Four Avenues For The Future Of E-Commerce

July 2, 2014 Ben Myers

With double-digit year-over-year growth, it’s fitting that with see e-commerce moving in many directions simultaneously. From product discovery to shipping, innovative companies are employing new technologies to make buying things online easier and faster than ever.

Multichannel / Omnichannel Innovation

Lowe’s Canada won the award for Best Multichannel Retailer (large) at the Canada Post E-Commerce Awards in 2013 for providing an online experience that offered the same quality that a customer could find in-store. Their fulfillment options create a true omni-channel experience with free parcel shipping or pick-up in-store. They’ve also pushed the envelope beyond common e-commerce practices, unveiling a ‘holoroom’ that can project the room of your dreams around you using an ipad and augmented reality technology.

“Online retailers get smart very quickly about what they offer to you”

Digital Loyalty In-store

Luxury accessory retailer XLR and retail technology developer Thirdshelf unveiled their first Canadian deployment of bluetooth-enabled personalized shopping app in June at Hudson’s Bay near Eaton Centre. After downloading the XLR app, the customer will receive offers on their device and see customized displays around the store.

“Online retailers get smart very quickly about what they offer to you and how they tailor and target their offers and promotions in order to maximize conversion. So we’re going to bring that to the physical world and we’re going to do that by using mobile.” Thirdshelf’s Antoine Azar told the Dx3 Digest in January.

“There simply has never been a better device to help you indulge in impulse purchases”

Buying Using Image Recognition

More than its Internet giant counterparts, Amazon seems to be constantly working to make buying things online easier. The image recognition built into its new Fire phone, called Firefly, represents the most advanced image product recognition available to consumers if the demos are comparable to the real-world experience. It’s a phone built for comparing prices and buying online.

Technology site The Verge said, “There simply has never been a better device to help you indulge in impulse purchases — a prospect that has us both intrigued and terrified in equal parts.”

eCommerce Analytics In The Cloud

Lightspeed Retail's POS system.

Lightspeed Retail’s POS system.

Earlier this month, the Montreal-based e-commerce platform released an advanced analytics on its cloud-based system. Working with its iPad point-of-sale (POS) and web-based sales system, the analytics system gives new insights like which products and stores are most profitable, and which customers are most loyal.

“Customer engagement, forecasting and inventory management technologies are only as good as the data that fuels them. This, coupled with more traditional retailers expanding online and bringing retail technologies into their stores, has made demand for cloud-based POS tools and data analytics soar,” Dax Dasilva, CEO of LightSpeed, said about the new features.

Canada Post’s E-Commerce Innovation Awards features new categories for Most Innovative Start-up, Best Omni-channel integration, and Best E-Commerce Campaign. The gala takes place September 23, 2014 in Toronto.

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