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Despite the fact more people are opening online stores than ever before, online retail actually accounts for only a fraction of overall retail worldwide. In other words, this is only the beginning and ecommerce is still only in its infancy. The best way to be prepared for what the future brings to ecommerce business owners is to know what to expect. To that end, here are a few trends that will shape ecommerce in the future.

1. Mobile. Mobile. Mobile

At the moment, online shoppers still prefer desktop when it comes to making actual purchases with conversion rates still being more than twice as good on desktop than on mobile. That being said, the future is in mobile. Both shopping visits and traffic, in general, have been on a steady uptick on mobile devices. Every year, mobile ecommerce traffic increases at the rate of about 10% and it is safe to say that conversion rates will follow suit.

If you run an ecommerce business, you have to make sure that the shopping experience for mobile users is just as comfortable as the desktop experience. Another good idea would be to reassure them they will be safe making purchases on their mobile devices since security and privacy are among the main obstacles.

2. Multi-Channel Experience

One of the primary goals for every ecommerce business owner is finding as many potential customers as possible and then turning them into spenders. Over the last couple of years, we have seen a growing emphasis on the multi-channel experience and it is a trend that will only become more impactful in the future.

For example, one of the world’s largest ecommerce platforms Shopify recently announced the option of integrating Amazon and eBay for its sellers. They even published an easy to read guide on Amazon selling for their users’ benefit. They understand the importance of allowing their users to sell everywhere and the importance of making it as easy as possible.

Multi-channel ecommerce also entails venturing into “traditional” retail where ecommerce companies open temporary pop-up stores to promote their brand and attract a whole new customer segment.

3. AI

The future of business will definitely entail emerging AI technologies in one form or another and ecommerce is no different. In fact, ecommerce is perfectly poised for the AI revolution thanks to the abundance of data all online stores accumulate and store as part of their day-to-day functioning. Thanks to the fact that expensive-to-develop AI solutions will be sold as a service, they will be affordable even for smaller players.

The possible applications for AI in ecommerce are virtually endless – from optimizing inventory and logistics management to advanced reactive pricing capabilities to enhanced marketing and conversion.

The best thing about AI’s presence in ecommerce is that everyone will be a winner – both business owners and their customers.

4. Delivery Drones

Amazon has already tested their Prime Air drone delivery service and it attracted quite a bit of attention. An ecommerce future that would involve delivery drones would enable superfast delivery times while also being undeniably cool.

It should be pointed out that there are more than a few obstacles to be overcome for air delivery to become a reality, from logistics to legal. Still, it is a proposition that would truly take ecommerce to a whole other level, putting even more pressure on brick and mortar retail companies that are already struggling to fend off ecommerce-dominated future.

In addition to delivery drones, the future of ecommerce will also include warehouse automation on a level we could only dream of a few years ago. This will lead to cheaper logistics and faster delivery times.

Closing Word

Ecommerce is the future and its future is an interesting one. If you want to survive the challenges of stepping into this future, you simply have to stay in the loop.