How technology is changing our shopping experience

Tag: technology

How technology is changing our shopping experience

How technology is changing our shopping experience

With growing customer expectation, e-commerce retailers are being forced to constantly innovate and raise the bar. Further, with shopping enabled through the digital platform, without the boundaries of time and place, merchants need to ensure that the customer engagement channels are continuously open. We shall now study how technology is changing the rules of the game and redefining customer experience.

  1. Anytime shopping: Today’s online shopping is all about convenience. The customer can log on to an e-commerce portal, browse and compare product specifications and pricing, and even virtually try on clothes. They can add items to the cart, make the payment through the payment gateway and check out. All this is achieved within minutes, from the comfort of one’s home. The entire shopping process from start to end i.e. researching the product till the final purchase is possible digitally any time of the day or night and can be concluded swiftly.
  2. Smart devices for smart choices: The modern customer leverages upon cutting-edge technology to make sound purchase decisions. Often, e-commerce sites have subscription services whereby the items are delivered to the customer’s residence on a regular basis without any reminder by the customer.
  3. Real-time, uninterrupted support: The merchants need to constantly stay connected with the customers even post sale. This is vital in order to ensure returning customers. This can be achieved with chatbots that would readily answer customers’ queries and enhance their satisfaction.
  4. AI to derive insights: AI can be used to analyse customer spending patterns, study outliers and derive business intelligence. This can be applied to improve service levels and provide customized options, based on the unique needs of each customer. This would ensure lower chances of sales returns. A Gartner study estimates that by 2020, 85% of customer interactions would be handled by AI.
  5. Smooth payment process: Imagine you finished shopping at a huge mall and had to spend a lot of time searching for the payment counter! Frustrating isn’t it? The situation is similar to a customer entering the e-commerce portal. The customer should be able to easily navigate through the website to the payment gateway, complete the transaction and check out in minimum time. The payment gateway should be integrated with the website. Being directed to an external website for payment is a big put off for the customer and can cause cart abandonment. Further, there should be a choice of multiple payment options with personalised suggestions to opt for saved cards. In the e-commerce business, every click counts!
  6. Secure payment processor: This is not a feature anymore, rather an absolute necessity. The online payment platform must maintain confidentiality of customer information and card details. This is reconfirmed by adherence to global security standards like PCI DSS V3.2 Service Provider Certified.
  7. Customer reviews and loyalty programs: With fierce competition in the online shopping space, it is vital that merchants enhance customers’ shopping experience. For example, a product could have reviews of happy customers who have used it. This would help the hesitant customer make up his or her mind. One could also ensure that the product return process is simple and clearly mentioned. To win customer loyalty, merchants could include shopping points that could be redeemed as a discount on the price or a free product of the customer’s choice.
  8. Intuitive website: An interactive website with a seamless shopping experience can go a long way in higher sales conversions and customer retention. The webpage as a pop-up could guide the customer as to the further steps till the final checkout. This would facilitate the customer to stay within the website and not move to the website of a competitor. The chances of a sales conversion become higher, the longer an e-commerce portal is able to retain and keep the customer engaged within its webpages.
  9. Knowledge bytes: A customer who has complete know-how of the product would be in a better position to appreciate its value proposition and quality. Thus, the chances of achieving a sales transaction is better in case of an informed customer. Merchants can include a knowledge centre page within the website to enhance the shopping experience. All the information about a product and its utility should be available at a customer’s fingertips.

Technology is fast rewriting the shopping experience. Thus, merchants need to keep an ear to the ground and provide e-commerce solutions as per evolving customer requirements and technologies.

How Technology Has Made The Online Shopping Experience More Enjoyable?

How Technology Has Made The Online Shopping Experience More Enjoyable?

If shopping without walking a few miles has become possible, it is because of technology. Over the last few years, the e-commerce industry has reached a whole new level and it is growing consistently. Undoubtedly, if the technology had not advanced, the easy online shopping experience you see nowadays wouldn’t have been possible.

Thanks to a variety of avant-garde software and applications, online businesses are being able to reach customers globally and boost their sales. Similarly, shoppers are benefiting by saving their time and energy which they would have otherwise wasted on visiting physical stores. Plus, technology has made online payments smooth, simple and safe, thereby encouraging more businesses and customers to go online.

How is technology benefiting online shoppers?

