The e-commerce industry has grown rapidly since it was first introduced. To stay ahead of the competition, small and large businesses alike are investing in 2020’s e-commerce trends. Below, we’ve created a summary of e-commerce history and the most important global developments of this year.
E-commerce industry: a history
Understanding how e-commerce developed can help businesses to see how it will progress into the future. The e-commerce industry of today may look advanced but, in reality, it’s only in its infancy.
The e-commerce industry is often said to have begun when British scientist Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web during his time at CERN. However, there were some notable examples of e-commerce before this.
In 1984, Mrs. Snowball sat down in front of her TV and became the first person to try out a service called Videotex. The 72-year-old was able to order her shopping through text that appeared on her TV screen, which was then promptly delivered to the community center where she lived. This was one of the first examples of an e-commerce invention.
The first transaction over the World Wide Web was performed in the 1990s. Pizza Hut claims to have been the first company to complete an online transaction, however, this has been disputed. Amazon and eBay were later launched in 2005, marking the beginning of a new internet era.
The 2000s and 2010s
The early 2000s saw the launch of Cyber Monday (in 2003), shortly before Facebook began to sell advertisements on its website for the first time. By the 2010s, retailers were turning to e-commerce as their regular source of income. Figures estimate that the industry was worth $1.336 trillion in 2014, which is predicted to rise to $6.54 trillion by 2023.
2020 E-commerce Trends: how to stand out
E-commerce trends develop on a global scale. Staying on top of technological developments helps businesses to expand, engaging new customers from around the world. A 2017 US report showed that 79% of all respondents “no longer mind that there is no sales staff available” to them when they shop online. So, what are the most important trends and how can companies implement them successfully for a global audience?
- 2020 e-commerce trend: AR and VR
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are among the newer developments in the e-commerce industry. The technology means that customers no longer have to simply imagine products before they buy, they can see them in different environments and explore them from different angles.
How to implement AR and VR
AR and VR require the user to suspend their disbelief and be immersed in a new reality. For this to work well, the experience needs to feel seamless, wherever the user is located around the world. E-commerce localization is the process of ensuring a platform is well-suited to users in a specific country or region. Linguistic accuracy, culturally appropriate imagery, and correct units of measurement or price all need to be incorporated into AR and VR software via localization.
- 2020 e-commerce trend: Big data and AI
Big data is the name given to vast data sets that are usually generated by consumer habits and product usage. These data sets are analyzed by computers and used to create forecasts, enhance product design, and understand what consumers need. Big data can be fed into artificial intelligence, meaning it can now learn from highly accurate, real data sets rather than predictions and models.
How to implement big data
Big data needs to be accessible to both computer programs and the data scientists who use them. Data sets with foreign language terminology, labels, or summary reports can be translated for ease of access and future use. A specialist translation services provider can advise on how to approach an e-commerce data translation project.
- 2020 e-commerce trend: Personalization and chatbots
Forbes recently published an article called 50 Stats Showing the Power of Personalization, which highlights how crucial the trend is for positive user experiences. Forbes featured stats including:
- “71% of consumers feel frustrated when a shopping experience is impersonal”
- “Personalized calls to action convert 202% better than default or standard calls to action”
Chatbots are also a form of personalization, even though they exhibit default responses. Chatbots have the power to replace the in-house shop assistant, with the bonus of being available 24/7. A user can ask questions in their own words, be prompted about abandoned carts, and report issues, from anywhere in the world.
How to implement personalization
Personalization for an international e-commerce platform seems like a daunting task. However, the process can be split into the country or region-specific segments. E-commerce localization companies have expert knowledge of their specialist regions, including local dialects, customs, and habits. This allows for a more personalized experience that cannot be achieved through translation alone. Aspects including units of measurement, calls to action, sentence structure, imagery, and more can be adapted to suit locales across the world. Enlisting the help of such linguists maximizes your chances of positive user engagement and retention.
Future Trans: your e-commerce partner
Future Trans has been helping businesses to connect with audiences in Africa and The Middle East for over 25 years. Our expertise in the e-commerce industry is combined with a deep knowledge of localization and translation strategies. Our linguists are native speakers of the languages you need, and they can guide you through the process of e-commerce localization, from start to finish. As an ISO17100 certified company, our services reach the highest standards.
Please send us a message today if you would like more information about what we offer.