In today’s eCommerce environment, and especially with the risks related to COVID in public places, an ever-increasing number of customers continue to bypass retail shopping in favor of the convenience of buying products online.
How popular is eCommerce today?
When looking at Thanksgiving weekend, 95% of consumers said they would be shopping online over the holiday weekend. They weren’t kidding. According to data, in the U.S., consumers spent a whopping $10.8 billion on Cyber Monday, setting a record for the largest U.S. internet shopping day ever.
A director at Adobe Digital Insights, Taylor Schreiner said: “Throughout the remainder of the holiday season, we expect to see record sales continue and curbside pickup to gain even more momentum as shoppers avoid crowds and potential shipping delays.”
Retailers, both in-person and online-only, stay in business by adding new products to grow sales. In the eCommerce environment, however, doing so often makes it more difficult for customers to find things online, especially if there are many categories from which to choose.
GroupBy Inc., a company whose cloud technology powers some of the most relevant and highly converting eCommerce websites, is addressing this problem by offering a well-rounded, feature-dense application that engages customers on a personal level. The company’s site search solution is now helping a range of retailers in the United States and Canada with its software that can decipher the shopper’s intent.
As online shopping continues to flourish, GroupBy is but one of many companies developing new, innovative technology to make the online shopping experience easier, more satisfying and more profitable for sellers. And data continues to play an important role.
According to Julius Cerniauskas, CEO at Oxylabs, “To understand today’s eCommerce landscape and consumer you need access to reliable data – and a lot of it! For eCommerce platforms trying to operate in a COVID world, a cost-effective, quick, and accurate solution is essential – enabling platform providers to constantly monitor competitors for pricing/product catalogs, best sellers, and even shipping information, to name a few.”
And eCommerce technology itself continues to be developed, improved and enhanced with each passing day. Among a number of new, innovative eCommerce features powered by technology are chatbots, artificial intelligence-enabled computer programs that function through machine learning technology and are capable of emulating human writing and speech for interaction with human shoppers. You’ve seen them—they appear on eCommerce websites, often asking if they can help you. According to David Smith at bittflex.com, “Companies are increasingly deploying chatbots in multiple areas ranging from customer engagement to inventory management.”
He goes on to write that, “Since conversational bots are powered by artificial intelligence, they can collect and analyze historical chat data as well as voice transcripts to address customer queries and concerns. They can also resolve issues related to invoice processing or technical support without the least human intervention. What’s more, the chatbots are programmed to comprehend even the complex human language, including mispronunciations, abbreviations, and slangs.”
Many tech innovators believe that eCommerce technology will continue to evolve, becoming increasingly sophisticated in the months and years ahead. With no signs yet of the threat of COVID subsiding, it’s likely that consumers will continue to embrace the convenience—and often lower prices—associated with online shopping.