Gartner: These 5 areas of digital commerce will be transformed by COVID-19

Business success in the post-pandemic world means reprioritizing to account for major, long-term changes to the way people and businesses make purchases.

Paper boxes in a shopping cart.

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Gartner has identified five areas of digital commerce that are being changed due to COVID-19’s effects not only on customer behaviors, but also due to rapidly accelerated adoption of online and digital alternatives by businesses.

The five areas highlighted could affect myriad types of businesses, with Gartner saying IT leaders will need to keep up with changes to remain competitive in the new normal.

“Digital commerce has played an important role during the pandemic by enabling organizations to continue serving customers. Measures implemented by organizations during the pandemic, such as enabling new go-to-market (GTM) models and new types of customer engagement are likely to remain, thus evolving digital commerce,” said Gartner senior research director Sandy Shen.

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Contactless purchasing is here to stay

Whether it’s Apple Pay or NFC chips in cards, contactless purchasing has become a preferred payment method during the pandemic, and Gartner predicts that 80% of ordering and replenishment will be touchless by 2024. 

“More organizations will offer contactless payments, contactless pickup and delivery for customers and enable contactless commerce operations where organizations can use robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) and computer vision to assist employees with store-level merchandising, pricing, and pick-and-pack at warehouses,” Gartner said in a press release.

Virtual product views via AR and apps will grow

Gartner admits that 2D and 3D product previews are still lightly adopted, with less than 1,500 deployments globally, but it predicts that number will grow, with software vendors offering visual configuration tools already reporting an uptick in business due to the pandemic.

“In the future, these tools may reduce the need for samples and showrooms and enable more customer self-service