Emerging Technology Trends To Disrupt Commerce in 2018

Disruptive tech is changing supply chains and retail at a super-fast pace. Stay ahead of the game with these emerging technology trends of 2018.

With the average small business now spending $75,000 a year on digital marketing, digital tech and services are taking up a lot of space in every company’s budget. If you’re not following emerging technology trends, you’re going to be struggling to find footing in the field later on. Getting ahead of disruptive retail technologies now can give you a leg up.

Here are four ways that emerging technology is going to change commerce in the coming years.

1. Virtual Assistants and Smart Devices

As voice-controlled smart devices like Amazon’s Alexa have become pervasive, search is changing. The rise in popularity of these devices has made web designers and marketers have to reconsider their approach. When users deploy a search with these devices, it looks nothing like it did in previous years.

What voice control devices are looking for is “natural language processing” that can make use of searches and requests made by users. If users have a stronghold of a language, they should be able to speak colloquially into these devices to get what they want. When a user speaks a local language as their second language, they should still be able to use these search devices with ease.

Your customers could be using smart devices to make orders and you need to be able to respond flawlessly.

Voice-controlled assistants have been in the business world for years. With improvements in technology, digital assistants are both intelligent and predictive. They can adapt to changes in your work environment and streamline a lot of processes.

With Amazon developing an “Alexa for Business” model, we should see some exciting developments that will change the way you do business. The way your customers order is changing and so that way you respond needs to match that as well.

2. The Rise of Chatbots

On almost every commerce site you visit, a little virtual chatbot initiates that can take orders and answer questions. While it might seem like a pretty heavy lift for every commerce site to employ 24/7 customer service, chatbots employ a bait and switch.

The feeling that customers are being listened to can make them feel engaged and excited about your brand. Most customers will ignore and close the chatbot when it opens.

However, if your customers have an issue using your site or looking for the product they need, they can make use of the chatbot.

Chatbots come in different sizes and shapes. Some chatbots will send an automatic reply to various questions that customers ask and then when they hit a dead end, send them to a response form. Others will connect to an answering service where a real human can respond to questions with a basic understanding of how the company works.

For example, many academic writing companies use the latter strategy. They have a set of pre-written answers to the most common questions, but a customer can contact a support department representative if they have a problem that is not covered yet. A conversation is continued in the same chat window which makes a user experience smooth and effortless.

Both the technology and the level of engagement fro answering services have become more sophisticated. As they both improve, customer service will be more accurate and engaging for your site’s visitors.

Engagement is the name of the game in emerging technology and finding new and inexpensive ways to engage users is a smart way to do business.

3. Immersive and Mixed Reality

One of the most interesting ways that companies are engaging with their users is through augmented reality and virtual reality. The makers of Pokemon Go introduced the world to a type of mixed reality that integrated live cameras, GPS info, and technology from their app. Together, users could engage with the actual world they’re immersed in via the lens of a company or a brand.

In the world of commerce, more time spent in augmented reality could entail the use of GPS info to deploy well-targeted ads. In the world of industrial design and architecture, customers can walk through concepts and designs in real time. In retail, customers could virtually browse shops and look at products, regardless of what’s in stock at their local brick and mortar store.

When users walk down the street, using an augmented reality application, competitors could buy ad space surrounding a brick and mortar store. Before users come upon a big box pharmacy, an independently owned and operated one could send notifications as visitors walked by. Augmented reality could get overrun with advertisements, but it could also help small businesses.

4. Digital Vision

If you have a car made in the last decade, it’s likely that there’s a camera mounted on the back to tell you when you’re about to hit something. Most of them will beep when they’re about to hit something and let you know when you’re too close to objects.

With this kind of tracking, the commerce world has taken notice. With similar technology mounted to shopping carts or even in our phones, sensors can tell what our shopping habits are. While digital retailers are able to predict what we want based on our shopping habits, this new technology can predict what we want based on how we move.

Industrial shipping and package delivery services are taking advantage of the kind of AI available with digital vision. While it’s hard to find the right engineers, there is technology in development to streamline shipping and delivery. By using GPS, traffic data, and cameras, we’ll see self-driving delivery trucks that can avoid accidents, traffic, and fatigue.

If you want to see more of the technology that’s in development, check out this site.

Emerging Technology Trends Will Change Commerce Forever

Just as the internet itself changed the way we do business, emerging technology trends are going to leave an indelible mark. If you learn about how each of these trends could affect your business, you won’t be left in the dust when that trend becomes the norm in your industry.

If you want to improve your business in a holistic way, check out our latest guide to growth.

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