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12 tech trends that are redefining eCommerce as we know it

12 tech trends redefining eCommerce

Metaverse. NFTs. AI copywriting.

There’s no shortage of new ideas—or buzzwords—these days. And with global VC investment in digital shopping hitting a record $140 billion last year alone, eCommerce is rapidly evolving.

Between tech that has people asking “what’s that?” and trends that have already laid their roots in eCommerce (see our guide on what is eCommerce), here are the top innovations for your brand to keep in mind (no matter what type of business you have). Consider which of these can take your Wix eCommerce store to new heights, and which to simply keep on your radar.

01. Mobile commerce

By 2025, mobile commerce (aka m-commerce) sales are expected to double and account for nearly half (44.2%) of all eCommerce sales in the U.S.

Smartphones and tablets are largely to thank for this revolution, as well as innovations in mobile banking and mobile payments (Apply Pay, anyone?). Consumers are additionally spending more and more time on their mobile devices, with most currently spending between five to six hours on their phones each day.

But while convenience is key to m-commerce, checkout is often a point of frustration for mobile users. Retailers have introduced one-click checkout on their sites to help. However, for sellers offering this type of solution, this means addressing eCommerce website security concerns that come with storing credit card data.

Fortunately, today’s payment providers, digital wallets, and eCommerce platforms are getting more sophisticated. For example, all Wix stores are automatically compliant with the highest PCI standards (PCI DSS Level 1), giving merchants peace of mind.

example of mobile commerce

Current opportunity for your store: 🔥🔥🔥🔥

Optimizing your eCommerce store for m-commerce opens your brand up to the estimated 41% of global consumers who reportedly shop on their phones daily or weekly. The key is to make both the checkout and product discovery process easy on a small screen.

Analyze how Amazon, eBay, and other popular shopping apps design their experiences. How do they handle site navigation? How much information do they provide above the fold? What visual aids (like large buttons, spacing, and animations) do they use to keep users engaged? Apply these principles to your own site, using a tool like Wix’s eCommerce website builder to customize the mobile experience.

02. Digital wallets and BNPL

The last few years has given rise to the digital wallet (aka e-wallets), thanks in part to the pandemic. Nearly 24% of surveyed consumers believe that mobile payments are the safest to prevent the spread of the virus. And the total amount spent via digital wallets is expected to reach $10 trillion annually (up from $5.5 trillion in 2020) by 2025.

Not only that, other methods of payment like buy now pay later (BNPL) have gained traction. The user base for BNPL alone grew 85% in 15 months between 2020 and 2021, with 75% of U.S. users reported to be Gen-Z or millennials.

Current opportunity for your store: 🔥🔥🔥🔥

Lack of payment options is one of the top 10 reasons why U.S. shoppers bounce during the checkout process. As more retailers (including your competitors) begin offering a range of payment options, you’ll want to start offering more options as well.

Learn how to accept secure payments with Wix. As a Wix merchant, you can accept payments from 50+ payment gateways worldwide, including Wix Payments, Apple Pay, Stripe, Square, PayPal, Affirm, and Afterpay.

03. Blockchain

Blockchain is a highly secure decentralized digital ledger that’s distributed across several computer networks. You’ve likely heard about blockchain in the context of its two most well-known functions: allowing online stores to accept cryptocurrency for payment and enabling brands to engage in selling online artwork as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Or, when referenced together as the future of the internet—Web3.

An estimated 82 million people have active cryptocurrency wallets, and one-third of small-to-midsize business owners reportedly accept cryptocurrency as payment today. Meanwhile, NFT sales hit a record $25 billion in 2021, with top brands like Coca-Cola minting their own NFTs.

Current opportunity for your store: 🔥

Blockchain technology is still in its infancy, and we’ve likely just tapped the surface. Blockchain could (and is starting to) change everything from how we verify products from manufacturers to how we track packages to our customers. It has implications on the customer experience, transactions, rewards programs, and more.

That said, a “crypto winter” looms ahead, with crypto prices plunging since last year.

“In theory, interest in blockchain shouldn’t be tethered to the price of cryptocurrency; in reality, it very much is,” notes Recode.

