Technological Innovations in Ecommerce: Promises Vs. Realities

This article explores the impact of emerging technologies on the ecommerce industry. While innovation plays a critical role in the growth of ecommerce, it’s important to remember that the ultimate goal is to provide desirable products conveniently at a profitable price for sellers and an attractive price for buyers.

In 2014, there were speculations about five technologies that could potentially change ecommerce: mobile computing, cryptocurrencies, 3D printing, autonomous vehicles, and augmented reality. However, in hindsight, these technologies have not significantly altered the ecommerce landscape.

Mobile computing was expected to revolutionize shopping with devices like Google Glass and smartwatches. The idea of being able to purchase products by simply looking at them through smart glasses seemed promising. However, this is not how we shop in 2023, despite the prevalence of smartphones and smartwatches.

Cryptocurrencies, particularly Bitcoin, were seen as a solution to lower transaction fees and online fraud. However, in 2022, cryptocurrency payments accounted for only 0.19% of global ecommerce transactions. Their volatility and lack of mainstream adoption make them unsuitable for online payments. Nevertheless, blockchain technology associated with cryptocurrencies has impacted ecommerce and retail by securing data.

3D printing was expected to disrupt retail sales by allowing products to be printed on demand. However, this has not happened to a significant extent. While 3D printing has its applications, it has not changed the ecommerce industry as anticipated.

The vision of swarms of autonomous vehicles providing same-day or same-hour ecommerce delivery is yet to materialize. However, the market for autonomous delivery is growing, suggesting that this technology might eventually impact ecommerce.

Augmented reality (AR) is believed to have the potential to revolutionize ecommerce by allowing customers to try products virtually before purchasing. While some companies have adopted AR technology, it is still forthcoming and has not significantly changed the ecommerce landscape.

In conclusion, while technologists often speculate about the future of ecommerce and the potential impact of new technologies, it’s important to distinguish between promises and realities. Not every emerging technology can truly revolutionize the way we shop. Ecommerce will continue to evolve, but ultimately, it will be driven by providing convenient and attractive products for both buyers and sellers.

– Practical Ecommerce: “Could These 5 Technologies Change Ecommerce?”
– Statista: Cryptocurrency payments in global ecommerce transactions