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3 min

Four E-Commerce Trends Transforming the Customer Experience

Gain a competitive edge in the long-term by incorporating these four retail trends to boost efficiency, improve insights, and provide a personalized, targeted customer experience.

In retail, trends quickly come and go, whether it be the newest product to go viral on TikTok or the technology powering a consumer’s shopping experience. However, changing technology is not as simple as adjusting product inventory, which is why retailers (especially small businesses) should carefully consider e-commerce technology trends before rushing to implement new features.

Choosing IT initiatives that yield rapid returns while providing a competitive edge can help your organization achieve new highs during peak seasons and stay afloat during slower months. Here are four key technologies we believe are sticking around and can help you streamline technology, operate more efficiently and provide a better customer experience.

Generative AI

While generative AI may be all the buzz, many organizations are still exploring how to use it. However, among the businesses that are already using generative AI, 84 percent of salespeople say it helps increase sales at their organization by enhancing and speeding up customer interactions, according to Salesforce’s 2023 Generative AI Snapshot Research Series.

Generative AI can be helpful for retailers because, at a minimum, it can help fill the gaps by providing creative art, email copy, social media posts and more. At a more advanced level, generative AI can help retailers craft personalized shopping experiences by analyzing data to provide tailored product recommendations, targeted promotions and customized messaging.

To be successful at AI, retailers must have clean, accurate data. Poor data quality is one of the top roadblocks to successful machine learning. This is why it is important for retailers who have multiple systems, data silos and inaccessible data to focus on cleaning up and centralizing their data before jumping into generative AI.

Unified Commerce

As immersive shopping experiences that extend the online experience become more and more popular with customers, it has become more crucial to unify your commerce platforms instead of having multiple systems. Unified commerce can enable better reporting, a consistent experience for customers and employees, and lower maintenance costs.

The benefit of having a single commerce platform means customer, product, pricing and promotional data is always in sync. Modern commerce platforms often provide customizable dashboards and real-time analytics so that businesses can track key metrics, identify trends and make informed decisions to drive growth. This enables retailers to have better insights into how to better serve customers and adapt accordingly.

Automation

Automation is essential for streamlining operations and driving growth. By leveraging automation, retailers can focus less on mundane administrative tasks such as data entry, lead assignment and email follow-ups, enabling you to focus on revolutionizing your sales processes, optimizing customer interactions and unlocking new opportunities for success.

When looking at commerce platforms, consider options with built-in automation features, such as Salesforce, which enables users to implement automated workflows and personalized communication strategies to boost customer engagement and deliver exceptional experiences. From initial contact to post-sale support, automation can help ensure every interaction is targeted. With Salesforce, you can customize workflows, add new features and integrate third-party apps, making it easier to evolve and scale operations.

Customer and Employee Experience with IoT Smart Retail

The Internet of Things (IoT), a network of interconnected devices, can help retailers improve customer engagement, track products, enhance supply chain management and more. Whether its camera vision used to understand customer actions, or displays that change based on contact with a specific product, IoT is a growing trend that will become the norm. 

Navigating these trends and identifying which ones work for your business can become overwhelming. Think about your businesses long-term goals, underlying challenges (such as data silos or multiple commerce platforms) and consider choosing a partner, such as CDW, that can help you select a commerce platform that is set up to incorporate these technology trends.

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Jenna Trunzo

Salesforce Portfolio Manager, CDW
Salesforce Portfolio Manager, CDW