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 second part to a five-part written series which explores the A-Zs of lucrative e-commerce opportunities.
Following the lead of other services that have established e-commerce platforms, dentistry is expected to move into the online space. Dental commerce will allow users to schedule routine appointments such as dental cleanings to be performed from the comfort of their own home or in the dentist’s office, through the click of an app. Advancements in dental commerce will allow for patients to receive an improved and more efficient experience, while simultaneously appealing to the new culture of convenience. D-commerce also refers to data commerce, which involves the monetization of data for sale. Data marketplaces, third-party platforms facilitating the buying, selling, and exchanging of data, have grown in popularity in recent years, with a significant player being Amazon Web Services. Data monetization will only continue to grow into the future as companies become increasingly interested in improving their understanding of consumers and as sellers continue to realize significant profits. The future of data commerce will see the establishment of data exchange platforms across all industries due to their ease of use for both buyers and sellers.
Beyond the behemoth that is electronic commerce, an aspect of e-commerce that has emerged throughout the COVID-19 pandemic is education commerce. Education commerce has allowed students to receive schooling and tutoring services online, making it accessible for residents of any geographic location or income level. The future of education commerce will see innovators leveraging technological advancements to serve both students and instructors better. E-commerce is already evolving toward accessibility on mobile devices as learners seek more autonomy and flexibility in their online education, allowing them to watch pre-recorded media or read content anywhere and at their own leisure, for example, during a commute or before/after a work shift. Furthermore, the future of education commerce will see virtual reality (VR) technology applications becoming increasingly mainstream. Using VR for experiential learning and simulations will further bridge the gap between in-person and remote learning; enhance engagement, interactivity, and retention; and allow for the practical application of concepts, theories, and problem-solving techniques rather than simply reading or hearing about them.
Fitness commerce has become a powerhouse among digital businesses, accelerated by the widespread closure of fitness centers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Playing to consumers’ desire for convenience and accessibility, fitness commerce is expected to grow in popularity as more technology becomes available. Furthermore, the digital fitness industry fills many gaps for consumers by providing options and ease for unpredictable schedules and inclusivity for all ages and backgrounds. F-commerce has disrupted the fitness industry through its new business model featuring digital delivery and subscription-based services, and by leveraging the power of social media platforms, branding, and digital convenience. With a global market size of USD 9.6 billion in 2020, digital fitness commerce has advanced substantially to allow for a seamless experience at-home by providing on-demand streaming of fitness content, personalized offerings through virtual personal training sessions, and connected equipment. Peloton is considered an early pioneer in the now-crowded high-tech home fitness space by introducing its fitness app and connected bikes and treadmills. F-commerce is highly developed following the COVID-19 pandemic, and its future lies in increasing technological advancements – namely, VR. It is expected that VR in relation to digital fitness will continue to grow to provide users with an even more authentic, at-home workout experience and turn working out into a game. Several fitness commerce companies such as Black Box VR, WalkOVR, and BoxVR have moved into the VR fitness market. However, it has not yet picked up mainstream traction.
While g-commerce, or grocery commerce, has become increasingly popular in the Western world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is not a new phenomenon. G-commerce has grown immensely in China since 2012 but has existed, albeit with less popularity, since 2005. The same is true for other Asian countries with established g-commerce frameworks, such as Taiwan and Japan. As g-commerce becomes a lasting figment in the shopping experience, its future is expected to follow the lead of China to feature a hybrid system tailored to varying consumer preferences. Offline, g-commerce will follow a similar retail model to that of Amazon Go – a seamless, touchless experience featuring no cashiers or self-checkout counters, where shoppers can simply walk out of the store and be digitally charged through an app. Hema, an offline Alibaba-owned supermarket, is already using this futuristic hybrid g-commerce strategy. For those shoppers who need to feel their food, Hema has a physical store where shoppers can walk around, pick out their produce, and self-check out in a completely wireless, touchless manner. However, shoppers will also have the option to deliver certain items if they find that they have selected too much to carry, or can never visit the physical store and elect to exclusively order their groceries online, to be delivered within hours.
To continue exploring the A-Zs of e-commerce, refer to the subsequent part 3, part 4, and part 5 of this article series. For preceding articles, refer to part 1.