How Technology Is Changing The Face Of E-Commerce

Technology is constantly growing and evolving and, alongside it, a constantly learning and growing generation of customers who look to technology to make their lives as consumers simpler and more convenient. As technology grows, it doesn’t just affect the consumer though, but also how the world of online retail works. As an eCommerce store owner, the trick is to be aware of how technology is changing the face of eCommerce, and to stay on top of these trends in order to make the most out of them. So what are the current technological trends changing up the world of eCommerce?

Mobile Apps

Mobile commerce is fast becoming one of the most popular platforms for customers to browse and purchase products, and 89% of the time people spend looking at media on mobile devices is now spent on apps, with the other 11% spent on direct websites. Mobile’s ease of access and portability makes it an easy technological choice for consumers to make, and apps allow businesses to market directly to customers via notifications without having to send out lengthy email newsletters, make telephone calls or spend a large amount of money on print media. Customers can now browse for products and purchase them from their cellphones, tablets and laptops without having to be in a specific location.

Mobile devices and their apps have brought online brands and their customers closer than they’ve ever been before. But, as long as your website is mobile friendly, a mobile app is not an absolute must. Every business has different goals, so do your research and decide whether an app would suit your business vision or not.  If you decide an app won’t add value to your business, ensure customers can browse and purchase your products with ease on their mobile devices.

Social Media

The evolution of social media has changed the customer service landscape, bringing businesses and customers closer together by enabling contact methods on business pages. Facebook and Twitter allow customers to directly message brands, and get quick responses directly from the customer service team. But not only has social media enhanced customer service; so to has it allowed businesses to make their online stores easier to access by channeling customers to direct purchases through their social media pages.

Currently, platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and even Pinterest allow customers to view product offerings via images, including prices and links to the products on their websites. But as this technology is fast developing, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are rumoured to start featuring ‘buy it’ buttons for customers to buy directly from the social page that they find the product on. Social media is bringing products closer and closer to consumers during their everyday online browsing activity. 

Online Payment

As the world of eCommerce grows, so the need for more advanced online payment methods to facilitate the growing demand in online products. Payment technologies are growing in the form of online programs and mobile apps to help businesses and customers send and receive payments as quickly and securely as possible. With so many payment options now available — it is equally a case of eCommerce facilitating this trend as it is payment technologies facilitating the growth of eCommerce. With cross border online payment solutions from the likes of PayU, various transaction methods are available to suit customers on the go via mobile devices, without the need for consumers to take their card out and swipe it. These technologies are now saving customers and businesses both time and money. The growth in online payment technologies is helping the eCommerce world push the envelope in terms of sales, and ensures customers’ personal information is used safely and securely to complete transactions.

While these are by no means the only ways in which technology is transforming the face of eCommerce, they are most certainly some of the biggest. As more people spend time on social media, apps and their mobile devices, and as technology quickly evolves to suit the needs of an ever-changing consumer environment, the world of eCommerce is transforming on an ongoing basis. So stay on top of these trends, and ensure your business makes use of these technologies to facilitate growth.

Contributed in collaboration with PayU.

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