Acting in parallel with people’s purchasing habits, e-commerce is more aware of the fact that change is not a trend but competitiveness and continuity with the rapid change of consumer experience and the rapid development of technology. This awareness has started to change the scale of existing phenomena, as well as enabling digital shopping to gain innovations.
COVID-19, the catalyst of change in many areas, has grown in the e-commerce industry in a way that is unprecedented and unpredictable in any other area. As lockdowns have become the new normal, businesses and consumers have become increasingly digital, providing and buying more goods and services online, increasing the share of e-commerce from 14 percent in 2019 to 17 percent in 2020.
According to Statista’s data, global e-commerce sales were $ 4.28 trillion in 2020 and it was already a profitable option for companies but it was inevitable after that. Statista predicts that e-retail revenue will reach $ 5.4 trillion by 2022, pointing out that online shopping is the most popular virtual event worldwide.
The increasing use of e-commerce due to the pandemic has brought along increasing demands and trends open to change. In fact, e-commerce has always been a changing industry but the line between the pandemic and physical and online shopping has blurred and the change has started to accelerate as the pointer turns to online trading. Acting in parallel with people’s purchasing habits, e-commerce is now more aware of the fact that change is not a trend but competitiveness and continuity with the rapid change of consumer experience and the rapid development of technology. This awareness has started to change the scale of existing phenomena, as well as enabling digital shopping to gain innovations.
Artificial Intelligence has Turned Into A War of Patent
As online competition grows, it will become more and more important to offer unique experiences to customers. This will transform into an increasingly customized service demand at every touchpoint, from mobile device research to stores or sales partners, and of course, technology will be the main driver of the demand. Artificial intelligence has already begun to be used by companies at the point of customer satisfaction and customized shopping experience. Although artificial intelligence products cannot exist at the desired level and rate yet, they will become the most important helpers of the consumer within a few years. An artificial intelligence-powered recommendation engine is now one of the investment titles of almost every e-commerce business.
Leading tech companies, including giants like Google, Amazon and Netflix, have spent nearly $ 30 billion on artificial intelligence in the past five years
These artificial intelligence products, which offer new interesting products and content for customers, are also an important gateway for the business to increase its earnings. Researches show that leading tech companies, including giants such as Google, Amazon and Netflix, have spent about $ 30 billion on artificial intelligence in the past five years. Machine learning, robotics, virtual assistants and voice speaking are among the most popular investment areas, which constitute the subtitles of artificial intelligence, which has turned into a patent and intellectual property competition among the world’s leading technology companies. In its statement delivered three years ago, Netflix said that artificial intelligence-powered customized recommendations have largely prevented subscriber cancellations, generating $ 1 billion in revenue. Forbes also revealed a study showing that AIpowered marketing campaigns increased customer engagement sevenfold and the revenue tripled.
Voice Commerce in the Horizon
A very new trend in the e-commerce world is the rise of audio technology. The release of audio devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home showed new ways how people can interact with brands through voice-activated online browsing. This audio browsing has been widely adopted by customers and as such, voice commerce is on the rise. Voice commerce is a term used to describe any business activity that takes place using an audio device. Voice browsing, which is relatively new to the business, is estimated to generate a sales volume of $ 40 billion from 2016 to 2020 in the US alone. According to Voicefront’s estimates, voice assistants will rise to 8 billion worldwide by 2023 and 51 percent of online buyers will use them.
Online Products are Becoming Concrete
Despite the numerous advantages that e-commerce offers, there are also disadvantages. One of these disadvantages is that the product cannot be experienced before purchasing, as in physical stores. According to the “Online Shopping Behavior Trends 2021” survey conducted by Brizfeel, 51 percent of customers say that the biggest disadvantage of online shopping is not being able to touch, feel and try a product before purchasing it.
This experience is about to disappear due to the increasing vulnerability caused by COVID-19, as well as the gradual disappearance of physical stores. However, the fact that technology is always one step ahead is at the point of finding a solution to this problem. Business owners have begun to create shopping experiences with augmented reality (AR) technology where customers can interact with their products before they buy them. For example, Shopify’s augmented reality product allows customers to view products in a natural environment before purchasing to ensure that the products are perfect for the purpose. This system, which embodies the online product, is an important mechanism in decision making. The researches conducted also confirms this.
According to a study by Retail Perceptions, 61 percent of online shoppers demand AR, while 40 percent are willing to pay more for a product they could experience through AR.
Social Shopping is Increasing
Today’s vendors do more than just advertising on social media platforms. By improving the sales capabilities of social media, customers using these platforms can make direct purchases. TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and YouTube are among the social media channels that activate the “purchase” buttons and significantly improve their social selling features.
