Today, 51% of all Americans prefer to shop online. And the numbers are even higher for Millennials and Gen Xers, at 67% and 56%, respectively. With this huge growth in online shopping, retailers must establish a digital presence and have their fingers on the pulse of what’s hot in online retail if they want to compete. A study by e-commerce agency Absolunet predicts the top ten e-commerce trends that will take center stage in 2017 and what retailers should prepare for.
One predicted trend is that the entire month of November will replace Black Friday and Cyber Monday as the start of the holiday shopping season.
“According to Google, 40% of Canadian consumers start their holiday shopping before Halloween and 88% of retailers in the United States start advertising sales in the first week of November.
Retailers would benefit from spreading their promotions out over an entire month, making adjustments along the way, instead of betting it all on just one weekend. Logistics would be easier to manage, not to mention that they’d avoid the headaches related to the hordes of shoppers that can grind some stores – online or physical - to a halt during Black Friday weekend.”
More shipping options will become available and same-day delivery will become even more common.
“While the “big box” model continues to lose ground, eCommerce, and especially online retail orders, continues to grow, bringing with it both challenges and opportunities related to logistics and delivery. In 2017, many consumers will receive their first same-day delivery, whether at home, at work, or at a drop-off point of their choosing.
Many stores will now operate out of smaller spaces, which will serve as showrooms, fitting rooms, or drop-off points. Customers will be able to order the product they want after having seen it and touched it.”
Other predicted trends include:
Real-Time customization: Each shopper will have a unique online shopping experience and will receive product recommendations based on their preferences.
Data-as-a-Service and E-commerce: In the new year, retailers will work with data aggregators to compile data on products to suggest things like “the perfect fit” to shoppers.
Artificial Intelligence: Retailers will benefit from having chatbots on their websites to do things like answer questions and place orders.
Bye Bye Wallet: 2017 will see the end of a traditional wallet and a move towards payment via smart phone, watch, ring, or other wearable devices.
The Snapchat-ization of Shopping: Retailers and their customers can benefit from sensors which detect devices nearby to offer shoppers promotions or other content.
Predictive Analysis: Merchants will use data gathered from customers to predict future actions and purchases.
Unified Commerce: Storefront and websites will integrate into a centralized infrastructure.
Disintermediation: With shoppers increasingly wanting to interact directly with a brand, distributors and merchants will find ways to become indispensable to the consumer.
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