Updated: Apr 19, 2022
We’re in the Era of E-commerce. Unfortunately, it’s no longer a well-kept secret. As competitors pour into the E-Com space, you can still break away from the pack in 2022 by leveraging some very accessible E-Com Technologies.
The same two years that have given us an explosion in e-commerce, have brought us a corresponding tsunami of competition. Every online seller is at least starting to feel that pain.
But the unseen problem of competition in your precious e-commerce space, is that it is the slick young newcomers that tend to innovate. They innovate because they have to. For them it’s a matter of survival.
And today’s emerging brands are more innovative and pioneering than ever.
More mature companies on the other hand, tend to “fight to keep what they have”. The progression goes like this: When we’re young, we fight to win. Once we’ve achieved a measure of success, we fight to not lose.
This is how the Millennial-owned brands beat the legacy behemoth brands over the last decade or so.
And so now it’s time for Millennial-owned businesses to make a choice: Do we fight to win, or join the dinosaurs of brand-building just trying to keep what we have?
Yeah, we thought you’d say that.
Check out these five technology break-throughs that you can leverage right now to keep your e-commerce activity on the cutting edge.
1. AI Powered Chatbots.
Like it or not, the World has come to expect push-button results. Amazon, Facebook, Instagram, and others have created a monster. Consumers want gratification, and they want it quickly. Can’t give it to them? Well, they’ll find someone who can.
Data suggests that you only have a few seconds to convince your customer to dive deeper into your website. As a result, website owners have to do everything they can to get in front of customer searches, questions, and issues as instantly as possible.
Advancements in machine learning have resulted in chatbot solutions that keep a customer engaged with AI responses long enough to keep them from moving on. Services like Tidio and ManyChat can power almost instantaneous chat features to your site with very little setup. Here’s the magic AI-powered chatbots can bring to your website with almost no effort on your part:
Provide customers a channel to ask for help with your products or site before they give up and leave.
Offer Sellers data patters regarding what your customers are not easily finding on your site. (Are there patterns in the questions they’re asking?)
Create a powerful email and phone number capture that can be used for retargeting. (News flash: Your customer lists have a real monetary Market value.)
Make your customer feel heard, respected, and instantly connected.
2. Voice Search Features.
“Alexa, order more coffee!” “Hey Google, play that new song by Ryan Clark!” “Siri, get me directions for Mom and Dad’s!”
Voice search is yet another AI-enabled technology, and although still painful at times, it is only growing in popularity and application. As this article is being written, over 20% of mobile searches are voice prompted. And as voice search becomes more popular among shoppers, we don’t want to be late to the voice search party.
The good news is that you can now install low-cost applications in your ecommerce website that will literally guide your customers through the shopping experience with AI-powered voice prompts.
Check out the mmuze conversational voice search application for Shopify to give your customers a personalized, voice-prompted shopping experience.
3. AI-Assisted Upselling and Cross-selling.
More revenue from existing customers? Yes, please.
The Pandemic lockdowns have caused AI to explode onto the e-commerce scene with unusual rigor. And while Sellers have long been relying on customer data to make decisions, AI can not only do almost all of the heavy lifting, but it can do it much more effectively than you or your staff.
Here’s how it works: In their most basic forms, AI applications can make product recommendations to customers based on browsing behavior. This is what is happening when a customer searches for a couch on Wayfair, doesn’t buy, then sees five couches the next time they log in, followed by a customized email with a list of similar couches on sale.
We know, we know; you don’t have the programming team Wayfair has. Don’t worry. There are some very inexpensive AI plugins that can now bring this technology to seller websites; leveraging past searches, previous buys, browsing habits, and even crowd habits (frequently bought together) - all to increase sales with no added effort from the Seller.
To bring AI into your ecommerce business, check out apps like Recom for Shopify, WooCommerce AI for Wordpress, LimeSpot for BigCommerce, and Boost Sales for Magento.
4. Augmented Reality Features.
Still think Augmented Reality is futuristic and a long way off? Ok, grandma.
Augmented Reality is here, and it’s here in a big way. AR features are bursting onto digital Marketplaces like Amazon and Wayfair, and data suggests that customers are more likely to convert to a sale after using an AI feature like these.
In fact, offering the customer the ability to visualize a piece of furniture or decorum in their living space offers them a feel for the product they can’t even get from a physical retail store.
But it isn’t just furniture placement that AR Applications can offer. AR applications can give your customer the ability to view a product in their living space, view a product on their body, or size a product by placing it side-by-side with a similar product in the customer’s possession.
And guess what? Most website hosts offer VERY simple plugins that can give your brand an AR feature almost instantly. Almost every web host or web builder has one or more AR plug-in options:
AR Display for Wordpress/WooCommerce
Shopify AR for Shopify
Sayduck 3D for Wix
Webkul for Magento
5 . Buy-Now-Pay-Later (BNPL) Plug-Ins.
Ok, this one isn’t crazy high tech. However, it’s making big waves in online shopping.
The idea goes like this: Customer buys at a set price. Customer then receives the option of making one payment, or making a set number of installments over time. Simple, but compelling for cash-strapped shoppers.
Best Buy, Nike, Poshmark, Expedia, Peloton, Pottery Barn, Target, Neiman Marcus and many more – are all using Buy-Now-Pay-Later options. And guess what? Customers love it.
The best news yet is that there are TONS of available options you can easily tap into. Consider Zoodpay, Klarna Checkout, Afterpay, Clearpay, or PostPaid for just a few of the available options that you can plug right into your ecommerce website.
Time to Take Action.
Like it or not Brand Owner, you’re in the Tech Space now. Owning a brand means selling online, and the tech behind online selling is moving faster every day. Buckle up. 2022 is about to reach a new level of fast.
Email us at Growth@EliteCommerceGroup.com to see what we’re doing to keep our brand owners ahead of the competition.