  • Chatbots to guide you

Technology has made it possible for businesses to handle their online customers easily. This means, customers get proper assistance and guidance when they are browsing products or deciding to buy one.

For example, with the help of advanced technology, an e-commerce store can get customers’ queries resolved and can accept payments online, free. So, if you are an online shopper, chatbots can clear your doubts, provide information about the product you have in mind or help you navigate to the right website page etc.

Moving forward, let’s dive into the points which genuinely explain how technology has leveled up the game of online shopping experience.

  • Mobile-friendliness is a big plus

Do you find it annoying to get on the laptop for every single detail? Well, this is where the invention of mobile phones comes into the picture. Most online shoppers find it convenient to browse on their phones and actually spend their time to search for the products they are planning to buy. This has actually made the procedure of buying good products very easy. Also, with the help of secure online payment systems for mobile phones, the online shopping experience has become very convenient.

  • Hey Siri – What Is the Role of Technology?

With the help of technology, buying clothes, footwear, food and anything you want has become much easier. And now, if you don’t even feel like scrolling on your phone, just say “Hey, Siri!” or “Hey, Google!”, and your virtual assistant is going to solve all your queries.

It’s up to you whether you want to appreciate technology for making life much easier or blame it for making you lazier? You decide!

  • Secure payment is a reality

Online shoppers can now rest assured about the safety of their online transactions. Modern payment gateways adopted by trusted websites have many anti-fraud measures in place so that your sensitive information doesn’t get stolen or compromised. Moreover, with such gateways, you will be able to pay using various modes like card, net banking or mobile wallet. So, essentially, technology is making it possible for you to pay for your order in the most convenient way.

  • Express checkout

You might be aware of how frustrating it feels when it takes a lot of time to get your payment processed at the checkout. Good news is that improvement in online payment technology has made express checkout possible, where shoppers won’t be redirected to a different page when they are paying for an order. The payment gets processed very quickly, whether you are shopping from your laptop or mobile.


No doubt, technology plays a very important role in easing the online shopping experience. Whether it’s about a mobile-friendly interface, secure online payment mechanism, or helpful chatbots, shoppers can now make the most of technological advancements to make their shopping experience enjoyable and smooth.

Go Beyond the Zoom

4 Ways to Add Something Extra to Your Product Visualization

While online shopping comes with the pro of being anytime, anywhere, and wearing anything (hello, 2 a.m. shopping sprees in your Ninja Turtle pajamas), it carries with it the con of not being able to see the product up close and in person. Companies often try to compensate for this by taking a handful of shots of the product from a few angles — and of course, the viewer can always zoom in.

I’ve got news: It’s time to go beyond the zoom.

Ecommerce has been trending toward more sophisticated technological adoption, and product imaging is certainly at the forefront of this movement. Having the zoom option on product images is something that has unsurprisingly been popular in online shopping since it first appeared — we all love to look at the details of a product before we buy it! Also unsurprisingly, technology has adapted quite a bit since then, and it’s time to look into new ways to give your customers the in-person experience of the product without ever having to change out of their PJs.

1. Give them the full 360-degree experience
There’s something amazing about being able to turn a product around and view it from every angle just like you would if it was right in front of you — and that’s what a 360-degree view gives your customer. It can provide a lot more detail than a still photo and descriptive text can, and is far more interactive and immersive than a slideshow from a few different angles.

The best part about this is that you probably don’t need to invest much more than you already are. If you’re doing standard photography, you likely already have a camera, tripod, and backdrop. All you need to transform your plain Jane setup to a 360-degree extravaganza is a turntable and a remote shutter release. It does take more time than a standard few shots, but the payoff can be worth it!

2. Record it in action

If you’re looking for more bang for your buck, consider shooting some videos of your product in action, preferably with someone interacting with it. If you do it right, it can act as both a video marketing tool and a product description. It doesn’t need to cost a million dollars, either; take this simple but effective video of a guy using a Kelly side table. What it lacks in budget it makes up for in humor, and comes across as more endearing and genuine than a fancy schmancy ad campaign ever could.

If you want to produce something higher-quality, try focusing on just a few products, like a new line you’re launching or your best sellers. Then you can go the route of Glory Cycles (get it?) and shoot a really nice video starring your best stuff. The best part about that promotion is how simple and well-executed it is, showing just how effective that visual experience is.

