, lets roll on:
3D printing is already on a exponential growth trend, its just a matter of time when the technology and the mass adoption reach a threshold level from where the system snowballs. There are so many application on 3D printing (well, yes apart from the gun ofcourse :), we wrote one exclusively on this industry). Recently, Amazon opened up its new 3D printing store that features items made using 3D printers, and then there are some already large market places that exist (like http://www.shapeways.com/). This approach of 3D printing technology mainly focuses on its ability to decrease the time that is required for a product to move from design to market. In such situation the supply chain remains unaffected. Therefore, there will be a manufacturer/ distributor, and a retailer. With this technology the manufacturer can come up with new designs within hours and also create custom products for their individual buyers.
Imagine retailers can become manufacturers, all they would need to do is buy downloadable designs. People expect to find more of 3D printing centers where any consumer can bring a 3D design and print it out. This trend has all the potential to create new eCommerce opportunities.
Augmented reality has already started to be utilized for commerce in several countries.However, it has not yet become common in the field of eCommerce. Augmented Reality offers a live direct or indirect view of all the physical and real-world products that will be offered through a computer-generated sensory input that includes GPS data, graphics, sound, or videos.
In a simple way, augmented reality just adds data to what all we see around us in our everyday life. It is similar to the mobile image recognition and has the potential to turn our everyday activities that includes commuting to work or spending time with friends and relatives in the park into an opportunity that will allow you to discover the products that we might like to buy.
eCommerce behemoths like Amazon have already started experimenting with same-day delivery services in certain markets. Options similar to same-day delivery will likely have a significant impact on the Internet retailing. The only issue related to such quick delivery options are the associated costs. There are a number of ways to cut the cost of quick delivery or on-demand delivery like optimizing the delivery routes or the pick-up locations.
For these purposes Autonomous Vehicles might be a great help as it will also reduce the cost of same-day delivery. Even if this technology may be a few years away, we can assure you that the ability to deliver products to the customers in hours will change eCommerce completely.
Bitcoin as we all know is the first crypto-currency and is one of the well known forms of crypto currency. When one thinks about Bitcoin, they get anxious due to the volatility of this electronic money. Thus, those stores that do accept Bitcoin find it to be a preferable alternative to the credit cards, also it doesn’t carry the risk of fraud and have a lower transaction fee as compared to the credit cards.
One can easily add Bitcoin to an eCommerce website. The retailers who are concerned about the rapid change in the value of the Bitcoin can exchange Bitcoin with other currencies. The advantage of crypto currencies like Bitcoin is that they are safer for eCommerce merchants to sell their products internationally and also reduce the rate of credit card fraud.
Mobile computing is not an emerging trend. ~40-50 percent of eCommerce site traffic comes from mobile devices. However, mobile phones have the potential to grow even more significantly in the case of form factor and functionality.
Currently you will find most of the mobile devices as rectangular bricks of different sizes. However, we are not that far from using other mobile devices that include the products like Google Glass and Pebble Smart-watch. In a few years time you can also witness automobile-based mobile computing. With these products shoppers will have greater ability to shop, and this will also lead to new purchase patterns that will impact how the products are sold. You can find more on this here.
Just, think you are walking on a busy street and you found someone wearing some nice accessory that you liked a lot. With devices like Google Glass that has mobile image recognition features in just one touch on your Google Glass you can buy the accessory from a good eCommerce portal.
Real disruption in eCommerce is about to happen. We have just scratched the surface of online business! Watch this space for more and keep reading our blogs We are really excited about the future or eCommerce... are you?
[We are Connecting Dots, a full service eCommerce and web solutions company. At Connecting Dots, we help build great online businesses]