I have been shopping by using e-commerce for several years. As technology has evolved, my shopping experience has improved. E-commerce leverages emerging technologies, such as social media, big data, artificial intelligence (AI), and blockchain, to drive innovation strategies. I enjoy the recommendations enabled by AI that make shopping easier and integrated social media features that allow me to rate products and comment. I also like receiving the immediate responses provided by the customer service chatbots. Emerging technology can revolutionize e-commerce and bring it to the next level.
In my opinion, successful e-commerce businesses need to embrace the opportunities that emerging technologies can provide for the digital marketplace. Business leaders strive to explore the trends, insights into, and implications of emerging technologies. These tech-driven tools help e-commerce businesses create a solid tech portfolio to gain competitive advantages. Acquiring an understanding of the implications of emerging technologies in the e-commerce industry is a matter of practical importance.
Social Media and E-Commerce
I often use social media to search for product information that can influence my purchase decisions. I like to use Facebook Fan Pages to learn about brands and seek other consumers’ advice and recommendations. Social media helps me make informed shopping decisions, and it is especially helpful when I want to buy something big such as a computer or smart phone. Many businesses are building a presence through social media to build brand awareness, engage customers, provide information about their products through word-of-mouth, and enhance brand loyalty. E-commerce businesses are taking advantage of social media to increase sales.
“Social commerce” suggests the use of social media for e-commerce. It refers to any commercial activity that uses social media for consumers’ online shopping or businesses’ interactions with their customers. Social commerce can be classified into two streams. The first stream adds commercial features to social media platform; a Facebook Brand Page is an example. The second stream adds social media features to traditional e-commerce ventures; Amazon integrating Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest is an example. These features are a great way for e-commerce businesses to use social commerce to explore new opportunities.
AI and E-Commerce
My shopping experience has also been improved by e-commerce businesses’ use of AI tools. AI-enabled recommendation engines save me time and effort when shopping online. E-commerce businesses are implementing AI tools to create a personalized shopping experience for their customers. AI empowers e-commerce businesses to analyze customers’ profiles, historical purchase data, and product browsing history. These features help e-commerce businesses optimize their product recommendations via pop-ups and embedded advertising. Thus, customers can have personalized shopping experiences. I believe this is an effective way for e-commerce businesses to develop innovative strategies.
Many e-commerce businesses also use chatbots to support customer service and enhance their interactions with customers. AI-powered chatbots have become an important component of e-commerce strategies. Based on my shopping experience, they are an efficient way to deal with customer requests and simple product queries and resolve common problems. Here, I want to adapt the term automatability to describe this chatbot-driven feature. Automatability offers customers the opportunity to have their questions automatically answered in just seconds. In addition, chatbots have another primary feature: personalization. This feature offers businesses the opportunity to provide customers with personalized responses by analyzing users’ preferences and habits. Finally, chatbots can be used to engage with customers in live chats. This feature enables e-commerce to provide customer service 24/7.
The application of AI-powered tools is essential to sustain e-commerce businesses. The data provided by AI can be analyzed through advanced methods to identify new marketing opportunities and can interpret customers’ feedback and clarify their preferences. The results of data analysis generate important capabilities such as sales forecasting and planning that create business agility. Taken together, all this information can optimize the e-commerce scheme. I did not find a term that can appropriately illustrate the implication of AI for e-commerce, so I’ll create my own: AI-commerce.
Live Streaming and E-Commerce
I also encountered a new shopping phenomenon—livestream shopping. It combines e-commerce, live streaming, and payments in a single platform. Livestream shopping can create a more interactive shopping experience for customers. It can offer businesses the capabilities to both advertise and demonstrate products to audiences through a live and interactive experience. The introduction of livestream shopping makes online shopping more entertaining than traditional e-commerce. Livestream shopping originated in China and is now spreading to other countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States. This emerging e-commerce phenomenon presents new marketing opportunities, and in the future, e-commerce businesses will surely use it.
Business leaders have incorporated emerging technologies into e-commerce, and they have greatly improved customers’ shopping experiences and benefited businesses. The interaction of emerging technology and e-commerce also represents a promising area for researchers. In the future, researchers may provide further insights into leveraging emerging technologies for use in e-commerce. For example, researchers may examine how emerging technology changes consumer behavior and how to deploy emerging technologies in e-commerce. They may also look at the consequences of these developments. The results of such studies would reveal some important implications for e-commerce business leaders.