What is the future of e-commerce?

What does the future of e-commerce look like? Keep reading to find out.

Although e-commerce has been around for quite some time, e-commerce on the scale we know it today is still a relatively new phenomenon.

Even just 20 years ago, the idea of being able to order a product or service using a mobile device and have the goods delivered to your door in as little as 24 hours would have been a far cry.

However, over the last few decades, e-commerce has rapidly evolved. In 2023, the UK e-commerce market is projected to reach $166bn and is expected to increase by 8.43 per year to reach a market value of $230bn by 2027.

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The rise of e-commerce has been influenced by a number of factors, including new technological innovations, digital transformations, evolving consumer preferences, and economic activity, and as e-commerce continues to accelerate, business owners and consumers are left asking that all-important question, what is the future of e-commerce?

We know that e-commerce is convenient, quick, and efficient, but as m-commerce, social media, and consumer shopping trends continue to evolve, it’s essential for e-commerce to develop and advance to keep up with demand.

This blog will mention three trends that are driving the future of e-commerce.

The rise of the digital age

Digital transformations and technological advancements are revolutionising how modern consumers prefer to shop. Over 80 per cent of the world’s population own a smartphone which means more consumers are gaining access to the internet and the world of e-commerce. In other words, consumers are becoming increasingly digitally literate and accustomed to the digital world.

New technologies and industry developments present e-commerce businesses with a host of new and impactful ways to connect with customers, improve customer experience, and drive product engagement.

Digital transformations are forcing businesses to embrace the digital world and adapt their practices to reflect the change. It is expected that businesses that are prepared to do, will thrive, and gain a competitive edge.

Improved broadband speeds, accessibility, and ‘cookies’ that enable a streamlined and personalised shopping experience also impact the popularity of e-commerce and its future.

Faster shipping, delivery, and payment options

Logistics and supply chain management have long been the main obstacle for e-commerce business owners to overcome and though these problems still exist, in 2023 there are several solutions available to improve shipping and delivery times and the overall customer experience.

Leading logistics providers allow e-commerce businesses to offer faster shipping and delivery options. Quick shipping and delivery times act as a customer incentive and are an effective way of converting leads into sales. Additionally offering free delivery is also a powerful way of influencing a sale.

Likewise, providing customers with a range of modern payment options, such as Apple and Google Pay, improves the quality of the online shopping experience and allows it to become simple and streamlined.

The future of e-commerce will be driven by these modern features by increasing convenience for merchants and consumers. Convenience should be a huge consideration for e-commerce businesses as it influences what consumers buy, how they buy it, and where they buy it from. In some cases, consumers may also be more likely to pay a premium for a rich, convenient shopping experience.

These modern features allow online shopping to be a quick and convenient process that can fit into everyday life.

AI and chatbots

Just like AI and chatbots are expected to transform and enhance all other working industries, the future of e-commerce is also likely to be impacted by developed artificial intelligence.

Chatbots have been around for some time and have evolved to assist consumers with their shopping queries and questions. This is helpful a tool for businesses and business owners with limited resources who are unable to monitor emails, live chats, and social media 24/7.

As technological advancements and software continue to develop, it is expected that AI and chatbots will play a more significant role in e-commerce.

Some ways AI and machine learning are expected to transform the e-commerce landscape include providing 24/7 instant customer service, facilitating smarter searches, gathering customer data and preferences, and automating the shopping experience.

Although the future of e-commerce is uncertain, one thing is for sure. Consumers and online store owners alike can expect e-commerce to continue to grow in popularity and convenience.

This also means that e-commerce business owners should prepare for growth and get ready to scale business operations. However, it is important not to overlook important business bookkeeping, tax, and accounts in the midst of excitement.

Ensuring bookkeeping and accounts are kept in check will allow e-commerce business owners to have an accurate view of their cash flow and financial health to make informed business decisions regarding growth and scalability.

At Unicorn Accounting, our expert e-commerce accountants offer a range of accounting, bookkeeping, and tax services to support e-commerce businesses and their owners.

For more information, get in touch with us today to see how we can help.

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