Nowadays, we are immersed in an astonishing wave of new devices focused on changing users’ experiences. Those devices concentrate specifically on making breakthroughs in how we interact with technology. For those of us who are on the road of innovation, this is an exciting time regarding to challenges we have to face. In the field of eCommerce, we have to start rethinking the way that we show information and interact with customers.
eCommerce is a key component when creating a seamless digital journey. It is one of the pillars necessary to developing an omnichannel strategy in order to reach audiences and facilitate their interactions with brands. In order to develop this integrated approach, it is essential to closely examine the future of ecommerce and how it will leverage the possibilities that lie ahead of us. With this in mind, I want to explore several technologies that may change the nature of eCommerce as we know it.
New Interfaces with the Users
We have to think about how we will show our content. In other words, how will we show our product or services catalog? We have to rethink the style of the website, and we have to start moving ahead by thinking about how we can use the advantages of these two major components:
- Oculus VR
It’s pretty exciting to think about how we can create an eCommerce platform where someone can interact in a virtual world. For instance, a person could walk through a traditional store modeled in 3D in an very interactive environment. Products could be 3D scanned and put on a virtual shelf. It may even provide a new way of improving marketing and creating special ads for this interactive environment. We also have to take some notes about another essential element within this field: Valve. They have another twist in this field and with this device they can even track movements of our customers/players. Oculus is introducing the same behavior with two special handheld devices. We can expect real interactions with object in a 3D world by grabbing them or throwing/carrying it in our hands.
What about the customer profile? We must address this challenge in at least two ways. First, we must identify what information is important for VR environments by expanding the information of customers’ profiles, and also adding avatars or integrating with avatars provided by a third party company focused on “avatars for your customers.” Second, we should focus on the information that we think that is important for an eCommerce company, gathering this information in a virtual world by pushing for new ways to offer products.
Let’s say a customer uses their avatar with a t-shirt. If we can detect that we can offer a product of this brand, and other products that people for his / her age prefer to buy.
What happened with the checkout process?
We need to rethink user interactions with the checkout process. No one likes having to enter lots of credit/debit card information, so why not alter it? The challenge is to create a different user interface that is not plain or linear, but instead has new rules and new behavior that are as “organic” as real life.
- Holo Lens:
With no prototype on the market (yet) as we had with Oculus, everyone in the industry is looking for a gadget that can bring a more authentic real world experience to customers. e need to rethink not just in how to manage and create new eCommerce experiences in virtual worlds, but with Holo lens we must examine how to augmented reality in different way within VR. In six months, let’s say one year tops, we would have the chance to buy a holo lens device, go to any physical place (outdoor / indoor) prepared to this kind of experience and interact with the environment in new ways. As an example we would be on a Store with the intention of buy some products and we can interact with this products as we have in our hands, on example of that what lego has in his stores take a look here you don’t need any device on your side, but the interaction is limited…any way is a good example and a very good start to think how the eCommerce and retail have to adapt his strategies to this new devices.
New Ways of Tracking Information
What about all of these new gadgets around: watches, sports bands, non-sport bands, t-shirts (i.e. Ralph Lauren). Now we have a chance to gather a LOT more useful information than we did in the past.
Let’s say that you are a customer jogging around the park and yoursport band detects that you are dehydrated. Now imagine if the sport band could start to search some place near to your location for you to buy your favourite drink in order to rehydrate. Even more, the band could buy it and tag it as “buy and collect,” then message you.
New Ways to Suggest Products to Customers
Do you realize the amount of movies that reference IA? In my personal opinion, it’s not without purpose. I think it’s actually a good sign about coming changes within this field. For example, Google and acquired Boston Dynamics, and IBM obtained with its IA Box & Services called Watson. I want to focus on this, not because it is the only one IA solution in the market, but it is one of the most finished and polish in some ways. Until now, in the eCommerce world we had upselling and X-selling, but with some rules to mimic smart suggestions to the user. Using Watson, we can add an extra tip by really understanding what happens with user selection, carts, products, and conversion rates. Using this information we can suggest better products and services to the user. Even more, we can create bundled of products or services and set a price based on the information collected and predicted by Watson in real time. If you are taking your eCommerce features seriously, you have to think of implementing some sort of Machine Learning algorithmics. Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure get some solutions that are similar to Watson in some regards.
What about now…
If your business is based on eCommerce you have to start thinking about how to implement one (or all) of these new technologies. Not because it’s trendy, but because the users will interact with these devices and they will demand the same experience as they have with other applications. Every retail store and every ecommerce platform should evolve and develop an omnichannel strategy in order to reach audiences and facilitate their interactions with brands. At the end of the day, the user will look forward to having a seamless experience in all their devices and we need to face this challenge head on.