eCommerce is inarguably the future of business, and individuals are getting used to using it. Every year, feeling the enormous traction that eCommerce has in the mental state of individuals, entrepreneurs strive to distinguish their eCommerce platforms by adopting technological and marketing trends. Jose Duarte, an entrepreneur and eCommerce expert from Costa Rica, discusses how eCommerce is changing and what lies ahead.

In previous years, there was a significant increase in modern payment methods, which were intended to offer consumers the ease of buying by “on tap” check. The trend is perpetually oriented towards digitization in the strict sense. However, there is a large base of entrepreneurs, who still operate offline and hope to increase their sales prospects. Asserts Duarte, “Working offline is not a problem; the real problem is getting lucrative sales opportunities. Therefore, eCommerce is not any other source of income; eCommerce, at present, is the source of revenue for any business. Due to the growing preference for online shopping, it is imperative that entrepreneurs seek the development of eCommerce applications to keep their business running, even in autopilot mode.”

The question in recent times is not how to move from an online business to an offline business. The question is how to adhere to the online model and know how to continue from there. While eCommerce is considered a dairy cow in business, players are also successfully boosting cross-border sales. If there is one thing that is clear from the trends observed in 2020, it is that eCommerce is definitely not an exaggeration or a passing fad. You are here to stay and influence tomorrow’s business, so you need to develop an eCommerce application as soon as possible to get the first part of the success. If you are still on the fence regarding the future course that eCommerce would be charting, then there are the trends you need to adopt “now” to have a seamless future

Delivery will become faster for eCommerce. Consumers are now more aware of the time it takes to receive their products and expet faster turn-arounds. Add to that a lack of patience they possess, and eCommerce entrepreneurs will surely feel the pressure to make ‘snapshot’ deliveries. Although the time it takes for instant delivery is subject to numerous variables, such as time of order placement, warehouse location, consumer location, inventory in inventory and last-mile delivery, business operators will take advantage of the feat of technology and update their delivery software in the last mile to achieve delivery as fast as they can.

In recent years, all consumers are looking for is convenience. That’s why there’s a marked change in the way consumers choose to exhibit their purchasing behaviors. While the growing importance of an eCommerce website has been seen over the past decade, mobile apps determine future consumer buying behaviors. Mobile apps are becoming easier, attracting a large number of audiences to interact with them and create huge sales prospects for entrepreneurs. In addition to this, websites have the limitation that is being gradually overcome by mobile applications with maximum convenience. Therefore, if you are looking for a website to start your digital journey and achieve success in eCommerce, you need to jump higher towards the mobile app to get the desired business results.

Call it Alexa, Ok Google, or Siri, the advent of voice command, technology is gradually making forays into the eCommerce landscape to highlight the convenience feature for consumers. Explains Duarte, “Over the past two years, there was an increase in the use of voice commands for purchases; however, in 2021, there will be a major adoption of voice command technology, which will require entrepreneurs to incorporate this technology into their mobile eCommerce applications.”

As data is the true asset of the eCommerce website, data extracted from people’s social media use will continue to play an important role. Instagram is currently gaining traction as a key mobile eCommerce app. Facebook’s contribution to eCommerce sales also cannot be neglected. In addition to eCommerce, social media also serves to influence purchasing behavior, or, rather, impulsive consumer buying behavior. In the future, social trade or the evolution of social media as a key eCommerce platform will remain integral for entrepreneurs.

From cash-on-refund to network banking, credit cards, debit cards and wallets, the way consumers make payments for their purchases has become really easy or, as they say, it’s become a one-touch cash system. Today, a large number of people rely on e-wallets and PayPal accounts to make payments, showing a change from the paper-based cash payment model to the digital payment model. The tendency to use an e-wallet continues to gain a significant boost; however, some eCommerce giants will also make a change to embrace the future of payment models: cryptocurrency. Although cryptocurrency would not be a deep trend even by the end of this year, it will surely leave a prominent brand and make it feel like an emerging payment model.

While eCommerce websites and mobile apps over the past five years would offer nothing more than a shopping experience to customers, there has been a stir in eCommerce, where entrepreneurs are getting to know their customers better. Thus, instead of consumers going to the mobile app or website with their requirements, smart entrepreneurs are making deals and offers, based on information extracted from consumers in the form of demographic data such as their age, gender, location, weight, height, choices, search results, previous purchases, etc.

eCommerce customization, in turn, serves as a crucial marketing strategy for entrepreneurs, who seek to drive their sales and improve customer retention. Customization offers two more benefits for the eCommerce portal in terms of increased sales and boosting consumer attention with the help of push notifications to ensure better sales prospects in the future.

What makes mobile eCommerce apps so different from conventional brick and mortar stores stems from several factors. It is the attraction of the offers and discounts that these online channels have to offer. “The low operating cost, which significantly reduces the operating overhead of a business,” says Duarte, “gives an eCommerce entrepreneur an advantage to make a profit, even without squeezing some of the operating costs. On the other hand, brick-and-mortar warehouses already suffer from high overheads ranging from land, energy, workers and other considerations. More businesses are coming to this realization, especially due to COVID-19, and eCommerce growth is going to significantly outpace that of brick-and-mortar growth going forward.”