The global e-commerce market, comprising everything from goods and services to entertainment, is undergoing some impactful changes at the moment as it seeks to integrate and respond to developments in both technology, and consumer preferences.
Below we’re taking a look at what we feel to be the top three trends that those with an interest in the e-commerce world ought to know about in 2023.
Chatbots have become a familiar part of online retail today as they enable customers to receive answers to common questions in real-time, and free up the customer service segment of retailers to deal with only the most pressing or nuanced requests.
But today’s bots, while they are markedly more efficient and intelligent than those from only a few years ago, pale in comparison to what’s coming next. It seems like everywhere you look today you hear about AI, from deepfakes to large language models such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT – and there’s good reason for this.
The latest suite of AI models have reached a level of sophistication that has proven to be truly disruptive, and its impact will be felt across most industries, including e-commerce.
If we narrow our focus as to how AI will impact this sector to just the chatbots alone, it’s still remarkable. A chatbot running on something akin to ChatGPT 4 will be able to assist a shopper in every aspect of their experience, from answering customer service queries, to helping them make decisions. It would be more accurate to think of the next generation of chatbots as the equivalent of digital personal shoppers.
One could imagine that such a tool could draw on your profile, preferences, and even measurements, to suggest new outfits or colour combinations. These models will also be able to speak with one another, meaning real-time pricing to reflect stocks, and bespoke discounts will all become viable in the short-term.
While the notion of curation may be slightly less bombastic than the pending AI revolution, it’s no less vital as an indicator of shifting consumer tendencies. It’s reasonable to wonder in our modern age whether we have finally hit “peak algorithm” – the theoretical point beyond which we come to feel oversaturated by predictive filtering engines.
It’s easy to see why this could be the case, with everything from our news-sources to our music playlists seemingly augmented and trained on our interests and preferences through sophisticated algorithms.
And none of this is to suggest that algorithms are a problem – it would be impossible to imagine today’s world, with its mass of data, being navigable without them. But there are situations where consciously eschewing algorithmic assistance can actually become attractive to consumers.
For example, reputable gaming provider Vegasslotsonline UK has sought to distinguish itself in a competitive field by bringing intention to its selection of services and offerings, knowing that those on a mind to place down real-money for their gaming, want to be sure they’re getting a deal good. To cater to this, this platform offers a hand-picked selection of over 10,000 slots.
This is no algorithmic toplist, but rather a vast library of titles chosen by industry experts. This consideration is extended to its focus on reviewing and furnishing users with competitive welcome bonuses and other sign-up offers for affiliate casinos. By doubling down on offering a trusted voice in a congested space, this platform is consciously bucking the trend for automation.
In today’s online marketplace it’s essential to offer your customers as many ways to pay as you can. Whereas in the past it was rare to offer more payment options than the familiar Visa, Mastercard, or PayPal, now e-wallets are all the rage and people are increasingly accustomed to paying with digital cards, or even utilizing buy-now-pay-later services such as Klarna.
This is only the beginning of what’s coming though. For example, the popularity of mobile payments is also resulting in leading retailers increasingly offering services like CashApp to their patrons. And in the coming years, decentralized finance will become a pivotal component in the way we shop and spend online.
This will mean that brands will have to develop the means of handling and exchanging crypto-assets or even unique payment tokens, in addition to more traditional options.