New technology is stretching the e-commerce landscape in a million directions. Who knows what the final form will be? But one fact remains unalterable – the technological reshaping is boosting impact and enriching the user experience – not to mention retailer wallets.
With so many technologies in the offing, are there any standouts to embrace? Tools that pack a mega-punch? While most perform admirably, three belong in the ‘hot-stuff’ category – at least for the upcoming year, and probably beyond. Introducing the superstars:
The first is Artificial Intelligence (AI). Expect more and more devices and yes, even products to link up via AI technologies. Recent estimates put that number at over 20 billion. That’s a whole lotta appliances, televisions, and smartphones chatting with each other. Think of the conversations, none of which, of course, will be comprehensible to the average human. Fear not — we’ll see the results in the form of greater efficiency and responsiveness. But be warned — the devices eventually will form opinions about their users. Expect to be a gossip topic if you do anything embarrassing.
The second techno-star is the very close cousin of AI — Virtual Reality (VR). Often regarded as superior to real reality, particularly if you lead a boring life, VR is transforming e-commerce by the nanosecond. Among the platforms leading the charge is, surprise – Amazon. The big A has, for instance, placed users in a virtual hot air balloon and taken them for a spin around the stratosphere. Will theme parks be next? Imagine the lines you’ll skip.
Third among the must-have technological advances is Product Information Management (PIM). Already used by many a satisfied brand marketer, your basic PIM system tracks, monitors, organizes, and updates inventories, delivering precise product information to demanding, time-squeezed shoppers.
Case in point: A user is hunting for a green shirt made of Antarctic cotton – and no others. A properly deployed PIM system retrieves and displays all qualifying garments in record time. No such luck with one of the many, outmoded error-prone alternatives. With these, irrelevant items often filter into the batch. “Why are these blue shirts on my screen? I said GREEN. Goodbye!” A reliable PIM app virtually eliminates such blunders. If you have any questions or comments about e-commerce technology or any other brand-related topic, feel free to send them our way