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Ecommerce trends that will shape the industry in 2019 and beyond


Ecommerce trends that will shape the industry in 2019 and beyond

From social shopping to an omnichannel presence, e-commerce companies are establishing new technology trends in the virtual market space. Here are five key e-commerce trends you should be incorporating in your online business model. 

A decade ago, setting up a business meant acquiring a feasible workspace among other requirements. Today, locals are setting up businesses while sipping on a cup of Joe at the local Starbucks. With the internet's penetration reaching even remote locations around countries, a virtual market with unlimited real estate space has become a reality. 

While e-commerce giants have already made a name for themselves, it is the small and medium-sized fry that is steadily gaining recognition for their innovative products, quirky communication, exceptional shopping experience, and excellent servicing. The worldwide e-commerce sales are projected to cross a mark beyond $3 trillion this year and one of the fundamental pillars leading to this remarkable growth is technology - a constant and consistent area for improvement for a small e-commerce setup. So, a start-up looking to establish their e-commerce business should keep in mind five key technology trends that will help them venture into deeper waters. 

Unmanned delivery

Amazon achieved its first unmanned drone delivery back in December 2016. Very recently, Zomato experimented with and successfully completed a drone delivery.  Results say Zomato reduced its delivery time to half by taking the aerial route. E-commerce businesses that provide local products like milk subscriptions (Supr) or express groceries (Grofers) could use this technology for efficient and streamlined deliveries in the future. Food-tech apps could certainly beef up the competition for each other with shorter delivery timelines. 

The social store 

Social media is no longer limited to catching up with family and friends or sending each other digital farm animals. E-commerce businesses are using social commerce as a way to reach the impulsive customer. In a recent study, Nielsen revealed that 50% of China's impulsive online purchases were a result of social commerce. Using marketing communication tools like Programmatic advertising and platforms like Instagram, e-commerce businesses are in a position to roll out an ambient shopping experience for relevant customers. 

Augmented Reality 

One of the biggest drawbacks of an e-commerce business is the inability to give customers the experience of a trial. More often than not, a product that might have seemed amazing in photographs doesn't look half as good in reality. With customers becoming extremely vocal on social media, negative reviews can bury an e-commerce business. AR technology gives customers a whole new dimension to experience products. From trying on eyeglasses (Lenskart) to virtually placing furniture in your home (Pepperfry), e-commerce companies are enhancing a customer's shopping experience. Why wouldn't they? Statistics show at least 40% of customers in the USA alone were willing to spend more time on a product if it were offering an augmented reality experience. This gives e-commerce businesses incorporating AR technology a competitive edge over their rival counterparts. 

Camera enabled search 

Selfies can move over because the mobile phone camera is being to put to good use by e-commerce businesses. A few months ago, Snapchat partnered with Amazon to roll out a visual search and shop feature. Users could find a product they liked, click a picture and browse for the same or similar products on Amazon. This could work well for e-commerce businesses centered around a glocal business model as they could help customers source products with a local flavor. 

An omnichannel experience 

It's good that an e-commerce company can give their customers an amazing experience on the first go, but it is even better if they can manage to give their customers the same experience consistently, no matter the platform. Take e-commerce brand turned retail store chain, Chumbak for instance. Whether online or in-store, the brand constantly gives its users a shopping experience that's colourful and quirky. But omnichannel experience is not just limited to user experience in terms of look and feel; it is about an integrated experience that will weave together the entire customer journey in one seamless shopping experience. 

But why limit yourself to seamless customer experience? 

Customers are just one of the stakeholders for an e-commerce business. Other stakeholders include sellers, marketplaces, warehousing agents, logistic and supply chain vendors. An integrated approach with the latter stakeholders determines the degree of seamless experience provided to the end customer. 

Technology providers, like Vinculum Solutions, are enabling brands and retailers to provide an omnichannel retail experience to their customers as well as easily scale, reach and delight customers across channels globally. These omnichannel retail platforms help businesses enable O2O (Offline to Online to Offline) transformation, gain a real-time view of inventory for all channels, integrate online stores with offline channels and give their customers countless shopping options.

Moreover, with stronger governing rules over GST filing and returns, it becomes imperative for an e-commerce business to stay tax compliant while focusing on their core business. Maintaining sales records, managing e-way bills, reconciling with suppliers/vendors, filing multi-state GST returns can be a cumbersome process, not to mention, full of potential human errors. With end-to-end software like TrustFile GST, small and medium e-commerce businesses can automate their GST filing and generate e-way bills for any number of consignments. 

Why not put that time saved to work on challenging the big fish? Avalara is an experienced application service provider (ASP) and partner of authorized GST Suvidha Providers (GSPs). To understand how our cloud-based application Avalara TrustFile GST can help you with GST compliance automation, contact us here -  https://www.avalara.com/gst


Avalara Author
Divita S Gupta
Avalara Author Divita S Gupta
Divita has served as a writer and editor for top financial services organizations in India. Currently, she owns a small business in Mumbai. She acquired a Master's Degree in Business Administration from Symbiosis International University in 2014. She is a baker, blogger and avid reader.