Ecommerce is the gift of the 21st century to buyers and sellers across the world. The impact of ecommerce has been such that every possible product is available at the buyers’ doorsteps regardless of their location.
Spending time and money to reach a marketplace is no longer a necessity if one wants to buy anything. Ecommerce has done to business what fire did to early humans — the rate of growth across sectors and industries increased exponentially with just one spark.
Marketplaces are not what they used to be and will never be that way again. E-business, e-procurement, e-sales, e-marketing, e-payment are the facilities that the tip of the iceberg of features that the ever-growing ecommerce industry offers.
Ecommerce websites are a necessity for business across industries not only for the global reach it promises but for the ease of business operations it offers. The increasingly globalised world does not believe in international borders coming in the way of their wanting to own any product. Therefore, ecommerce industry is here to stay and grow. Ecommerce is an industry that developed with the advent of internet, it was not an existing business ecosystem that needed technology integration. As a result, ecommerce is more suited to adopt changing technologies and mould itself in ways that can help it become bigger and the force to reckon with in the marketplaces across the international economy.
The Role of Mobile Applications
In the few decades of its existence, ecommerce saw a drastic change through the introduction of mobile applications. Mobile application did not have a great impact on the industry, it changed the entire industry outside in.
Mobile applications extended the scope of shopping along with the increased reach of high-speed internet and rising ownership of hand-held mobile devices. Today most ecommerce transactions are accomplished through mobile devices. For everything that a buyer might need there is a mobile application. The preference of mobile applications over websites can be attributed to the fact that they are dedicated and make it easier for users to do what they need to do as compared to doing it on a mobile web browser; mobile applications load quickly and users do not have to go through the arduous process of opening the web browser, typing in the URL, and waiting for the page to load; and, mobile websites are not compatible with mobile web browsers and can be quite troublesome to use as compared to navigating a mobile application.
The Role of AI
The biggest contribution of artificial intelligence to the ecommerce industry are chatbots. Chatbots have helped customise and personalise shopping experiences across buyers. Another major leap into the future were the introduction of digital assistants such as Siri, Alexa, Cortana and Google Now. These assistants have further eased the shopping experiences by making it normal for people to talk loudly and interact with robots. Using artificial intelligence, brands can more efficiently scan through data to predict customer behaviour; offering relevant recommendations to individual consumers. This level of intelligence is the cornerstone in delivering a personalised shopping experience.