The pace of the evolution of commerce has exceeded the expectations of most experts and industry observers from a few decades ago. Think about it: the first POS terminal was developed in 1973, and already today, traditional and digital payment channels intersect, transactions are processed in real time, and it’s enough for a merchant to have a smartphone to facilitate purchases.
In addition, the industry is being continuously pushed forward by rapid technological progress and the persistent consumer demand for instant gratification. With these factors in mind, it is only natural to ponder what commerce and payments will look like by 2030. Keep reading for some of the latest predictions and insights regarding the future of these spheres!
Nowadays, we are witnessing drastic transformations in the field of commerce. But which trends are driving these changes, and what do they mean for the future of shopping and payments? Here are some of the key factors you need to keep in mind to be future-ready:
1. Fusion of In-Store and Online Payments
In the past, paying for goods at a physical store and on the Internet used to be two completely separate procedures. However, the line between these two experiences is becoming more and more blurred. As a result, the modern customer journey can start online and finish offline, or the other way around.
What’s more, when people shop, they expect the process to be quick, simple, and convenient regardless of the channel they are using. This is already made possible by means of:
The list of innovative solutions goes on and continues to expand each year.
Thus, when looking ahead to 2030, it is safe to assume that in-store and online payments will become even more closely intertwined, creating an all-around seamless experience.
One of the most exciting prospects in this regard is linked to the developments in the AR and VR spheres. Already today, some forward-looking retailers offer customers the opportunity to try on products virtually and even integrate payments within these immersive environments.
2. Decreasing Use of POS Terminals & Cash
The contactless payments trend has taken the world by storm during the COVID-19 pandemic and is currently accelerated by the rise of the tap-on-phone feature.
As you can see, contactless transactions are set to become a prevailing norm in the upcoming years. This tendency is mainly due to the fact that all the functionalities a consumer or business needs to make or facilitate payments are currently available through smartphones, tablets, and other NFC-enabled devices.
This, in turn, makes industry experts forecast that the use of POS terminals will significantly decline by 2023 due to their relative inconvenience. The same is also true for cash, given the growing interest in the cashless society concept across various nations.
3. Growing Demand for Social Commerce
Over the next decade, many expect social media platforms to transform from simple communication tools into shopping hubs. We can already see social commerce becoming the new norm with platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest offering users to purchase goods in a matter of clicks.
In fact, global sales through social media platforms are anticipated to reach $1.298 billion by the end of 2023. What’s more, this upward trend is expected to persist, with the figures hitting $3 trillion already by 2026.
By 2030, the integration of social media payments is likely to be interwoven with the user experience even more seamlessly. It is also forecasted that AI algorithms will learn to tailor product recommendations based on the person’s interests and social connections even better.
4. Shift Toward Exclusively Real-Time Transactions
In today’s fast-paced world, consumers have become used to getting what they want quickly. This applies not only to purchasing products and services but also to how payments are made. Thus, it comes as no surprise that real-time transactions are becoming increasingly common thanks to faster payment systems and blockchain solutions.
5. AI-Driven Transformations
AI is one of the major factors that will undoubtedly play a critical role in shaping the future of payments and commerce in a variety of spheres, including:
All in all, AI-driven algorithms have plenty of implementation areas in modern-day commerce and are sure to get even more use cases by 2030. In fact, the value of the AI market is predicted to grow twentyfold by 2030, increasing from nearly $100 billion in 2023 to nearly $2 trillion.
Overall, we can expect the 2030 commerce landscape to be marked by seamless integrations, instant transactions, and AI-driven insights. What’s more, it is also wise for merchants to prepare themselves for unexpected fresh solutions to emerge - after all, modern tech is more advanced and dynamic than ever before.
Finally, with all these ongoing shifts and the increasing competition in the industry, it is essential for businesses to stay flexible and start adapting to the consumers’ changing needs without delay. By doing so, they will not only be able to retain their clients and attract new ones but also play an active part in shaping the future of payments and commerce as a whole.
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