5 Trends and Changes in Technology that Your eCommerce Business Should Know About
What technology trends are going to shape the future of ecommerce? In particular, which trends should you be paying attention to as an ecommerce owner? Here are five of the many trends you can expect to play a major role in eCommerce over the next five to ten years.
1. Drones aren't just for the military anymore.
We've been conditioned to equate "drone" with "drone attack." We imagine an unmanned, armed aircraft flying somewhere over the Pakistani border, controlled by a mild-mannered military dad who drives to work each day in New Mexico. He presses a button and -- BOOM! -- an Al-Qaeda operative is no more.
Get this image of a drone out of your head. The future of drones is a future of retail and ecommerce. All kinds of industries, from security and disaster relief to online retailers, are thinking up creative ways to use drones. The online retailers who get in at the beginning of this trend will be the ones consumers come to equate with speedy delivery and forward-thinking technology.
2. Forget about getting up to get your credit card; use your thumb to pay, instead.
Steve Jobs would be proud. Apple's iPhone 5 includes fingerprint scanning technology, a technology which may come to replace credit cards on the Internet. Instead of typing in your credit card number, thus opening you up to hackers looking to steal your identity, you'll just use your thumbprint. Your unique print will be linked to your credit card information and will be much more secure.
However, the Touch ID technology isn't just about security; like most things on the Internet, it's about money. Have you ever delayed a purchase or abandoned a purchase because you were too lazy to walk to another room to fetch your credit card? Imagine how much easier transactions will be with Touch ID. An impulse buy becomes a thumbprint away.
3. The Internet of Things (IoT) will move from hype to reality.
The first "thing" in the Internet of Things was a Coke machine at Carnegie Melon University in the 1980s. Connected to a network, programmers learned that they could check in with the machine from anywhere to find out if it needed restocking or not.
Nowadays, there are a variety of "things" connected to the Internet, from computer chips implanted in dogs and cats to so-called "smart grids." Businesses of the future will invest in both creating new hardware devices for the Internet of Things to coming up with unique applications for how to use them.
4. The latest trend in online marketing is Big Data.
Not that many years ago, the conversation around online marketing centered on things like keywords, backlink strategies, and other SEO-related topics. Just a few years ago, that conversation had changed to one that was mostly about social media. Today, the conversation is about to change again. This time, it will be Big Data that takes the forefront, but more specifically, it will be about how Big Data, SEO, social, and marketing automation interact and support each other.
The crux of the conversation is this: Businesses have more access to data about their customers than they ever did before. However, learning how to interpret that data and then implement the lessons it has to teach is a whole other story. Businesses that succeed in harnessing the power of Big Data for SEO, social, and marketing automation will be the businesses that flourish in the future.
5. Target will know you're pregnant even before you conceive.
Target got itself into a little bit of hot water a few years ago when its algorithms were able to figure out a teenager was pregnant before her parents did. The story became a focal point in the discussion about the tension between the personal data companies collect, privacy, and optimizing customer experience.
The kind of personalization Target uses in its mailers isn't the future; it's already happening. Companies like Amazon are very good at figuring out what you're likely to buy and tailors its marketing to you accordingly. Expect personalization to get even more sophisticated as time goes on. Conceivably, there will be a day not that long from now when companies possess a complete profile of all of its customers, right down to height, weight, eye color, religion, ethnicity, and sexual orientation.
Tell Us What You Think
Did we get any of these wrong? Did we leave out an important trend that ecommerce owners and online marketers should know about? Share your ideas in the comments section below.