Some people remain optimistic about the future of crypto and Web3, others far less so. The reality: only time can tell.

In the meantime, it still benefits you to learn how to make an NFT and familiarize yourself with Web3 technology. There could still come a day when you’ll want to add NFTs to your catalog or need to accept crypto as a payment method. The more you can stay ahead of this trend, the better, lest you be the last to adopt it if and when the time comes.

04. AI-powered live chat

Live chat is in hot demand these days. With the ability to provide quick, personalized support, live chat is practically a prerequisite for customer-facing sites. In fact, the top five percentile of Wix sites that installed a Chat feature saw sales and conversion jump 300%.

Moreover, AI-powered live chat (aka chatbots) are on the rise (see AI in eCommerce). In 2019, the global chatbot market was estimated at just $2.8 billion. By 2024, it’s expected to reach a whopping $142 billion.

The appeal of chatbots? They can handle multiple conversations at once without needing a human operator to be present. Chatbots can also operate across multiple channels, including your online storefront, SMS, or third-party platforms like WhatsApp.

example of AI-powered live chat

Current opportunity for your store: 🔥🔥🔥

The best AI-powered live chat ecommerce technologies give customers 24/7 access to support—whether by offering quick, automated answers or routing more complicated questions to the right human agent.

Thankfully, most chat boxes and bots are easy to set up. You can easily set up Wix Chat to offer live chat on any Wix Store. Or, you can integrate one of our chatbot apps to help your team scale (without increasing headcount) and run more efficiently.

Note that your live chat feature can serve multiple purposes. Beyond offering around-the-clock support, this feature can be useful for gathering valuable feedback from your customers or providing personalized product recommendations to increase conversions.

05. Social commerce

While shopping on social media isn’t a new concept, it’s worth noting that social channels are constantly rolling out new features to incentivize merchants to sell—and shoppers to buy—directly from their platforms. Among the latest features: Instagram Drops, TikTok Shoppable Ads, and Pinterest Shopping Lists.

It pays to stay ahead of these new social commerce platforms, especially as social commerce is on track to growing three times faster than traditional eCommerce. Unsurprisingly, this growth is expected to be driven by younger shoppers. Millennials are anticipated to make up a third of the social commerce market by 2025, while Gen-Z spending is expected to grow at a faster clip.

Current opportunity for your store: 🔥🔥🔥🔥

Needless to say that social media is an instrumental tool for marketing and sales. While you’ll want to avoid taking the spray-and-pray approach, consider which channels can get you in front of your target audience.

Study how to create a strong social commerce strategy, and experiment with one or two initial channels. Apparel brand and Wix merchant CeliaB uses Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook Shop to expand the reach of their colorful merchandise. Their Facebook Shop is connected to their Wix store, allowing easy management over product listings, pricing, inventory, and orders.

06. Livestream shopping

Consumer demand for video is at an all-time high. By the end of 2022, online videos are projected to make up more than 82% of online traffic.

This, combined with livestream shopping’s surge in China, gives us good reason to believe that livestream shopping will quickly pick up steam. In China, livestream shopping is already projected to reach $480 billion in 2022. The U.S. is playing catchup but its livestream market is expected to generate $17 billion in online sales this year—and $26 billion by the end of 2023.

Most livestream shopping today takes place on social channels like YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook as well as marketplaces like Alibaba’s Taobao Live or Amazon Live.

Current opportunity for your store: 🔥🔥🔥

The beauty of livestream shopping is that it’s interactive and spontaneous. It gives your brand a human edge while allowing viewers to casually browse, shop, or ask questions about your products in real time.

In lieu of the typical in-store shopping experience—where buyers can see and touch your products—livestream videos let you showcase your product at all angles, demonstrate its use, and build confidence in your brand.

Of course, any successful livestream video still requires a thoughtful plan. See what China can teach us about livestream shopping and make sure you’ve selected the right product(s), host, and platform for your video. Go “live” on a social channel where you’ve already built up an audience, or hop into existing communities (but take care to understand their preferences and any platform requirements beforehand).

