Thursday, June 26, 2014

Throwback Thursday: The Past, Present, and Future of Online Shopping

“One of the first known Web purchases took place in 1994. It was a pepperoni pizza with mushrooms and extra cheese from Pizza Hut” (TIME.com; A Brief History of Online Shopping).Today, we use the Internet to purchase almost anything: books, groceries, computers, etc. The majority of Americans are embracing the growing trend and utilizing the convenience of online shopping, but just like in-store consumers, it is important for companies to provide their online audience with an excellent customer experience, too.

According to a Forrester report from 2010, “57% of US online consumers report that they are very likely to abandon an online purchase if they cannot find quick answers to their questions. However, satisfaction with online self-service has room to improve. To reinvigorate online customer service, eBusiness professionals should give virtual agents another look” (It’s Time to Give Virtual Agents another Look, 2010). When looking at eCommerce in 2014, it is apparent that companies are devoting more attention to improving their eCommerce strategy and using cutting edge technology to provide their consumers with world class service, virtually.    

There is no sign of slowing down for Virtual Agents assisting online shopping in the near future either. A trusted analyst firm predicted that the number of online purchases made via a Virtual Assistant will continue to grow into the coming years. With more and more well known brands embracing and even acquiring Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) as part of their own strategy, this is proof that the era of smart machines is upon us. 

Check out this slideshare, How to Increase Sales by Tracking Four Specific Problems, to find out how a Virtual Agent can work as a 24/7 sales person.


What do you expect in the future for online shopping? How do you think Virtual Agents/A.I. will impact the way we make purchases online?