New technologies are shaking up the pillars of e-commerce. Metaverse attracts with virtual galleries and trade fairs. Big brands like Adidas and Nike have already started to fight for the best places. New avenues are also being opened in the areas of payment, customer experience, headless solutions, and cybersecurity.
Metaverse: Virtual Showrooms, Trade Shows, Training Courses and Collaboration
The global Metaverse market is expected to grow from $194.4 billion in 2022 to $758.6 billion in 2026. These are the forecasts of global industry analysts for a market researcher in a recent study. Major manufacturers also want to take advantage of this. For example, Adidas is collaborating with Bored Ape Yacht Club, Pixel Vault’s Punks Comic, and crypto investor Gmoney on Adidas Originals “Into the Metaverse” NFT (Non-Fungible Token). If you own an Adidas Originals NFT, you’ll receive additional physical products and digital values, which the trio around Adidas are busy fixing.
Virtual reality is on the rise and a step into the Metaverse. For companies, technology presents interesting professional application areas: showrooms, events, training courses or in-house team collaboration are raised to a new level by VR. Creating such metaverse projects is no longer rocket science. Some software solutions and service providers make it easy to get started with Metaverse.
Augmented reality makes online shopping more attractive: For many gamers, virtual reality (VR) has already become an integral part of the gaming experience, and augmented reality (AR) is increasingly being used in online retail. Mixed reality brings the range of virtual shows closer, blending the virtual extension of the real world with an entirely virtual dimension. The top is the Metaverse – a term on everyone’s lips thanks to Mark Zuckerberg’s presentation last fall. The metaverse, as announced by the founder of Facebook, will not exist in the next few years; But the metaverse as a collective term for 3D digital worlds is already playing an increasingly important role. More and more companies are pushing digitization forward, using virtual reality – not least because of the experiences in the Corona pandemic: digital operations and virtual meetings simplify work in many areas and ensure huge savings, especially in travel and transportation costs.
Virtual Showrooms, Trade Shows, Trainings and Collaboration: Technology is used, for example, in virtual showrooms where companies present their products at an expanded level. This provides the advantage that customers do not have to travel, but can learn about the product not only as a photo or video presentation. Instead, they can interact with the product in a virtual space, for example by looking inside the hardware. Trade fairs or full events are also an interesting area of VR application and represent a show extended to the showroom. Trade fairs that are permanently available to customers on the company website or classic events with different speakers and booths can be visualized.
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Payment: Buy Now – Pay Later (BNPL)
Who doesn’t know this: When shopping online, your new iPhone smiles at you, but you don’t have the money for it on the high edge right now. Thankfully there is an option to pay the item in installments or pay the amount later on the account when checking out the purchase, so that the checking account is saved.
This payment in installments or on account in modern German is known as “Buy Now, Pay Later” (BNPL) and many online stores have discovered this as a sales promotion measure. This makes it possible to significantly increase the average height of the shopping cart and all without risking the online store. BNPL providers assume these risks (of course for a fee that is charged from the online store). So it’s no surprise that new BNPL providers like Afterpay or Affirm are emerging like Mushrooms. In the meantime, top payment dogs, such as Klarna or Paypal, have included this payment method in their standard portfolio.
Above all, businesses with high shopping cart value at low frequency prefer to use BNPL products because shopping cart conversion is critical to them. Customers often cancel the purchase because the amount to be paid is too high. In this context, we are mainly talking about shops in luxury goods, travel, fashion, car accessories, etc.
Artificial Intelligence: Better Shopping Experience
More convenient, easier, faster, more enjoyable – this is how customers want their e-commerce shopping experience to be. But every second you feel disappointed. Artificial intelligence (AI) can help inspire your other half, too.
For many people, shopping, whether online or offline, is a must. The majority of German consumers are already satisfied when the products reach their home, and only 17 percent of them expect pleasant experiences from online stores. These numbers from a study by software company Freshworks speak of the significant frustration caused by negative customer experiences.
Problem: The image of the e-commerce provider conveyed through advertisements often does not correspond to reality. The elegant interface attracts every second consumer (52 percent) who is disappointed with the shops’ actual service. There is still room for improvement here. E-commerce providers should view this as an opportunity to exceed expectations with just a few measures. Technology can help improve your e-commerce shopping experience.
AI can also directly affect the customer experience. First of all, this affects communication and interaction with customers. The use cases described here show how artificial intelligence and machine learning make online shopping more enjoyable:
- AI chatbots
- AI-powered voice chats
- Text and sentiment analysis
- AI-Powered Recommendation Systems
- Purchasing Assistants
Programmatic Solution: When does a headless approach really make sense?
Over the past few years, headless has become a buzzword in the marketing, e-commerce, and IT industry and is often referred to as the “solution of the future”.
The basic idea is designed as an alternative to classic Content Management Systems (CMS), which is to rely on many different software solutions rather than one monolithic solution and separate the front end from the back end. This allows for a higher degree of flexibility and agility, and also creates future viability and ease of maintainability, while at the same time operations become significantly more complex and associated with higher costs. But what exactly does the headless approach include, what advantages and disadvantages does it offer and what lessons can be learned from practice?
Content management systems form the basis of most websites. It enables the creation, management and dissemination of content. However, if several channels or applications are filled with content in a coordinated way, as in the case of an online store, then monolithic classic software solutions with closely related back and frontends reach their limits. The headless approach can help here. It separates the two areas from each other, so that individual modules can be changed without having to touch the entire system when a change is needed, for example to introduce a new login area or integrate a newsletter function.
With a headless approach, the front end and backend are connected to each other through any number of interfaces (APIs). In the most extreme form, it can be a set of non-static interfaces that are only compiled on the front end. All of these variants fall under the term “headless”.
This technical article summarizes the advantages and disadvantages of decapitation, for whom decapitation really makes sense and what has been learned from practice.
Cyber Security: Effectively Combat Payment Fraud
E-commerce retailers are looking forward to a promising business, it is time to test their fraud prevention in order to protect customers and business from the latest scams.
According to a 2021 Merchant Risk Council (MRC) survey, 74% of online retailers worldwide have reported an increase in fraud attempts during the pandemic. So knowing how to protect yourself from payment fraud is becoming increasingly important.
In this guest article Alexa von Bismarck, Germany Head of Payment Service Provider Adyen, presents the most common payment fraud tricks and explains strategies online retailers can use to defend themselves:
- Cardtesting – How Scammers Check Stolen Payment Data
- Account Takeover – Who Pays With What Data?
- The Triangulation Scam – Online Trading Through Two Angles
- Refund Scams – When Right of Return is abused
- Gift Card Fraud – Coupon Risk
The large number of increasingly complex scams may seem overwhelming at first. However, if you take care of a comprehensive risk management system at an early stage, you can create a stable defense and protect your business effectively and sustainably from fraudsters. Through the use of advanced technologies and individually adaptable risk rules, deviations in customers’ payment behavior can be quickly identified. Individual risk profiles allow you to make data-driven decisions that will help you stay one step ahead of new fraud strategies.