07. Voice commerce

When you think of voice search, Alexa and Google likely come to mind. The demand for smart speakers has grown steadily, with global shipments expected to surpass 200 million between 2022 and 2023 (up from an estimated 186 million in 2021).

Let’s not forget Siri and Cortana, either. Like smart speakers each of these virtual assistants make it easy to search the web via voice command. When analyzed more closely, 30% of U.S. internet users were discovered to have used voice search to shop for products or find product information.

Current opportunity for your store: 🔥🔥🔥

Voice search isn’t new technology, but as adoption continues to grow, it would be wise to optimize your website for it.

Tools like Velo by Wix can bring voice commerce to the forefront of your store. With a little bit of custom coding, you can add a voice-enabled search bar to your Wix storefront.

Wix merchant Evolve Clothing Gallery features voice search on its site, providing an extra convenient way for visitors to browse its products.

voice search feature on Evolve's website

Beyond this, consider voice search in your SEO strategy. What product-related commands are likely to follow “Hey Google”? How do those keywords differ from what people might type into a search bar?

08. Augmented reality (AR)

The global AR market is on pace to reach 2.4 billion users by 2023. Brands like Warby Parker and IKEA have used AR experiences to bridge the gap between in-store and virtual experiences.

From virtual try-on experiences to previewing a new couch in your living room, AR provides an immersive experience, plus 3D renderings, to help customers feel more confident in their purchases.

Of course, these are just a few basic ways to use AR. AR has proven useful for a multitude of other purposes. Walmart, for instance, recently tested a new AR-based tool to help its fulfillment teams find items for online orders more quickly. Many others have used AR to gamify the shopping experience, develop new products, and/or offer customizable products.

Current opportunity for your store: 🔥🔥🔥

AR’s greatest advantage is that it allows shoppers to get a deeper understanding of product details than images—or even regular videos—can offer. This eCommerce technology is especially popular in fashion, beauty, and home decor, or categories that face a high rate of returns.

While building more complex AR experiences require time, money, and a developer’s touch (and therefore may not be the top priority in your list of to-dos), you can start by creating 3D models or 360° images of your products.

Search Wix’s Marketplace for experts who can help. Or, whip out your smartphone and use a built-in camera feature (like Photo Sphere Model) or an app (like Facebook 360 Photos) to snap a 360° image. Upload your image directly to your Wix eCommerce site and track its impact on conversions.

09. Headless commerce

Headless commerce is a type of website architecture that separates the frontend layer of your online store from the backend layer. Traditional commerce solutions are “monolithic,” meaning all the features and functionality of your site are fused together.

You can’t make changes to your site design without potentially impacting your backend operations (like your payment or security features). You can’t experiment with new technologies, unless your current eCommerce platform supports it.

In a headless architecture, the codebase for your front and back ends is completely decoupled, giving you much more freedom over when and how to customize your site.

From 2020 to 2021, headless commerce solutions attracted $1.65 billion in funding. It has piqued the interest of major brands due to the promise of faster load times, greater flexibility, and improved levels of experimentation.

Current opportunity for your store: 🔥🔥

The benefits of headless commerce are undeniable. Yet, headless is pretty technical. It requires the help of a developer with deep expertise in APIs and other technologies.

Large retailers stand to benefit the most from going headless. These are the brands that see large volumes of traffic on their site; need to speed up app performance; and seek to create rich, more advanced customer experiences.

However, if you’re a small-to-midsize retailer with fewer IT resources and customization needs, then headless may not be worth the trouble right now. That said, you don’t necessarily need to go headless to customize your tech stack.

Wix eCommerce, for instance, already allows for personalization and integrates with various apps. (View the Wix App Market and these personalization examples for inspiration.) Velo by Wix is additionally available to every Wix user and allows you to code and deploy custom funcationality.

10. AI copywriting

What if you could create content for your site or generate a detailed product description—all within seconds? That’s the future that AI copywriting tools, such as, are building towards.

These platforms stem from OpenAI’s GPT-3 technology. GPT-3 powers more than 300 applications, according to OpenAI, and generates over 4.5 billion words today. It creates everything from poetry to blogs using algorithms that have crunched over 570gb of text information across the web.

