While the retail industry took a huge hit after the pandemic, large players pivoted to more robust digital models along with the e-commerce sector that saw substantial investments towards boosting their digital technologies to meet the surge in demand. Spends on cloud computing and Artificial intelligence in Retail made up a large portion of these investments that added new and improved capabilities to both online-only and omni-channel consumer businesses.
Technology is always pushing the boundaries of what e-commerce can accomplish, from digital transformation and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) to virtual reality and artificial intelligence. AI implementation has the ability to affect a wide range of business processes within your firm. At the same time, almost every industry, sector, and business has witnessed the power of cloud computing. Cloud computing offers various benefits for e-commerce businesses as well, including harmonizing supply chain and payment systems for various geographies to help businesses reach and serve a large number of customers.
Furthermore, the growing use of AI and cloud in retailing is assisting the sector in aligning its offers with customers’ expectations for more customized products and services in the digital era. Indeed, according to a recent Business Insider study, up to 85% of consumer contacts may be handled without the intervention of a human by 2021.
Many e-commerce companies are already using artificial intelligence to better understand their consumers, create new leads, and deliver a better customer experience.
E-commerce business landscape in North America
Consumers’ online purchase behavior is continuously changing, causing changes in everything from product design to packaging, selection, fulfillment, and shipping. Product protection is regarded as one of the most critical problems. During the projected period, the North American e-commerce packaging market is estimated to grow by 12.5% (2021 – 2026).
Despite having just 5% of the world’s population, the continent of North America has numerous economically developed regions with high living standards, considerable food, and energy consumption, and extensive trade and commerce. With COVID-19, the region’s demand for e-commerce has increased significantly, owing to increased demand for medication, food, and other vital commodities. People are increasingly leaving the house only for essential purchases, such as groceries or medication, and many are turning to e-commerce for their retail needs, thus the market demand for e-commerce logistics solutions has seen a steady rise.
Today, the average North American internet buyer spends approximately $3,800 each year online. Retailers throughout the continent are beefing up their delivery capabilities to fulfill orders through digitally oriented distribution hubs and last-mile in-car, in-garage, and in-house deliveries. By 2022, the regional market is anticipated to exceed $1 trillion, with fashion becoming a key purchasing sector. Many major trends have arisen in the last year as game-changers for the North American e-commerce market.
Top technology trends for e-commerce business growth
The e-commerce industry is always changing, and the past year and a half have been no exception. Merchants are developing and/or upgrading their e-commerce platforms to reach customers where they are now more than ever. While it may appear like everything in e-commerce is changing, we have narrowed it down to the top trends that will influence businesses in the coming months and years. So, let’s have a look at some of the top e-commerce trends that can help you build your e-commerce business faster.
Making online purchasing more engaging through augmented reality
Augmented reality (AR) has completely transformed e-commerce. With this sort of technology, customers can really see the thing they’re looking at, which aids them in making a purchasing decision. AR has a significant impact on the buying experience in some areas such as fashion and home decor because the buyer can get a better sense of the item without having to see it in person.
Improvement of purchase and post-sales experience using chatbots
Experts estimate that in the future, 80% of firms will use chatbots. Chatbots engage with online shoppers in the same way that a sales representative would. Today’s customer expects to be able to discover and buy a product with just a few clicks, and they may very well move on to another e-commerce platform if they can’t. This is where a chatbot can help rescue the deal.
AI assists retailers in learning about their customers
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning enable customers to enjoy automated, tailored purchasing experiences. AI is always gathering data on how customers shop when they make purchases, and what they’re searching for in a product or service. It’s a piece of technology that just cannot be reproduced in-store.
Using cloud computing and Artificial intelligence in Retail and Growing your e-commerce business
The world is evolving at a rapid pace. Businesses must be prepared to embrace IT transformation in their operations, tap into business data in new ways, and rethink IT system management in order to remain competitive. The future of IT will provide tremendous opportunities for well-prepared organizations. Artificial intelligence is changing the internet retail sector by anticipating purchasing behavior based on the items purchased and the time they are purchased.
Automation is the future of technology, and with it, plenty of new automation solutions for e-commerce firms have been introduced. It is the most powerful tool in your arsenal as an online store owner.
Since the advent of cloud computing, many e-commerce companies have begun to expand their operations with cloud computing. Some well-known e-commerce companies, such as Amazon, Google, and Alibaba, have incorporated cloud computing into their long-term strategy at a pivotal stage to achieve the level of growth they see now. With the fast growth of information technology, e-commerce services are driving higher efficiency, lower costs, and greater flexibility for businesses, and providing consumers the power of choice and speed like never before. The rise of cloud computing is giving birth to a new service ecosystem that will combine all e-commerce resources and enable new service modalities.
Business benefits of adopting cloud computing for e-commerce operations
Organizations all around the globe are turning to cloud services to help them save money on data storage, expedite development workflows, and improve decision-making skills. This cloud adoption trend reflects, in part, how big data has altered the current corporate landscape, as well as the increased demand for flexible management tools.
The public cloud marketplace is currently oversaturated with competitors. Despite the fact that the cloud computing services sector has gotten increasingly saturated, three suppliers have emerged as market leaders: Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. Because of their huge resources and access to skilled talent, these major corporations have been able to create user-friendly cloud-based platforms, on-demand services, and support systems that appeal to enterprises of all kinds.
With a solid understanding of cloud services, it may be helpful to dive into how they assist modern companies. With that in perspective, below are the top cloud business benefits.
Scalability on demand: Scalability is a critical consideration for any infrastructure-related investment since business demands vary over time, whether for expansion or reduction. Public cloud infrastructure built on platforms like Microsoft Azure enables companies to scale up their storage space and processing power on demand, providing maximum capacity during peak traffic periods and long-term growth initiatives.
High level of accessibility: Again, Microsoft Azure, unlike many of its rivals, provides high availability and redundancy across all of its data centers. Azure is well-suited to organizations with a global reach since it runs in 55 regions across the world and is offered in 140 countries.
Cost-effective Platform: Microsoft’s pay-as-you-go approach lets you pay only for the resources you use to develop or grow them utilizing Azure services. As infrastructure is managed by Microsoft on Azure, this reduces IT management expenditures to a bare minimum. It simply links data centers to the cloud and covers 42 regions, unlike any other cloud provider.
From the above overview of the e-commerce market and technology trends, we can conclude that artificial intelligence will play a key role in developing new solutions and consumer experiences for e-commerce businesses. Traditional e-commerce businesses might benefit from embracing cloud computing rather than resisting it as a development strategy in the cloud era. Technology and people are always developing, and because e-commerce connects them all, we will always be looking ahead.