Alexa, what are the latest ecommerce innovations in retail?

30 Apr 2019

How do you keep innovating and stay up-to-date with the latest trends in the market? In the last 10 years a lot has changed for brands and consumers with new technologies like AI (Artificial Intelligence), ML (Machine Learning) and IoT (Internet of Things). The rise of the mobile has made a huge difference in how we shop. But how will the next 10 years look like? 

We are looking at 5 new innovations that are going to make a big difference: 

1. AR (Augmented Reality)

As Tim Cook (CEO Apple) said: “AR will be as important as eating three meals a day”. This is because AR is so accessible. Anyone with a mobile phone has access to AR, which means that AR apps are just a download away.

A great example is the Pokemon Go game (the most downloaded game in history) and the widely used Snapchat filters / Instagram stories that are using AR.

When looking at retail; fashion brands are already offering the opportunity to see how certain items are fitting with a direct option to buy and to deliver on the same day. Making the whole buying experience, even more, customer friendly and helps enhance the whole customer’s shopping experience.

2. Voice search

Just like AR technology, voice-activated shopping is slowly reaching a bigger audience. AI (Artificial Intelligence), ML (Machine Learning) and IoT (Internet of Things) are the technologies that are all making this possible. Because of these technologies, experiences are becoming more interactive and more advanced.

The future looks bright for consumers and brands as connected devices make it easier than ever to order and receive your products. Think about ordering your movie ticket with your voice – you are communicating directly with your device, who tells you in which cinema your movie is playing. The device orders your tickets, tells you about the weather, the traffic and reminds you to take your phone with you to make sure you have your tickets within reach. 

This is just an example of the many possibilities with voice search. You have probably heard about the voice-activated fridge that knows when you’re running out of certain items and tells you about recipes based on the products left in your fridge. Also the fashion industry has started to use voice search. Some examples in the fashion industry include ASOS, Nike, Estee Lauder and the Japanese retailer Uniqlo.

3. Machine learning and Big data

Big data is a big buzzword we have been hearing for a while. With Machine Learning we are now able to understand all this data and as this will help us exponentially with regards to making business decisions. 

The data has a lot of different uses; knowing which preferences the customers has, visible customer trends, offering products based on old vs new stock and it helps improve delivery routes/times. 

For example, with a chip, the customer can determine if they need to replace their running shoes. When the shoes are worn out (after a certain amount of KM’s), the customer will receive an email from their shoe shop/retailer with the notification that it’s time to buy a new pair. Besides the notification, the email also shows a shoe offer in the right size and right category. Other advantages of big data are; more detailed customer segments, personalised marketing campaigns, streamlining processes and lowering production costs.

4. Redefining brick and mortar stores

eCommerce plays a big role in how we shop and has an effect on the “classic brick and mortar stores. Innovation is of the essence.

If you are choosing for an interactive shopping experience, integrating online with offline shopping, you will be sure to make a difference.

The so-called ‘smart store’ combines technology with offline shopping and will be popping up more and more.

For example, Japanese retailer, Uniqlo rolled out its first-ever neuroscience fashion campaign in Australia matching clothing selection to consumer moods.

Another example is Marks & Spencer’s (UK retail chain). To vamp up its store they introduced a virtual rail in its come-back Amsterdam store, consisting of 46” touchscreens, where customers could browse options from its ‘eboutique’, check prices and watch a model wear the clothes.

5. Chatbots and apps

At first, Chatbots might have looked a bit “primitive” but everything needs to grow and develop. They are getting more advanced and evolved using machine learning. It’s now possible for Chatbots to understand the human language. They are offering the customer the right information within the right context – like booking a flight, help with insurance or returning a product.

Chatbots will pop-up even more in messenger apps like Facebook messenger or Instagram as retailers are seeing the advantages. These Chatbots aren’t just for ‘helping’ customers. This technology will go beyond what is possible right now and will have the ability to update your customers about their orders or the delivery of their products. 

For example, Tommy Hilfiger has started using Chatbots since 2016 as a stylist. The Chatbot can style an entire look based on the input provided by the user. 

Are you ready for the future today?

In a world where customers are always ‘online’ and are reliant on technology and their mobile devices, they are looking for interaction with brands that can offer personalised experiences.

This means offering the best customer experience – within the best context and on the right moment for your customer. If you’re looking for ways to innovate your brand online, contact us today.



date published:

30 Apr 2019