The era for online shopping, or e-commerce, is well and truly here. More and more South Africans are trusting the process of ordering a product online, paying for it via a secure payment platform and accepting delivery to their home or office via a courier service. 

According to certain forecasts, e-commerce stores will sell goods to the value of 2 trillion dollars in 2019 – that’s 6% more than in 2017.

Today, we take a look at three e-commerce trends to look out for in 2019 and beyond.

Increase in Competitors

The amount of online stores is growing rapidly. A rise in mobile internet access has launched many South African stores onto the internet and this will continue to be the case. 

Due to improvements in web development and accessibility to the internet, even independent business owners are now able to sell goods online. 

Over the last couple of years, the big retailers all announced themselves online and in 2019, we predict it will be time for smaller players to make a name for themselves. 

Artificial Intelligence & Chatbots

From 2019 and onwards, a large part of e-commerce advertising budgets will be spent on the development and implementation of chatbots. 

These artificial bots will facilitate the work of the sellers, allowing them to optimize service delivery while keeping customers informed and happy. 

Through these chatbots, detailed information about customer preferences can be obtained, and will, in turn, be used to improve customer experience on e-commerce platforms. 

These bots will understand live speech and are able to learn new things. 

Artificial Intelligence will allow an e-commerce store to assess preferences, analyse purchase patterns and predict future purchases. It will also provide insight into advertising methods, to determine which are most effective to drive sales.

Improvements in E-Commerce Delivery

Courier companies like Cloud Logistics are garnering a better understanding of e-commerce deliveries and the challenges thereof. 

Deliveries can now be made more efficiently and timely, saving e-commerce stores money and satisfying the needs of their customers. 

In an instant-access world, Express Road Freight services can deliver parcels overnight, at a lower cost than traditional air-freight. This is especially the case in the delivery of larger items. 

While we look forward to seeing which other trends emerge, we encourage business owners to explore the opportunities that e-commerce offers their businesses. 

To chat with us about the delivery of your products, click here to get in touch.