The emergence of the digital age has certainly impacted almost every individual in some way or the other. Now, people have access to any type of information in the world at the palm of their hand. This digital boom has hugely impacted the way marketing is being done. Many new trends in marketing have emerged over the years, and e-commerce is one of the major sectors that has been affected. It has certainly made shopping more accessible and easier, letting customers shop at the comfort of their homes or wherever else they might be, through their mobiles, tablets, laptops, desktops or any other device. Since the time it was first introduced in the market, e-commerce technology has undergone a lot of changes. With the mobile phone boom in the market, the e-commerce industry is only set to grow, with more and more users adopting this channel. Here, we have traced the growth ladder of e-commerce technologies in the past 5 years:
1. Online Marketplaces - the New Store Fronts In the past ten years, online marketplaces have benefitted all categories of people. It has become a popular medium for product vendors to sell their products, marketers to advertise their products and consumers to shop. With many popular retail stores having their own online stores and making online shopping available, online stores can now truly be labeled as the new storefronts of these retailers. The online marketplaces today is able to deliver as many profits as physical stores, or in some cases, even more. The growth of online marketplaces such as Amazon has really changed how people shop, with added layers of security and confidence. Amazon was one of the major pioneers in the e-commerce sector when they launched mobile e-commerce as early as 2001. They continue to bring technological innovation in the e-commerce market by introducing drone delivery among other innovations. Online marketplaces have a big edge over physical markets since they offer a wider variety of products to the consumers. It gives them the benefit of comparing prices, brands, and analyzing customer reviews as well. Often, these online stores provide products below their retail price and offer big discounts as well. Hence, online markets help consumers make an informed decision while purchasing a product and enables them to buy said products at cheaper rates as well. There has been many technological advancements in the e-commerce sector, with Google releasing Google Checkout in 2006 to ease the process of payments for online shoppers. Another major player, Magneto, is an e-commerce Content Management System (CMS) that was first developed in 2007 and was later acquired by eBay in 2011. According to top million Alexa rankings, Magneto is here to stay as the most popular e-commerce platform with 26.1% market representation.
2. The Growth of e-Commerce, or Mobile - friendly Purchasing Perhaps the most powerful innovation that has happened in the sphere of e-commerce has been the growth of mobile commerce, or m-Commerce. This innovation has made it possible for consumers to browse, compare, and shop from appealing and responsive mobile sites, or through apps. The introduction of m-Commerce has led users having a smartphone, tablet or laptop to experience an easier buyer's journey, by making the process more convenient and enjoyable, and also giving them the power to shop from any time and anywhere. As Google and Apple developed their app marketplaces, i.e., Android and iOS, app-based mobile commerce players have the opportunity to constantly experiment with methods to make their app much more interactive and engaging for the user in these platforms. Push notifications provide mobile shopping apps with an advantage that can aid them when it comes to re-engaging their customers and ultimately increase their sales.
3. The Growth of Digital Marketing and Social Shopping The growth of m-Commerce has not only impacted the way consumers do shopping but has also enhanced their overall buying journey. It has a vast impact on how companies and the consumers stay connected with each other, and how companies market their product. Today, almost every person has an access to a smartphone, making it easier for marketers and advertisers to reach consumers where they are. Online marketing campaigns have now replaced traditional ad campaigns. There are numerous channels for online marketing campaigns, such as e-mail, social media, online games, apps, websites, blogs, etc. With the evolution of e-commerce, the potential of online marketing has become practically limitless to help them reach and persuade customers during every stage of their buyer journey. The latest innovation in this sphere has been the emergence of social buying as a concept. It refers to selling a product on different social media platforms and has opened many avenues for the businesses by providing them with multiple benefits. They can reach a wider audience, engage in an interaction with them, know about their interests and hobbies by following their social timeline, and can target a more specific audience by following these steps. For example, Twitter has now introduced “buy now” buttons, which is described by brands as a way for customers to discover and purchase their products in real time. Instagram has also recently enabled actionable advertisements, and their social selling initiatives are only expected to grow under Facebook’s direction.
Conclusion With the rapid growth that the e-commerce industry has witnessed worldwide, it is safe to say that online marketing will dominate the future. With new technology trends being developed regularly, it is slowly finding its way in the online marketing sphere as well. Newtech trends, such as augmented reality and virtual reality, are already being used by many companies in different industries, like the real estate industry. And this is just the start – its popularity is only going to increase in the future.