3. Artificial Reality

We’re getting into the cooler (and more expensive) stuff now. You may have heard artificial reality and virtual reality used interchangeably, but they are quite different: Artificial reality is computer-generated imagery overlaid onto the real world (think Pokemon Go). This is perfect for a lot of products, because it can literally show the customer how the product will look on them, in their home, or in their world.

Go Beyond the Zoom

Sephora is quite a pioneer in the beauty world, so it’s no surprise that it has a virtual makeup artist. Using its AR, you can try on different makeup products without ever having to put them on your face — and of course, buy what you like.

Another great application of AR comes from IKEA, which has an app that lets customers hold up their phone and see realistic images of IKEA furniture overlaid onto their room. Far from a badly photoshopped insert, the furniture is accurately placed and measured to look as realistic as possible.

4. Virtual Reality

Finally, the really high-level stuff. Virtual reality is different from artificial reality in that it is a complete view of your surroundings through some sort of lens or goggles, like the Oculus. People call it the way of the future, but it’s still got a ways to go. Due to the cost and complexity, it’s no surprise that most companies have not embraced VR, but it can still spark your creativity and make you think about applications of your products that are a little outside the box.

A few companies have taken the plunge, though. EBay launched the world’s first virtual reality department store, in which customers could view eBay products as if they were in a department store. Shopify hasn’t come out with any VR experiences as of yet, but it has heavily invested in both AR and VR, and hopes to be used in the future as a place to host virtual reality experiences. It’s likely not within reach in the very near future, but it’s an exciting space to keep your eye on.

It’s all about the experience

As technology improves, your customers will expect you to take advantage of it to provide the best online shopping experience you can. How are you wowing your customers?

About the author

Jake Rheude is the Director of Marketing for Red Stag Fulfillment, an ecommerce fulfillment warehouse that was born out of ecommerce. He has years of experience in ecommerce and business development. In his free time, Jake enjoys reading about business and sharing his own experience with others.

5 Emerging Trends In The Mobile Payments Space

Internet was introduced just two decades ago and smartphones ushered just a decade ago marking a new revolution. Smartphones have already become the centre stage of our life today.

People not only communicate using their phones but do so many other things including many of their daily tasks. From shopping to social communication, and from bill payments to online learning, mobile phones have become an indispensable tool in our life.

As a matter of fact, mobile payments were not considered a viable option for financial transactions not very long ago because of the security issues involved. But with advanced technology and secure platforms, mobile payments have become a norm. According to a study, in 2016, 47% people used mobile phones for payment processing in the US.

In a way, innovations in mobile phone technologies have just begun. More and more new trends are expected to emerge in future that our forthcoming generations will use and they might completely eradicate the use of paper money and traditional payment methods.

Among the major trends emerging at present in mobile payments are:

  1. Mobile wallets

Mobile wallets first appeared in the global arena when the Apple Pay app was developed by mobile phone maker Apple. It was soon followed by a flood of such mobile wallet platforms and the prominent ones among those were Microsoft Wallet, Android Pay and Samsung Pay.

It is expected that mobile payment apps would cross a total volume of $500 billion in terms of transactions by 2020. It has seen a whopping 80% compound annual growth rate for the past couple of years. Consumers are also accepting it wholeheartedly. Smartphones are the key for the development of this form of payment technology. With greater mobile phone penetration, this figure is likely to go up.

  1. User experience is king 

User experience is everything when it comes to payment processing through mobile platforms. More and more companies are now targeting audiences by offering a smoother and better user experience in terms of navigation, site layout, load time, and processing.

User experience can be defined on the basis of the following three points:

A. Time saving
People also use their smartphones to save their time while performing a routine task. All they have to do is to take it out from their pocket and start using it for many of their daily tasks. A secure app they can trust for payment processing can save their time and energy. But, the website should be designed in such a way that users can perform their tasks in minimum clicks working on an easy interface.

B. Look, feel, and speed

The look, feel, and speed of a mobile site are extremely important when it comes to payment processing. It helps when the interface is clutter-free and offers a smooth user-experience. More and more customers are prompted to make payment through such sites and apps.

C. Load time
Load time is also an important part of user experience. Make sure that the entire navigation is smooth and fluid. Avoid such stuff on the web page that takes a long time to load.

  1. Advancement technology to ensure security

More and more security options are being introduced, thanks to advancement in technology. MasterCard recently experimented with selfies in place of passwords and biometric authentication is also just around the corner. The other technologies that are expected to be prevalent in near future are voice recognition, cardiac rhythm and facial identification. Since technology is always in the process of advancement, the sky is the limit for such ongoing innovations and possibilities.

