Rise of hyperlocal commerce, social commerce, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are a few trends that will change ecommerce for good in 2020, according to Vikram Bhat, chief product officer, Capillary Technologies. Capillary Technologies is a provider of cloud based omnichannel customer engagement solutions.
Bhat feels that hyperlocal based shop keeping units (SKU) such as beauty services, grocery, personal care and FMCG product sets, could see a spurt. This is due to trust and emotional inclination towards local neighborhood stores.
“For instance, in India, 96% of the commerce still happens at mom and pop stores and in the coming years, India and China are poised for explosive growth in the hyperlocal space,” said Bhat.
Some of the most famous hyperlocal startups today include the likes of BigBasket, Zopper, Swiggy and Dunzo. Amazon and Swiggy are also delving deep into logistics and mobile technology to capture the opportunity at hand.
The CPO also believes that a mobile first approach would be the topmost priority for ecommerce players. In this regard, AI integrations such as automated chatbots, image recognition and artificial intelligence would play a larger role in ecommerce.
Along with hyperlocalisation, hyperpersonalistion would also gain ground through personalized product recommendations, dynamic content, loyalty rewards and offers.
“Retailers with physical stores are likely to invest in beacons and other proximity-based marketing technologies to target customers who are within a certain radius of their stores,” says Bhat, referring to geo-tagging as another key trend in mobile based e-commerce.
Bhat also referred to ecommerce giant Amazon utilizing AI and ML to gain a competitive edge in businesses.
“From using Natural Language Processing to power Alexa to leveraging Collaborative Filtering to personalize recommendations and enhancing its logistics using predictive rerouting, Amazon has managed to expand the use cases for AI and ML,” he added.
The major implications of AI/ML in ecommerce, according to Bhat, are in personalizing user journeys, predictive product recommendations, price dynamics, predictive behavior modeling and visual search.
Other trends that Bhat sees a lot of traction is in the area of social commerce, which he says will be fueled by spikes in video/visual content, cheaper data, greater smartphone penetration and improvement in user experience in terms of native checkouts.
Additionally, dark stores, which are retail distribution centers that look like supermarkets but used to fulfil online orders, as well as the cross-migration of innovations between ecommerce and instore retail will take center stage. “Once pegged as rivals, ecommerce & brick and mortar stores will become closely intertwined to create a collaborative, integrated and interconnected retailing,” Bhat said.