The technology is rapidly evolving. It’s a hopeful solution for merchants that need to produce lots of content fast, albeit it’s not a perfect replacement for a seasoned writer.

Current opportunity for your store: 🔥🔥

AI copywriting solves a common problem for online store owners: how to quickly write product descriptions that will motivate shoppers to buy—especially across hundreds or even thousands of products.

Beyond this, AI-copywriting tools can be useful for generating ad copy, blog outlines, and other helpful materials. There are also several free and affordable AI-copywriting tools on the market, making the technology relatively accessible.

That said, AI copywriting can’t do it all. Many outputs still require some level of human editing. As noted by Neil Patel, “although AI tech is impressive, AI copywriting tools don’t write anything truly original. Remember, we’re talking about a machine. They’re ‘fed’ articles and content written by human copywriters and essentially mix them up to create something new…What’s more, AI tools can’t replicate human emotion.”

For this reason, you’ll still want to brush up on how to write product descriptions that both Google and shoppers will love. AI copywriting can offer valuable assistance and help to get the creative juices flowing, but shouldn’t be used as a crutch.

11. AI image generators

Like AI copywriting, AI image generators (aka text-to-image generators) have taken the internet by storm. TikTok videos on AI art have attracted over 124.1 million views to date.

This technology can, once again, be traced back to OpenAI. OpenAI’s DALL-E tech has been the leader in this space, though Google recently debuted Imagen, “a text-to-image diffusion model with an unprecedented degree of photorealism and a deep level of language understanding.”

To create an automated image, all you have to do is enter text describing what you want to see (like “cat wearing a tiara on a kitchen stool”). Image generators will then spit out an image, which could theoretically be used for marketing and advertising purposes.

Current opportunity for your store: 🔥

While the idea of AI image is cool for sure, there are, as The Verge notes, persisting issues regarding image quality. Generators may still have trouble understanding some prompts and some outputs may appear smeared or unfinished.

Google additionally isn’t opening up Imagen for public use quite yet. This is likely due to the fact that, given the freedom they offer to create anything and everything, AI-generated images could be used to spread misinformation or fake news. Not to mention that generators still require lots of training, filtering, and monitoring to avoid potentially racist, toxic, and generally offensive material.

So, while it may be fun to test our AI image generators, don’t bank on them serving as a replacement for true designers.

12. The metaverse

Ever since Mark Zuckerberg renamed Facebook as Meta last October, interest in the ‘verse has arguably skyrocketed. Gaming platforms like Roblox already feature virtual “meta-like” worlds. Meanwhile, 52% of surveyed Gen-Zers say they want to experience making money in the metaverse—and several large brands like Gucci seem to be jumping in feet first.

The metaverse, in a nutshell, marries the virtual and real worlds together. Today, it can be experienced through virtual reality headsets, AR glasses, or a computer.

The fashion industry has been particularly eager about the metaverse, looking to it as a way to host immersive fashion shows, sell NFT wearables, and engage with buyers across the world.

Current opportunity for your store: 🔥

The metaverse is still a nebulous concept and is out of reach for most online store owners due to the high cost of development. However, it’s worth keeping your eye on. Could meta-concepts become more mainstream soon? Will they become more accessible, if so?

For the time being, we invite you to learn more metaverse and eCommerce, plus see cool examples of how brands are experimenting with it currently.

Which eCommerce tech trends are right for me?

What’s your best go-forward strategy when it comes to eCommerce technologies and your online store’s tech stack?

Our best advice is to do your research. Think about the main KPI you want to drive—AOV, conversion rate, cart abandonment, to name a few—and thoroughly investigate whether the technology will help you get there. Also, make sure your eCommerce platform can interact with whatever solutions you might select.

Looking for a platform that will help you ride the wave of the hottest tech trends? See what a Wix eCommerce online store can do for you.

Allison Lee

Editor, Wix eCommerce

Allison is the editor for the Wix eCommerce blog, with several years of experience reporting on eCommerce news, strategies, and founder stories.

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