Since the dawn of the internet age, the availability of technology and related software has shifted drastically. When consumers first started going online they had to endure the horrible melody of dial-up modems, and for those daring enough to buy online, a relatively unsecure environment. Today, all of this has changed for the better, and while it’s easy to feel like things are stagnant at times, every year new advances positively impact the world of ecommerce.

Octane AI CEO, Matt Schlicht, recently spoke to Blackotter CEO, Johannes Weirather, as part of our ongoing Ecommerce Messenger Master Class.

Blackotter is a digital agency that focuses on driving growth to brands and is a Shopify Plus partner. Through this experience and his background working directly with emerging brands, Johannes has seen more than just the major shifts in how ecommerce has changed, but also the smaller transitions that allowed him to become a successful early adopter.

As an early adopter, it’s allowed his work with brands like Flat Tummy Tea to thrive, offer more personalized experiences with customers, and of course be more relevant. However, looking towards the future, Johannes thinks there are three big changes that are coming to ecommerce, and each will be a win-win for both brands and consumers.

Those shifts will consist of:

  • Wider expansion of voice-based ecommerce
  • More interactive apps
  • Building of experiences

Voice-Based Ecommerce Expansions

Today, voice-based ecommerce can still feel like a novelty. Amazon still feels like the king as they own Alexa, but there is also Google Home and Siri, which also lead to direct sales or referrals. In fact, a 2018 report by Edison Research and NPR found that at least 22% of smart speaker owners have made one purchase as a result of it. By 2022, OC&C Strategy Consultants are projecting the market to surpass $40 billion in revenue, up from only $2 billion in 2018.

Johannes feels that this market is still ripe for the taking for brands, and suggests that it will further integrate with other technologies such as chatbots and other automated solutions for a more streamlined conversation.

Interactive and Helpful Apps

Ecommerce-based apps are primarily focused on delivering basic information and allowing consumers to complete a purchase. Some brands are already moving beyond just informing consumers, and on to empowering users with engaging experiences. These experiences can range from using augmented reality to visualize how a rug fits in your living room to the proper sizing of a dress fits on you.

Each advancement in ecommerce-based apps is already reducing friction, but if it can also consult a consumer or coach them, it’s replacing one of the last necessary elements of buying items in stores.

The Building of Experiences

“I’ll have the usual.” It’s a romanticized term that still happens in movies, but today it feels like shops and restaurants are no more personalized than some ecommerce sites. Thanks to how technology is advancing, the sense of personalizing is drastically shifting for the positive.

Already, some brands are using beacon technology to create personalized offers or support when a user is within a geofence, but what if this allowed them to better interact with people, too. On arrival, brands will be able to fully personalize the experience, just like a saved account online. They will know your shoe size, your style preferences, and of course your name. This process will expand beyond just in-store, but function across all mediums, too.

The dream is to be able to continue the conversation in multiple places and not start over or feel disconnected. This personalized experience will result in a consistent relationship just as if you had a relationship with a boutique store down the road.

Most of all, the biggest takeaway for Johannes is about the state of adoption for all of this technology and why it’s happening. “Consumers are ready for branded conversations,” said Johannes. It’s because of the willingness of consumers today to have a proper conversation with brands that are resulting in the wide-spread adoption of conversational sales rather than point and click.

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