The number of consumers shopping online is set for a big rise over the next five years. Digital commerce services are expected to reach 3 billion people by 2021 – that is 40 per cent of the world’s population, compared to 32 per cent this year, according to Juniper Research.
The group’s latest study, Digital Commerce: Key Trends, Sectors & Forecasts 2017-2021, predicted that remote payment for goods would be the biggest growth factor, with digital banking and bill payments the second most profitable.
In particular, the escalating use of chatbots is set to boost online sales, according to Juniper. The study concluded that ‘businesses will gain advantage through the use of automated customer experiences. Research author Lauren Foye explained: “Juniper has found that chatbots and natural language search can greatly improve retailer understanding of consumer behaviour, so we are witnessing growth in this sector, for example investment by Facebook and Google, as well as the launch of digital assistants by companies such as Amazon.”
In relation to mobile banking, Juniper expects half of all adults to use mobile devices for bill paying services by 2021. “Juniper found that usage will continue to rise as consumers increasingly opt for banks offering the convenience of rapid, multi-channel digital services. This means that providers will need to focus on presenting ever more frictionless digital experiences to their customers, especially if they are to remain market leaders,” a Juniper spokesperson said.
Online retail giant Amazon is reportedly looking to expand its cashier-free grocery store Amazon Go to Europe in the near future after it recently filed several trademark applications to the intellectual property offices across the continent.
Meanwhile, British online marketplace OnBuy.com has announced that it has signed a two-year partnership deal with leading online cloud services provider UKFast as it prepares for a surge in traffic.