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PREDICTIONS Mobile-centric and immersive websites for sustainable retail

Each year, InternetRetailing starts to look ahead to the coming new year in a series of predictions. Gav Winter, CEO of RapidSpike – the website monitoring software firm used by ecommerce brands such as Tesco, Sweaty Betty and JD Sports – forecasts a digital landscape in 2024.

Everyday AI is revolutionising how we work by seamlessly integrating automation, data-driven decision-making, and personalised experiences into our personal and professional lives. This transformative technology streamlines tasks and empowers individuals with data-driven insights, enhancing their skills and efficiency across various industries. The first evolution of AI will not be AI taking our jobs; it will be those who can use AI effectively to do more people’s jobs and machine learning taking over logistics transportation.

For those who find themselves made redundant by AI, there is a need to reskill those people, so there is a considerable surge in the technology educational markets, especially in deprived areas. The drivers can become technicians for the new logistics sector, and those who found themselves out of a role will be reskilled to help create more AI integration; this is where we provide the basic universal income in the first instance to allow some of those people to follow a passion rather than a vocation.

Changes in ecommerce and online will be exciting. The future of websites themselves is poised for transformative change, focusing on immersive and interactive experiences, mobile-centric design for personalisation, and an unwavering commitment to enhanced data privacy and security. As technology evolves, websites will continue to adapt to meet users’ changing needs and expectations in an increasingly digital world.

Mobile-centric in the future doesn’t just mean your pocket device. It will be watches, glasses, TVs, intelligent walls and more. Ecommerce platforms like Shopify and similar will provide technology to many leading brands, with less being done in-house on the basic structure and more 3rd party tools created to enhance small niche parts of the experience. Standing out will be about the online shopping user experience, zero tolerance for issues, expectation of speed and the product itself.

AR/VAR/AI combining to create a virtual fitting room. Advanced technology, including AI-driven virtual try-ons either on an avatar on a 3D model of yourself, haptic feedback for fabric feel, high-quality imagery, and AI-powered fit predictions and recommendations, will revolutionise the online fashion retail industry, offering immersive’ almost real world’ shopping experiences.

Voice commerce is gaining traction due to the growing popularity of voice-activated devices like smart speakers. Ecommerce platforms must optimise their voice search capabilities to ensure customers can easily find and purchase products using voice commands. Creating voice-friendly shopping experiences will be essential to effectively tap into this emerging trend.

As we look to the future, sustainability is poised to take centre stage in the technology industry. Beyond addressing the environmental impact of devices and data centres, consumers and stakeholders will increasingly expect brands to take a comprehensive approach to minimising their carbon footprint. Online sustainability extends from managing energy consumption to optimising data centres and making eco-conscious website design choices. Keeping the per-user footprint low will be crucial, aligning technology with the growing global commitment to a sustainable future.

Gav Winter, CEO of RapidSpike

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