A recent report on the future of e-commerce, produced by Ovum (TMT Intelligence), laid out the factors that will shape the future of e-commerce over the next ten years. Every industry is facing massive changes due to the forward march of technology, and e-commerce is no exception. One thing that is singular about e-commerce, however, is that, unlike most industries, e-commerce (i.e. online and mobile shopping and payment platforms) is a part of most people’s daily lives—and the industry has the capability of being extremely responsive to individuals’ and needs and preferences.
This makes studying e-commerce all the more interesting because its future relies on the public and not the other way around. To further explain this, a few key trends from the report are elaborated below. Brace yourselves, as you are about to be transported into 2026, in which you will have more consumer power than you may have ever imagined.
4 Key Trends
- Superior Products and Services with Instant Gratification: Of course millennials and the newly christened “Generation Z” were the first to be singled out in this report. But while these youngsters are most often chided for their tendency towards hyper-connectivity and cravings of instant gratification, the report explains how e-commerce will be positively impacted by them. The demands of this maturing demographic are expected to spur retailers to provide proactive and 24/7 support for products and services, extremely cheap delivery methods, and products that 100% live up to their claims. Ask (and pay, of course) and you shall receive.
- Experiences Worth Sharing: Another trend driven by the 30-and-unders is consumers’ increasing desires for shopping experiences that are so photogenic and delightful as to be worthy of prompting jealously in one’s social media circles. I.e., retailers will be required to continue innovating new ways to improve the shopping experience by incorporating social media connected displays, events, etc. into their retail strategies. However, let it be known that all gimmicks will be seen through by the increasingly aware public, while sincerity will be rewarded.
- AR’s Role in Enhancing Experiences: An additional way that retailers will be expected to enhance their in-store and on-line environments is through augmented reality (AR). As defined by Ovum, AR is “a normal view of reality that has been enhanced by digitally generated information or graphics superimposed on that view.” Whew, that’s a dry definition, but the capabilities of AR are truly exciting. Imagine being able to feel as if you are trying on the clothes you are looking at online while in your own room, or view what a piece of furniture you’re looking at in a store would look like in your home, without even leaving the store.
- The Diminished Presence of the Store Front: As shopping online becomes more practical, and the experience it provides becomes increasingly “real,” traditional retailers will decrease the amount of retail space they own accordingly. At the same time, online retailers and manufactures will seek to increase brand recognition and give their customers’ that photo-ready shopping experience by establishing brick-and-mortar store fronts. This will also result in the permanence of the “pop-up store” model for those online retailers wishing to display their products for only a short period of time. Maintaining the perfect balance between online and physical stores will be one of the biggest challenges retailers face in the future. Conversely, it will mean increased entertainment for consumers as their shopping options routinely change and become more diversified.
Adaptability is the most important value a company can possess in order for it to maintain sustainable growth. Here at CSOFT International, we are well versed in ensuring that our customers can stay ahead of technology trends and continue to be responsive to their consumers’ changing needs.
You can read the rest of Ovum’s report by clicking on the link here.