E-commerce is making shops redundant  

Amazon’s interest in making an investment in the online retailer Souq.com highlights the huge potential for growth in the regional e-commerce sector. E-commerce has the potential to radically change the landscape of shopping. Not only a change in mall culture – when people can easily buy hundreds of products online, malls will have to become much more than places to shop – but also in terms of where that shopping is done.

Already some supermarkets do home delivery. As that expands and online retailing does too, so will there be more places to pick up goods bought online. In some western capitals, Amazon purchases can be picked up at small kiosks, not merely at home.

As online retailers thrive, so will location mechanisms improve. Meaning that not only will online shopping make it easier to buy that big-screen TV – it will also make it easier for the ambulance service and firefighters to locate an address. 

The E-commerce is also changing  and expanding in other revolutionary ways. For customers, buying online might seem simple—click, pay and collect. But it’s a different ballgame for e-tailers. Behind the scenes, from the warehouses to the websites, artificial intelligence plays a huge role in automating processes. Online retailers are employing AI to solve complex problems and make online shopping a smoother experience. This could involve getting software to understand and process voice queries, recommend products based on a person’s buying history, or forecast demand. 

The next time you shop on fashion website Myntra, you might end up choosing a t-shirt designed completely by a software—the pattern, colour and texture— without any intervention from a human designer. And you would not realise it. The first set of these t-shirts went on sale four days ago. This counts as a significant leap for Artificial Intelligence in ecommerce. 

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