  1. mPOS adoption

Mobile Point of Sale is also becoming extremely popular with merchants all around the globe. It offers safety and ease of use. As far as mobile payments are concerned, there are certain other benefits that come with them. It is expected that more than 50 million mPOS devices will be installed by 2019, according to ABI Research.  This is roughly 50% of the POS machines already installed at present. Though mPOS will not completely take over POS, but both are likely to coexist for the convenience of users.

  1. AI to handle routine transactions

Artificial intelligence has introduced many innovative solutions related to mobile payment processing. One of the most common AI application used is “chatbots”.  These chatbots are designed to meet the needs of people making mobile payments. Financial chatbots are designed to transfer funds and print basic financial snapshots on receiving simple voice commands.  Verbal instructions can also be handled by AI. It also helps routing number verification and completing ACH payment processing without having to interact with a call centre agent.

Final thoughts
With mobile payment technologies growing further, more and more consumers are likely to make payment using their mobile phones. With biometric and facial recognition, AI and Internet of Things, mobile payments will likely speed up despite challenges.

Forging the Future of Payments – The Emerging Trends

Forging the Future of Payments – The Emerging Trends

With the rapid pace at which the payment industry is gathering momentum, the global payment environment will go through a sea change in near future. There are many factors responsible for an ongoing shift in the payment industry.

We are going to discuss these trends in the light of the 5 major factors that are as follows:

  1. Increasing regulations and compliance post global recession of 2009
  2. Entry of new players in the market and increasing competition
  3. Economic growth in emerging markets and a resultant boom in payment flow across new regions
  4. Innovation and unprecedented growth in technology

Technological innovation is paving the way for increased accessibility, efficiency, velocity and reach, as far as payment transfers are concerned. It is responsible for a complete shift as to where, when and how payments are initiated and transferred.

Banks need to be cautious and monitor the situation carefully as to how developments are taking place in the payment industry and what opportunities and threats it is posing for the banks. In order to thrive, they need to be alert and ready to capitalize on the emerging possibilities.

  1. The impact of regulation

Increasing regulations is the biggest factor that is going to impact this industry in future. With an unprecedented growth in the volumes of cross-border payment transactions, the volume of these transfers has doubled from US$10 billion in 2012 to US$18billion in 2018.  Such a huge volume of international transactions warrants strict monitoring and control.

Banks need to keep an eye on the complexities involved with local and international regulatory framework. The other influencing factors are current practices, currencies and payment formats.

Changes in regulatory compliance can lead to enormous innovation, where it becomes necessary to reevaluate both internal and pan-industry practices.  It will open a whole new world of opportunities for banks and corporate sector.

To simplify and harmonize payment practices across Europe, EU has introduced the Single European Payments Area (SEPA). Fixing regulatory and compliance issues, SEPA has harmonized and standardized the payment market and eased local transfers. Such integration activities are likely to take place in other regions as well.

  1. Entry of new players

Many new players are likely to enter the payment industry and those can be online payments providers, virtual marketplaces and large technology and social media companies such as Google, WhatsApp, Amazon, and Apple, etc.  A thriving fin-tech ecosystem will boost the market.

The factors that are responsible for attracting new players in this market are the current secure payment propositions. The industry as a whole is gravitating towards new payment methods that are not constrained by banking regulations and offer convenient and innovative methods to the customers.

  1. Economic growth in emerging markets

Shifting economic landscape and changing global demographics across the planet will also shape how future payment flows will take place.

A soaring middle-class population and changing economic landscape is creating global opportunities in this industry. In the year 2000, the US and Western Europe together controlled 70% of global financial assets, but by 2020, it is estimated to fall to 45%. China, on the other hand, is flexing its economic muscles and it has seen a 600% growth in global financial assets since then.

  1. Rapid growth in technology

With the rapid pace of change in financial technology, many regions such as Latin America have experienced unprecedented growth in smartphone penetration. Nearly half of the adult population in this region doesn’t have a bank account. So, there is huge potential for payment processors and mobile banking.  Technology allows you to not only transfer the funds instantly but also to track it in real time.

Payment processors like PayTabs have a real advantage here because they have future-proof strategies in place that include customer-centric approach, convenience, flexibility and multi-currency support.