The Future of Ecommerce

Mike DeFabis
Outside of the IDS Fulfillment Center

Throughout the years, many ecommerce companies have been upgrading and re-vamping the way they get products to the consumer and gain more customers. Recently, Amazon and other large retailers have begun implementing new technologies and innovations into their workplaces and have seen very positive results. Soon, we are going to see the smaller ecommerce retailers start to be able to take advantage of these technologies also as more competition enters the market. 

Dynamic and Personalized Websites

One very effective thing these larger retailers have been doing is completely customizing small segments of their databases. This allows each costumer to have a personalized experience based off of what they like and frequently look for. However, this extends much further than simply welcoming back returning customers and showing them recommendations based on their previous purchases. It’s about using the data you have collected to create a unique experience that gets the consumer excited to come back again. The best and most effective thing you can do is offer coupons or discounts to your customers on items they have previously viewed, and for whatever reason, decided not to purchase. By offering them a lower price on something they probably wanted, you are allowing the customer to feel more individualized by your company and giving them the sense that their business is important enough to you to give them something “special.”

The Use of Social Media in Advertising

 We all know that popular social media sites like Facebook and Instagram use your search and browsing history to create personalized ads for each individual consumer. Everything you see on your timeline has been carefully personalized to your likes and dislikes. So, how much can this improve and change as technology continues to change? Social media advertising is already up 40% this year and will top $8.5 billion, growing to nearly $14 billion in 2018. In 2018, up to two-thirds of social media ad spending will go to mobile, creating a $9.1 billion social-mobile market. This means that people are using Facebook (or any other social media platform) as a stepping stool for most of their purchases. They are using ads to buy apps, food, toys, gaming devices, and everything else they might want because these platforms are using their Amazon searches or Google searches to target them and flood them with things they might not even know they want. The market is also expanding with the introduction of paid ads on Pinterest and Instagram. It’s safe to say that social media will continue to dominate the ads.

The Introduction of Robotics in Fulfillment

Also known as automation, robotics is becoming more and more cost effective for fulfillment companies. This allows them to reduce labor, have longer shipping cut off times, and increased efficiency. Automation in warehousing can do anything from reduce labor costs a smidge with basic and better computer systems, to completely eliminating the need for a lot of human interaction with fully automated robotic systems. Because robots do not need to be paid hourly, and you only need a few tech-savvy people around, you can allow your customers to order later into the evening and still fall under the 2-day delivery cut-off time. Eventually, cut-off times could be completely eliminated or reduced to almost nothing because robots don’t need to sleep and can continue to function well into the late hours. Human error can also be eliminated with robotic warehouses. That’s not to say that a system will never get messed up now and then, but your efficiency will sky-rocket without the accidental slip of the wrong product in a box, or the wrong shipping label being placed. All in all, automation is something that can dramatically improve your warehousing, and is definitely becoming the next big thing.

Faster and More Efficient Deliveries

With higher demand and more available at our fingertips, people are coming to expect their packages to arrive in a very timely manner. Amazon, for example, has always boasted their 1 day (for a fee) or free 2-day shipping, which for them has become a major tool in the amount of business influx they receive. Many other ecommerce companies are starting to catch on and push delivery times with new carrier service. DHL expedited max offer 2-4 day deliveries at a very wallet-friendly price. UPS has also started to lower their prices and started promising quicker delivery times. However, they still do not deliver on the weekends which in much higher demand. Amazon has also begun using its own delivery system. Similar to Uber, they are hiring people to deliver from their warehouses in individual cities so packages arrive quickly and safely. It is possible that this system could be revolutionary and take over the way we receive our packages from every retailer.

New innovations and technologies are on the up rise, and ecommerce companies are starting to find ways to become more efficient and reduce their costs to become more consumer friendly. With technology improving and upgrading constantly, the ecommerce and warehouse industry can only improve from here.

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