E-commerce of the future. What to do to keep the store up-to-date with technology?
The first online stores were established just a few decades ago. In that short period of time, a real revolution took place. E-commerce has changed the face of trade. There has been a huge increase in online purchases during the coronavirus pandemic. This generated a need for change. Both in terms of technology and customer approach. The changes that have taken place in e-commerce have forced the owners of online stores to start thinking about stable platforms that will fit into the e-commerce 3.0 model. What is it about? We present in the text below.
E-commerce 1.0 - how e-commerce began
To understand how the e-commerce world is changing, you need to start all over again. The rise of online stores has changed the approach to shopping. And while online sales are obvious to us today, the path of e-commerce to success has been quite bumpy. The beginnings of e-commerce was a model that was based on discovering the potential of the Internet. The e-stores that were created then were not dedicated to network users. They reflected the stationary trade and were based on its principles. Often they were just an addition to the classic business and operated as a virtual catalog or pages with the possibility of booking goods. The purchases themselves took place by correspondence or by e-mail.
Entrepreneurs very quickly realized that e-commerce could be the answer to the weak points of stationary sales. First of all, e-commerce does not require the purchase or rental of premises or hiring sales representatives. In addition, it eliminates the complicated offline sales process. Therefore, more and more entrepreneurs began to establish successful online stores. Thanks to them, they could reach a whole host of new customers. Despite this, they have not yet gone beyond the traditional buy and sell model. There was a lack of attention to the client, which was becoming more and more demanding.
E-commerce 2.0 - development of online stores
The fact that the comfort of customers is very important in online sales was realized fairly quickly by the sellers. After 2000, they started looking for solutions that would allow them to build the entire sales experience. It was about building a completely new quality that would distinguish stationary commerce from that on the Internet. E-stores have undergone a metamorphosis, have become multimedia portals that not only allow you to sell, but also engage customers in the purchasing process. In this way, tools were created that sellers use to this day, among others product recommendations, easy payment systems, connection with social media or advertising. This not only made it easier for entrepreneurs to sell, but also allowed customers to be more independent during the purchasing process. All these novelties contributed to the creation of the e-commerce 2.0 model, which focused on improving the customer experience and greater interaction with it. The world of e-commerce has benefited greatly from this. Online stores began to be a huge success, and platforms that provide solutions for them have experienced a real boom.
E-commerce 3.0 - a new era
The next stage of e-commerce development was anticipated by foreign industry portals as early as 2013. According to specialists, it was supposed to be a new era in which mobile devices, omnichannel and social media will be the leaders. And while the entry into the next model was supposed to be gradual, the coronavirus pandemic forced both sellers and e-commerce solution providers to jump into this deep water. The Model 3.0 is the aftermath of full digital social maturity. Therefore, both sellers and suppliers of e-commerce platforms had to - while maintaining the standards of the 2.0 model - find a way to improve the speed of transactions, customer service, simplify the purchasing path, and easy and fast delivery. Such solutions required shifting the center of gravity to solid stores with high technology. Third-generation platforms began to propose failure-free infrastructure, increased conversions, smooth sales, good infrastructure, connection of online and offline stores, greater personalization, development of digital strategies, and better service and retention of customer interest. E-commerce 3.0 has allowed merchants to expand their business to different markets, track customers who use different devices, and analyze buyers' needs. In addition, social media, remarketing, Google smart ads, chatbots made entrepreneurs have more interaction with customers.
Model 3.0 made it necessary to run and develop e-business solid and modern e-commerce platforms that use the Headless frontend solution, in which a strong back-end is separated from the front-end (they connect via API). Headless consists of a database, Api and administration panel. Thanks to this, the data that is stored in the database and the front end are compatible, but do not have a direct impact on each other. This solution allows you to create any visual layer and an unlimited number of variants. In addition, it guarantees quick operation, clear presentation of content that we add on different devices at the same time, the possibility of introducing changes to the system without affecting the visual layer. However, first of all, headless frontend means much greater security in the storage of information. How the headless front-end works and how the frontend and backend interact can be compared to a hybrid drive in a car. In hybrids, the internal combustion engine runs at a constant speed and charges the battery. The electric motor, in turn, uses the energy produced. The database and administration panel are like an internal combustion engine. They work constantly at the same speed. On the other hand, the frontend, as a separate database (i.e. hybrid engine), takes on everything that could disturb the operation of the main engine, i.e. website audience peaks. Headless frontend is a solution that is very difficult to build and maintain. There are few specialists on the market who can administer such systems. E-commerce platforms that use headless frontend and allow their users to enter the world of e-commerce 3.0 are popular marketplaces and the provider of the open Saas IdoSell. Thanks to this solution, even during huge sales peaks, stores focused on IdoSell do not slow down too much. With increased traffic, customers can easily search for goods. In addition, such a model makes it easier for traders to constantly and failure-free improvement of their sales channels.
On the horizon 4.0
Internet users have been in the e-commerce 3.0 model for quite a long time. However, not all platforms (and hence the retailers who use them) are ready to move to this generation. Why is it worth thinking about migrating to a store with a headless frontend solution now? Because the e-commerce 4.0 model is already on the horizon, which will rely on predictive purchases, in which artificial intelligence allows e-businesses to sell much more and without contact. In the near future, e-commerce will start using virtual reality, augmented reality, and the possibility of making purchases by voice. For companies that have kept up with the development and have already implemented 3.0 systems, the transition to the next model will not be difficult. They will simply seamlessly move to new tools and full sales automation.
Material developed by the IdoSell team.