Because of the ever-changing market and increased competition, brands are innovating in order to capture the interest of consumers. After decades of increasing online shopping habits, problems in the current process have been identified. Now, things are changing and it would be interesting to see how the e-commerce landscape will look five, 10, or 50 years from now.
Although no one can predict what will happen in the future, current trends are pointing toward major and technologically advanced changes in how people shop online in the coming years.
Here are the trends that will determine the future of e-commerce:
Last-Mile Delivery By Flight
The last-mile delivery is, by far, one of the biggest problems in e-commerce. The consumers do not always see nor experience the issue, but to retailers, it is a glaring and costly challenge.
The last-mile delivery, as the term suggests, is the final leg of the logistics process. It is the part where the parcel travels to its final destination — the customer’s front door.
This usually involves several stops as the courier assigned hands each package to their respective recipients one by one.
Here is the problem. In rural areas, delivery vans have to cover a larger area within the day because houses are very far apart. Most of the time, they only leave one or two boxes in each front door which means that they are crossing kilometers for a few purchases. In cities, on the other hand, delivery vans can drop off more packages to more houses in each neighborhood they head to. However, they are burdened by traffic which makes the process take longer. Any savings from delivering parcels within the same area are offset by the cost that comes with slow-moving traffic.
To solve the problem, companies are working with American drone manufacturers and suppliers to bring deliveries up in the air. It makes deliveries more accessible to far-flung and hard-to-reach places. It could deliver not just medicine and material goods, but also internet and cellular services in the most remote areas in the world. Google has already begun testing drones as a means to provide Wi-Fi.
Drones are also fast, can cover more ground, and, as the pandemic revealed in the past year, safer. As a bonus, so far, there is no traffic that will slow down the delivery process.
The use of drones in last mile delivery could be a win for retailers and consumers.
Automated Online Shopping Experience
More businesses are choosing to use machines to do simple and complex tasks, freeing up time and resources for their human workers to do more important things. For example, customer service is increasingly becoming automated across the industry for brands to be able to connect to more people and resolve concerns quicker.
Companies are already using machines to aid with everyday tasks. Amazon now has robots in their warehouses to aid human employees and hasten the movement of goods out of their facilities and into the hands of buyers.
Video Content is King
Consumers are reading less and watching more. Videos have become the most popular way the public access content. One survey found that 60 percent of people would much rather watch a video of the product than read its description. Moreover, 64 percent of consumers will make a purchase after watching a video of the product.
The preference for video might be the impact of the popularity of unboxing, hauling, and reviewing products on YouTube. The shift toward video content on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter in recent years might also be a contributing factor.
Regardless of the cause, it is an effective marketing strategy that more and more brands are utilizing to boost their sales. More brands will push video content to consumers in the coming years and consumers will continue to base their purchasing decision on video content in the coming years.
Kinder to the Planet
Another issue that has come up with the popularity of online shopping is its environmental impact. All products that arrive by doorsteps are often wrapped in layers and layers of packaging materials, including cardboard boxes, single-use plastic, bubble wrap, packing peanuts, and so much more.
Modern consumers are more aware of their environmental footprint and are making a conscious effort to reduce their negative impact on the planet. More consumers are choosing to support brands that espouse the same values that they care about.
For a lot of shoppers, plastic is out. Instead, paper and glass are in. Anything that can be easily recycled or are compostable is the preferred type of packaging. Consumers are also looking for sustainable and ethical products.
It is unlikely that the world will abandon e-commerce. Every year, as more people go online, the number of internet shoppers has also increased. This will only drive more changes in the digital retail landscape in the future.