Instagram, for example, launched the “shoppable post” feature that allows businesses to enable product tags on their posts and stories. Facebook’s launch of “Instagram Stories” in 2020 made a splash in the e-commerce world, as well. Blending e-commerce with one of the biggest platforms of social media, this launch directly targets Amazon. In addition, China’s popular social media platform WeChat is heavily investing in e-commerce ambitions with its social commerce mini-program that attracts global brands ranging from Sephora and Nike to Gucci and Armani.
Amidst the COVID-19 crisis, the global social commerce market is predicted to grow at a soaring rate of 31.4 percent. Social commerce will continue to grow in 2021 as shoppers stick with digital habits and as both e-commerce and traditional retailers quickly adapt to the post-COVID-19 environment.
B2B Commerce is Expanding
E-commerce is no longer managed by B2C (business to consumer). B2B e-commerce has taken over the seat with its rapid rise in recent years. Studies show that B2B increased twice as much last year compared to B2C, and B2B e-commerce created a trading volume of $ 6.6 trillion in 2020.
Compared to traditional methods, digital transactions mean reduced expenses for businesses. On the other hand, in this century, which represents digitalization, B2B e-commerce has become one of the methods of being competitive.
It is stated that businesses operating in the rapidly developing B2B area will easily adapt to quota management, price negotiation, easy order and inventory management applications, which operate more flawlessly.
New Payment Options Will be Created
It is not possible for customers to shop from the online store without an existing payment channel. On the other hand, with the continuous diversification of the virtual world, the expectations and demands of consumers for payment are also changing. Therefore, it is necessary to pay attention to the new payment methods demanded by potential buyers in order to remain competitive. Currently, digital wallets such as Google Pay, Paypal, Apple or Samsung Pay are widely implemented by e-commerce businesses. These digital services allow people to shop with electronic transactions, providing a smoother shopping experience. People are now demanding these types of digital payments. In fact, 70 percent of people in the virtual world expect digital payments to replace cash and cards by 2030.
Another payment option that has been taking by storm for a while is cryptocurrency. Until now, cryptocurrencies have been used many times for large business transactions. Finally, furniture retailer Overstock recently partnered with ShapeShift and is now accepting more than 60 cryptocurrencies as a means of payment in its online stores.
It Will Offer a Customized Standard
Customization of e-commerce has become a huge trend among businesses over the past few years, but in 2021 and the coming years, it won’t just be a trend. As customers’ expectations of personalization have increased, personalization has begun to become an e-commerce standard. Studies show that 33 percent of customers end their relationships with a business where customization is inadequate or not at all.
What’s more, personalization has evolved into a more sophisticated marketing strategy. Those days when personalization was considered as accepting a customer by name are gone. Now, the personalization of e-commerce is about dynamically showing the customer a unique and personalized shopping experience. This is done by analyzing personal information, including demographic information, browsing behavior, purchase history and other data related to shopping journeys.
Sül: We Want to Create New Business Opportunities for our Customers with E-Commerce
Globelink Ünimar Strategy and Business Development Manager Uygar Sül stated that: “It is possible that we will base 2020 as the moment of change in everything in the coming years. It will be necessary to evaluate the pros and cons of the pandemic that has caused a unique change and transformation in many areas, but when it comes to the pros, the magnitude of the transformation that e-commerce is experiencing is absolutely unique.
This sector, which shows a continuous development with the changing consumer behavior and the unstoppable speed of technology, also holds the key to the global competitive power. This competition is a reality for any business that is part of global trade.
The increasing share and change of e-commerce is undoubtedly binding for the logistics industry as well, because the delivery of products to the customer is a part of commerce, and therefore e-commerce, and is an important stage in the supply chain.
Researches conducted during the pandemic show that buyers have prioritized the delivery of products and services to them quickly and securely. This actually doubles the responsibility of logistics and forwarding companies; on the one hand, they have to ensure the satisfaction of both their own customers and their customers. For this reason, the logistics world needs to read the changes and new expectations in e-commerce accurately and digitalize in parallel with virtual commerce.
Overseas e-commerce and digitalization are among the important topics in our 2021 roadmap
As a company that attaches great importance to customer satisfaction and the continuity of global trade in a healthy way, we closely follow all kinds of changes in the e-world and try to keep up to date by integrating these new phenomena into our infrastructure. Within our long-term investment and financial projections, we analyzed the year 2020 in detail and shaped our roadmap for 2021 and beyond. Among these, overseas e-commerce and digitalization are among our important topics.
We follow the processes of all our customers meticulously with our expert team. Blockchain opportunities for shipment tracking, online offer, e-bill of lading and e-logistics that we offer to our customers are at the top of the digitalization activities we have started and planned.
With the new investments we will make in our infrastructure and units, we aim to make not only our company but also our customers more compatible with the digital world. In this way, we want to create potential markets for them and create new business opportunities.
As a company advancing with the goal of satisfaction, trust and growth together at every stage of the supply chain, we will continue our investments in e-commerce and digitalization.”