The online user experience is changing. Today’s new breed of digitally-savvy shopper demands a smooth and easy ecommerce experience; one that flexes around their ever-evolving preferences.
In such a fast-moving playing field, brands must keep on top of trends and preferences to stay competitive. Some trends remain just that: passing vogues that die out as our digital tastes develop. Others become the new standard, encouraging ecommerce brands to reimagine the user experience entirely.
We take a look at three of the current trends that look set to transform ecommerce both in the near and more long-term future.
1. Web forms replaced with chatbots
By now, most brands know the benefits of incorporating chatbots for things like FAQ responses and support signposting. Few companies, however, are using chatbots to modernize their data collection methods.
Chatbots are in prime position to overthrow the traditional web form. Unlike a static form, a chatbot can acquire customer details in an interactional format. Rather than seeing a uniform wall of boxes to fill out, your website visitors could be greeted by a chatbot which collects their information more conversationally.
In an instance where a visitor wants to enquire further about a service, for example, a web form is cold and leaves the visitor in the dark as to when they might hear back. A chatbot could take the visitor’s details, answer any questions and get a demo booked on the spot – all without requiring human resource. In the age of the bot, data entry need not be disengaging.
2. A next-gen checkout journey
Online checkouts are going conversational. Chatbots are starting to enter the checkout process, providing a conversational interface to finalize online purchases. In fact, success in this chatty checkout journey is already being seen in services such as ‘Dom the pizzabot’ from Domino’s.
But Dom is just the start of the next-gen checkout journey. Biometrics are also starting to enter the fray and change the way we buy. For example, facial recognition capabilities and voice understanding technology (like Siri, Cortana and Alexa) could work together to make the next-gen conversational checkout a hands-free experience. Customers would only need a verbal conversation to confirm a purchase, and a look at their screen or webcam to authenticate payment.
Cryptocurrency is another factor that could play a key role in the next-gen checkout journey. With cryptocurrencies on the rise, we could soon start to see more brands accepting online purchases via methods such as Bitcoin. Checking out is set to become more diverse and fluid than ever before.
3. Privacy embedded into design
We have GDPR to thank for privacy-centric design. GDPR introduces ‘privacy by design’ in technology and processes as a compulsory requirement, rather than a voluntary design choice. Users will have the option to choose what data they share, how their internet use is tracked, and who is able to view the data they share, for how long.
Privacy embedded into design means reimagining the user experience in terms of personalization. The opt-in nature of privacy by design enables users to decide how personalized their experience is, by choosing what data a website or company may collect and use to tailor service to them.
This will lead to a decline in re-marketing practices as website users can refuse to share data on their browsing history. Users will also design their own experience on your website, by choosing which features they’re willing to give certain permissions for. With privacy increasingly thrust into the spotlight, brands that make this management of personalization versus privacy easy and up-front will give themselves a competitive advantage.
Reimagining the user experience
From the way we complete our transactions, to the way we share and collect data, to the personalization of our experiences, ecommerce processes are currently undergoing a series of evolutions.
These evolutions are pushing brands into reimagining the online user experience. We’re beginning to see a future of hands-free, conversational interfaces with controlled personalization and strong privacy features.
Our ecommerce experiences have already come a long way since the dark days of the early web. AI, chatbots and biometrics were unexplored ecommerce territory as little as a decade ago. How long will it be before AR, VR, and as-yet-unknown innovations continue to drive the evolution of the ecommerce user experience?
The post Three Ecommerce Trends Reimagining the User Experience appeared first on Home Business Magazine.
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