It only takes a quick look at the calendar to realize that we’re only 20 years into the 21st century. It is not long, and what is more striking is the fact that in such a short time, the changes in technology have been astonishing. And it did not take long until Commerce saw the benefits and joined this tech revolution. Throw in a global pandemic that forced people to give up their traditional way of shopping, and you will catch a glimpse of how the future of commerce will look like.
Commerce is one of the fields that adopted massively the changes in technology in the last years. The multitude of new e-shops, equipped with platforms for home delivery, contactless payments, and other tools to create that great shopping experience, is proof of that.
It is true, some economies were a bit behind in terms of digital technology, but due to the pandemic, companies soon realized that in order to function normally and stay competitive or even grow, they will have to adapt.
Big grocery retailers were the only few that saw an increase in offline sales in 2020, mainly due to the rise in demand for food or other basic products, but it certainly did not make them stop there. Feeling peoples’ need to distance themselves, they’ve also upped their pace to digitalize operations, investing in platforms for local home delivery, contactless payment systems, and self-checkout kiosks.
But what’s more important is that many people ordered online for the first time, and once they did that, they understood how easy it was and they certainly went back for more. A ballpark estimate was that the number of orders placed online was 10 times bigger than the period before. Paired with official statistics showing an increase of more than 20% in online shopping in the last 2 years, this was enough for retailers to understand that technology is vital in an e-commerce future.
There is a universal consensus in the fact that once companies manage to promote online sales, and the distribution network ends up covering more and more ground, we will witness a migration from brick and mortar stores where proximity and prices are the main draws, towards virtual stores where the omnichannel experience and efficient shopping play the most important parts.
The flexibility to buy from any part of the world will lead to high competition, and many other components like delivery time, benefits, and the overall shopping experience will be essential in the purchasing decision. Merchants will be increasingly interested in attracting and keeping their customers loyal, offering price discounts, or other benefits for online shopping. They will invest massively in ways to manage stocks more efficiently or to attract customers with the help of artificial intelligence.
The future of commerce will bring a migration from the traditional ways towards a mixed on and off-line model, therefore, no matter what type of commerce they conduct, technology and digital transformation will become indispensable for businesses if they want to survive or even grow.
At OAK3, we have great expertise in developing eCommerce platforms for B2C and B2B online stores. OAK3 is a Solution Partner for Magento, so if you want to know more about which platform you should choose for your e-shop, please contact us or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re here to help!