Series: The A-Z of E-Commerce (Part 3)
E-commerce has revolutionized the way consumers shop and a single umbrella term is no longer sufficient to encompass the extent to which e-commerce has expanded and will continue to expand. This article is the third part to a five-part written series which explores the A-Zs of lucrative e-commerce opportunities.
Two relevant h-commerce innovations will become prevalent in the future, spearheaded by Amazon’s actions: home commerce and health commerce. Home commerce will allow users to hire relevant home services, such as gardeners, handymen, and plumbers, at the click of a button and without making any phone calls. Amazon has engaged in home commerce since 2015 through its Amazon Home Services offering and has found success by connecting services to its products. Amazon allows its shoppers to simultaneously bundle a home service with a product being purchased to eliminate the ambiguity around middlemen, and has also incorporated a monthly home service subscription plan (VitalStorm). A second innovation being pursued by Amazon is health commerce in the form of Amazon Care, representing the first time a big tech firm has entered the healthcare services industry. Partnering with private medical practice Care Medical, Amazon Care will provide users with remote access to healthcare professionals and address two major emerging trends in healthcare: telehealth and home-based care (Healthcare IT News). Health commerce will revolutionize the healthcare industry by combatting the lack of access and speed which is widely associated with medical care, providing telehealth options to allow for remote healthcare treatment and resources to become widely available for all, and appealing to the culture of convenience through home-based care.
Online insurance commerce has surged during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the future expected to be increasingly digital and traditional insurers seeking to enter the online i-commerce space. Both website and mobile app are important platforms for i-commerce, which focuses on streamlining business processes to allow clients to buy insurance, learn about risks, monitor belongings, and communicate with representatives through more accessible media. The future of i-commerce will feature applications of deep learning techniques such as convolutional neural networks and artificial intelligence (AI) to shift the insurance industry from the “detect and repair” mentality to “predict and prevent” (McKinsey). Apps will be able to advise on potential driving routes with the lowest likelihood of accidents based on volume and distribution of cars on the road, and calculate the user’s monthly premium adjustment depending on the route selected, as well as any changes to the “pay-as-you-live” life insurance policy, changes which will automatically be debited or credited from a bank account connected to the app (McKinsey). The future will also see online insurance marketplaces becoming mainstream, where various insurance providers will list their rates and coverage options, and users will be able to compare and select the most suitable offering.
The jewelry industry relies heavily on storytelling and customer experience due to purchases being very personal and often symbolic. As such, jewelry commerce and its future evolution aims to retain this personalization through online platforms. The future of j-commerce will follow the example of Chrono24, which uses artificial reality (AR) technology to allow customers to virtually try on watches using smartphones, as well as IWC, which has created an interactive, virtual boutique to emulate the in-store experience (MOF). In addition to the increased accessibility offered by j-commerce, clients will be able to receive the expertise of advisors at their own convenience. J-commerce will build on the customer experience by offering additional communication touchpoints, both remotely through video calls or live chats, and through house calls.
Key commerce will see locksmith operations transition to digital platforms. Similar to other home services which have modernized through e-commerce, k-commerce will allow clients to receive services from locksmiths, such as assistance with keys or digital door codes, in a much more convenient manner via internet or mobile app. Steps to increase the accessibility of locksmiths have already been taken in recent years, such as by introducing 24 hour locksmith services. The move to digitize represents the future of k-commerce because it will further improve the customer experience.
Leisure commerce is a niche service that is notorious for catering primarily to the wealthy. Already, luxury concierge services can be hired remotely by interested clients to create leisure portfolios and assist with the planning of reservations, vacations, events, and other activities. The future of leisure commerce will see an increase in the use of mobile apps as a medium for the service, and the option to pay-per-event rather than only a full membership, making the service more accessible. Users will be able to make requests through the app for assistance with planning a vacation, event, tour, catering, and more, and will have responses fulfilled by a team of experienced managers. The future of l-commerce will also see seamless connectivity across various apps, such as the New York City-based leisure commerce app Bellhop, which is in partnership with Uber and Resy to integrate its services with established transportation and restaurant booking services (A Luxury Travel Blog). Leisure commerce remains in its nascent stage. Therefore, players will be racing to become the next one-stop-shop for leisure planning.