Ecommerce has fundamentally changed the way we purchase goods and services. Just think about the changes to the accommodation industry Airbnb has made, or iTunes and Spotify have made to the music industry. You can even buy a car online now anywhere in Australia and have it delivered to your door.
But while getting an Uber or downloading a book to your Kindle might be the new norm, the only constant with online commerce is change. For Australian consumers, 2017 is set to open up even more choice for online shoppers as technology advances.
Australians are committed online shoppers with the industry worth $16bn last year according to IBIS World and is still in its growth cycle. In fact, according to IBIS World, over the next 10 years, the growth of online shopping will outpace the Australian economy.
So what change are we likely to see on our desktops and phones this year?
Even more social shopping
A massive trend which has been in its developmental phase that is tipped to come to market this year is social shopping. It’s a logical extension of the social platforms which have the power to influence our purchasing behaviour. Soon you will be able to admire a coat someone is modelling on social media, click on it and shop it instantly. While this might seem like some way off, Instagram has started testing this technology already, so it will be in your hands before you know it.
Chat with the bots
Lots of big online players are investing in chatbots, so that when you search for a product a chatbot might just point you in the direction of the right product for you, be it by creating a perfect outfit, or telling a story about a particular product. Several brands have been experimenting with this use of storytelling and product discovery such as H&M, Burberry, Tommy Hilfiger and eBay and this trend looks set to gather pace this year.
Omnichannel is the new black
The changes online shopping has wrought on retail means that it’s not enough to be available in only one format. One of the biggest trends cited by many observers of the retail industry for 2017 is the development of omnichannel offerings.
Omnichannel is a buzzword to describe a retailer who can sell online and offer offline services as well. This has already occurred for many retailers operating in the bricks and mortar space, being forced by their consumers to offer online services.
The 800-pound gorilla in omnichannel retail is Amazon, which late last year launched Amazon Go in its home town of Seattle in the US. The Amazon Go concept is essentially a grocery store where the user can purchase select items and a smartphone app logs and pays for your goods without having to use a regular checkout.
While Amazon Go might be a way off for Australian consumers, rumours have been swirling that Amazon will finally launch its online site this year in Australia which, if true, will certainly shake up the local market.
Launching HelloCars has certainly shown us that consumers are keen for better ways to transact online – especially buying and selling cars – and we’re excited to say we’re now available right across Australia.
Paul Higgins is Director of HelloCars.