Following the unprecedented events that have marked the outset of the 2020s, global eCommerce has expanded significantly. This is only accelerating a trend away from high-street shopping that has been in process for over 2 decades, from the time that internet access became more commonplace and widespread in the domestic arena.
In 2022, the global eCommerce market grew to $5.7 trillion globally, up 67% on 2019’s $3.5 trillion. In light of this, new modalities, technologies and trends are coming to fore as the pace of innovation surrounding this sector enjoys record growth.
Below we’re going to take a look at just two of the chief eCommerce trends we expect to take a leading role in the sector over the next 12 months.
One of the key trends that has established itself in the 2020s, and one that is showing no signs of slowing in 2023, is the expansion of payment processors offered by eCommerce platforms. In our modern world, the growing prevalence of e-wallets, virtual cards, and other alternative payment protocols means that goods and services providers seeking to keep pace have rapidly sought to expand their checkout offerings.
Whereas in the past, support for leading credit cards was an acceptable minimum, now consumers increasingly expect support for PayPal, Google Pay, Apple Pay, and popular apps such as Venmo and Cashapp. Consumers view platforms and providers that are willing to offer these payment options as more welcoming, collaborative and future-facing than businesses who do not.
Greater flexibility, and specificity, of offerings is also part of this trend. For example, iGaming aficionados in developed economies such as the UK, increasingly expect to be able to select from among the top Visa casinos in the UK as a matter of course. While the majority of leading gaming providers provide coverage of both Mastercard and Visa, being able to select this as a matter of preference at the outset, as VegasSlotsOnline offers, is a growing concern among tech-savvy gamers.
Elsewhere, the unstoppable rise of cryptocurrencies, blockchain and NFTs are all suggestive of the fact that, before long, consumers will begin to make a growing number of payments using these modalities. We’ve already seen experimental forays into providing these options, most notably with respect to Elon Musk’s Tesla electric automotive company, but the inherent volatility of the medium has slowed its wider adoption.
Still, those looking to future-proof their businesses will do well to investigate means and methods by which they can prospectively, in the coming years, offer blockchain-based payment processes as part of their default checkout offerings.
Over the 2020s we’ve seen a marked increase in the number of AI-assisted chatbots being used by eCommerce platforms. In the past, this type of software lacked sophistication and, as such, proved in many cases to be more of a hindrance than a help.
However, recent advancements in AI, exemplified by OpenAI’s impressive ChatGPT program, are paving the way for these types of bots becoming an effective, helpful and cost-saving measure for businesses of all scales. A chatbot can field commonly asked questions from consumers, direct them to simple solutions, and filter which requests may require the intervention of a live agent.
While there will always be the need for human interactions when seeking to resolve complex issues pertaining to transactions and sales, as these chatbots grow in sophistication, the number and scope of problems they will be able to solve without recourse to a live agent will only increase.
This in turn results in greater time-saving for human staff, who will be increasingly freed up to focus and dedicate their energy on the complex and nuanced customer service cases that require human intervention.
In 2023 we expect to see chatbots become increasingly commonplace, as brands and businesses get to grips with the breadth of use-cases where they are worth implementing. When one compares the ease afforded by AI-assisted customer service over legacy email exchanges, the time saved for the consumer, not the least the business, is significant.
With more people than ever shopping through eCommerce platforms, chatbots hold out the ability to grow in scale while still meeting a minimum of effective customer service and feedback.