The retail market was highly disrupted by changing global trade features, while, the rise of Artificial intelligence and e-commerce, have changed the goals of supply chains, retailers, marketers, distributors, and consumers.
Many e-commerce websites are now changing policies, mostly, related to free returns because returns have increased 53 percent in the last three years and retailers want to get improved control over their product sale. On December 19, the returns hit more than 1.5 million of the consumers who bought days before Black Friday.
At least 1.5 million packages were shipped back on December 19, 2018 and it is expected 1.3 million packages will be returned back to shop owners in the current holiday shopping season on January 3 as per US parcel giant UPS.
This reflected how e-commerce websites are changing the retail business. These trends are sustained by express shipping, self-gifting and simplified returns, restocking and management policies.
A study by UPS Pulse found – 75 percent of the buyers shipped returns, back to retailers, and 79 percent of the buyers felt the return policy with the no-questions-asked policy was significant for their online experience.
The study also found that 89 percent of the buyers were not willing to order again at the site where they returned items. Businesses feel the policy is significant to get future customer loyalty.
AI and taxation
Buyers prefer environmentally friendly packaging. The governments are defining new taxation regulations for online shopping, and retailers are offering new features such as apps/devices to order products easily.
Retailers are becoming new marketplaces where the companies will be hiring AI as employees to help buyers, improve SEO, content, and merchandise.
Mobile e-commerce will get faster and progressive clearing the blur lines between apps and sites, and consumers will get feedback, reviews, and recommendations through friends on social networking sites.
The competition will grow in the coming years in e-commerce and the websites offering reliable, low cost and secure deals will be preferred over others and the new search option will be based on voice search where the capabilities of Google Assistant, Alexa and Siri can be used to get desired results – where one will get the product by just saying the name or giving a description.
Retailers are identifying and benefitting through global opportunities in different months of the year, offering gifts, discounts, and contest opportunities.
US GSA is preparing to create an e-commerce acquisition platform where the initial plan is to get in-depth descriptions of products, reviews, and shipping status. This aims to create Amazon.com's kind of website for the federal buyer.
UNCTAD's B2C E-commerce index 2018 found the most prepared country for e-commerce was the Netherlands followed by Singapore and Switzerland. The B2C spending by the buyers of Europe was growing and the UK was at the fourth rank on the index.
Luxemburg was leading in e-commerce but due to low postal reliability the score of the country dropped this year, while, Netherland is supported by secure servers and improved technology, and 76 percent of the population(are shoppers ) is above the age of 15.