In the digital era, commerce has changed immensely.
The online market share in the UK was 26.5% in 2022 (from 10.6% in 2012). The rise in E-commerce has opened up a world of possibilities to businesses and consumers alike. Much of this can be attributed to trends such as artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), social media, social responsibility, and convenience.
Let’s explore some of the top innovations and trends that are defining the future of e-commerce.
AI for Personalisation
AI uses data to make data-driven decisions. Thanks to AI, companies can make personalised product recommendations based on customers’ previous interactions and purchases. They can also tailor discounts and offers. AI-powered chatbots can engage with users to help them make purchasing decisions.
A great example of voice commerce is products like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri. A 2023 survey conducted in the UK found that 46% of respondents aged between 35 and 44 owned a smart speaker.
Respondents aged between 45 and 54 recorded the highest share of speaker owners, 50%, followed closely by those between 25 and 34. With a combination of technology and convenience, it’s easier than ever to order something you may require with only a voice command. “Alexa, order more Nespresso pods from Amazon!”
Inclusive Commerce and Assistive Technology
AR has enabled customers to experience shopping in a new way.
Have you ever tried on sunglasses or makeup using AR? Not sure if that ottoman will suit your living room? With AR, you can now visualise how that will look in your space. ‘
AR is also used to give you a 360-degree view of the products.
Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility
Social commerce is the process of selling products directly via social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok.
With the popularity of social media and the power of influencer marketing, e-commerce is well-positioned for growth. Insider Intelligence expects the UK’s social buyers to make up less than 25% of the nation’s consumer market in 2023, even if over 80% now shop online.
However, trends show that social commerce is becoming popular among younger consumers. FIS Global reported that 70% of millennials and 78% of Gen Zers in the UK buy directly on social channels.
Emerging payment technologies in e-commerce, including cryptocurrency acceptance, mobile wallets, and other innovative payment methods are transforming online transactions.
Payment innovations trend towards consumer security. Digital and cryptocurrency acceptance offers a decentralised and secure alternative means of payment for online transactions.
More popularly, mobile wallets such as Apple Pay or Google Pay, allow users to store payment information securely and conveniently.
Other payment innovations include technology like “Buy Now, Pay Later” platforms such as Klarna and Afterpay, allowing customers to make purchases and pay for them in instalments.