Consumer behavior is shaping the future of online retail in ways we never imagined a few years ago. Mobile computing devices, such as smartphones and tablets, have dramatically changed shoppers’ preferences and are driving the need for rapid change.
We also now have more data available than ever before, which is going to lead to huge changes in how we interact with consumers. Last but not least, technology is going to enable businesses to generate additional revenue through their websites.
Here are three technology predictions that I expect to be common place by the year 2020—if not before:
Voice recognition driven site search
Google is already doing it in the Chrome browser for the desktop and voice search is prevalent among many smartphone users. The next logical step will be to take it to on-site search platforms so people can search hands free from their smartphones and tablets.
We’ve all read about how Target got into hot water when they tipped off a teenage girl’s father that she was pregnant before she told them. The story is proof positive that as companies collect more and more data about consumers from multiple sources we’re going to see some really sophisticated technology emerge for both on-site merchandising and online marketing.
Monetization of site search results is inevitable
It’s already starting to happen. Online retailers are looking for additional ways to make money in their online store. Believe it or not, that may mean sending the visitor to a competitor. If a retailer doesn’t sell certain products that are complimentary to their mix, why not sell some real estate in search results to another online retailer for a price? Chances are they’d have lost the sale anyway, but by providing what the customer is looking for it’s a win-win-win.
Marcel Munoz is Chief Technology Officer for enterprise technology company Thanx Media.