The launch of Google Images’ ‘shoppable ads’ feature this week is set to transform the e-commerce landscape alongside the rise of fraud-prevention technologies, industry leaders told the audience at the world’s largest retail conference this month.

The rise of social e-commerce platforms like Google Images and new fraud-prevention technologies are set to be the defining digital trends in 2019, industry leaders told the audience of over 8,000 at Shoptalk 2019.

Consumers can increasingly expect e-commerce retailers to use new shoppable social media platforms like Pinterest and Google Images to engage them as expectations around a seamless customer experience grow, they said.

Australian entrepreneur and CEO of The Hamper Emporium, Emily McWaters, who was in Las Vegas for the event, said that a defining feature of the conference was the focus on the emergence of shoppable social platforms, with Google’s Vice President of Product Management Surojit Chatterjee announcing the release of the new shoppable platform.

“The way consumers interact with social media is always changing and the latest trend from Shoptalk is that consumers are increasingly buying products they find through searches of Google Images,” she said.

The latest in these shoppable platforms, Google Images, allows consumers to view product details like price and how to purchase the item simply by hovering over it.

The founder of the Hamper Emporium Emily McWaters  (left) and COO Amy McWaters (right)

Ms McWaters says that the growing focus on shoppable platforms is a testament to the importance of providing a convenient shopping experience for consumers.

“There are so many touch points for consumers on social media and the overwhelming message for us as retailers is that we have to make it as seamless and immediate as possible for customers to see what they like and to purchase the product,” she said.

The value of a seamless e-commerce experience was echoed by a Facebook executive at the event, Ms  McWaters said.

“Facebook’s Karin Tracy said at the conference every interaction needs to be an opportunity for a sale and whether it be a physical product or online, a potential customer needs to have a seamless and immediate way to find and purchase a product and that is all part of a great user-experience,” Ms McWaters said.

Hot topic: Anti-fraud tech

Advances in anti-fraud technology was also a topic that featured heavily at the conference, according to Ms McWaters.

“We saw impressive fraud-prevention technology from Forter and spoke to the CEO and Co-Founder Michael Reitblat on how the technology has the ability to analyse and stop fraud at every step of the customer journey, not just at the check-out and final transaction,” she said.

“Australians last year spent $21.3 billion on online shopping so retailers like us are continually looking for the latest technology to safeguard our customers.”

The technology showcased at the event used a combination of machine learning and complex algorithms to identify fraudulent patterns, Ms McWaters said, rather than placing restrictions solely on the transaction or using a manual method for fraud review.