The Future of eCommerce

I hate going shopping. I hate the process of going to a store, I hate having to navigate that store, I hate waiting in a line to check out. Maybe hate is a strong word here, but I really don’t like it. I do 95% of my shopping online thanks primarily to Amazon. I order it on my device when I need it and I can have it almost immediately in 2 hours or at the most wait 2 days. Generally speaking it’s cheaper as well and my options to choose from are much great.

eCommerce has come a long way. In the past many people didn’t want to put their credit card online for security purposes and now we realize that checks and other forms of payment are much less secure. Mobile has also changed the game as we’re an on the go society and we can buy something when we immediately think about it rather than having to hope we remember and then stop at a store the next time that we’re able to.

eBay changed the game in eCommerce and then Amazon took it to the next level. While I see more and more moving this direction, here are some of my predictions for the future:

  • More Options Online – right now eCommerce is mostly limited to smaller non-perishable goods. I think you will see online shopping for groceries becoming the norm rather than the exception and larger items like appliances primarily being purchased online. I even think automobiles will move online using a showroom and delivery model similar to Tesla.
  • Better try it on experiences – buying clothes through the mail is not new. Frustrations though with the right fit and returning policies also isn’t new. In the future though I believe there will be better “try it on” experiences will exist allowing you to try on glasses or clothes virtually to see exactly how they will look on your face or body.
  • More Online Giving – when it comes to donations to ministries and nonprofits, the world has already gone mobile and this will online continue. It’s easier, more immediate, more trackable and safer than sending cash or checks. This trend will only continue.
  • More Mobile – when we think about wanting to buy something or make a donation we don’t often want to wait and do it later. If we can easily do it right then we can and will. More and more donations and online purchases will take place via mobile in the coming months and years.
  • Better Security – online security has gotten so much better and this should only continue. Cyber security systems have built incredible systems for preventing hacks and individuals are getting better at understanding how to protect themselves through best practices around passwords and open networks.
  • Purchasing through our TV – one platform that I expect to grow in the next few years is eCommerce processed through our TV. With smart TV technology growing we can now interact through our television set. So, when we see a commercial or ad that has our attention we should be able to just click a button to purchase that or give them our information. This applies to donations as well if we feel compelled to make a donation while watching a broadcast we should be able to do that through our Smart TVs.

I still remember some of my first purchases on eBay and getting these items in the mail just a decade ago. eCommerce has come so far since then and will make even greater leaps in the next decade.

What does this mean for ministries? It means that you need to pay attention to your online giving experience and especially your mobile giving experience. This won’t just be one of the ways people that people give to your ministry, but it will soon become the primary way that people support your ministry. It should be easy to do and seamlessly integrate into everything else that you do and offer.