According to the latest industry statistics, in 2020 online shopping will jump to $523B from the 2015 figures of $335B. This is a 9.32% annual growth. The annual current actual rate of growth is 14% though. The only way for the retailers to thrive in the online marketplace is by embracing digital commerce. For businesses to thrive successfully in the current challenging marketplace, it is necessary to provide user-friendly, easy and quick shopping experience to potential buyers. Absolunet, the leaders in E-Commerce innovation has established the following trends for the retailers to watch in 2017.
As far as the hot new trends go, the shopping season has shifted to November. The days of the week in the month no longer matter. Cyber Monday and Black Friday will now be a part of the whole shopping season starting in the early November. According to the market projections, consumers will spend US$400B in November 2017 as compared to US$363B in 2016. Retailers will benefit from the trend, as the promotions will now spread across the entire month. They can make adjustments as needed. There is no betting on the sales result on a single weekend anymore. Manage logistics easier now and avoid the stress of dealing with hordes of buyers during the Black Friday shopping mania.
Real time customization is the E-Commerce byword in 2017. Now shoppers enjoy unique add-ons and product recommendations that conform to their needs. The ecommerce sites provide choices based on preferences, market trends, and geographic locations, past purchases, brand interactions, demographic group. Everything will be automatic. The next visit to the retail store would be even better. The choices this time around will depend on the current promotions of the merchant and the previous purchases of the customers. Instead of being intrusive, it will be just the opposite. New features in Sitecore, Monetate, and Magento 2 will provide relevant recommendations to the potential buyers based on their search history.
Prospective buyers spend endless time reading product reviews. The reason for this is simple. They are unable to make up their mind simply by viewing the product and reading the product descriptions. Poor, incomplete descriptions and misleading or unclear images are the major culprit. The latest ecommerce trend is going to remove this problem. Retailers will start work with the data aggregators in 2017. These aggregators will compile expansive data on products. This includes descriptions, specifications, price comparisons, UPC codes, comments and reviews. Find the perfect product without searching the seemingly endless aisles.
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Consumers are going to have a great time interacting with AI in 2017. For the online retail shop, it refers to the chatbot. This automated tool is the first contact point for shoppers and will answer the queries presented, offer interactive and guided browsing. Trend watchers believe that chatbots will be common in use just like the automated phone. Interesting and interactive, together with the sales staff of the stores their role would be increasingly vital.
While no one is predicting the demise of cash, 2017 might just herald the commencement of its end! Modern consumers can make transactions and purchases even without their wallets. Thus, it is no wonder that upgrades to merchant POS and mobile devices announces the end of traditional wallet. Buyers can make payments even without their Smartphone. Alternatives include all types of wearable like the rings and the watches. The intelligent merchant will waste no time in adding these smart new devices in their payment repertoire.
Gen Z and Y consumers want unique experiences and crave instant communication. The mobile technology is making this possible. This is the hyper- localized era. The ongoing trend is for the merchants to use technology that detects items and devices nearby. This helps provide real-time happenings available to people present there at any given time. This can be a promotion, content or experience. Instead of just selling services and products, the retailers can now also provide interactions and experiences. Major brands are going to exploit this phenomenon kin innovative ways.
Another name for this is predictive analysis. For now only some ecommerce platforms have this technology. Thus, AgilOne, Windsor Circle, Emcien, and Rich Relevance are becoming lucrative for the retailers. The B2B sector benefits immensely with their laborious sales cycle and large orders.
E-Commerce growth is accompanied with logistics, delivery opportunities and challenges. Same day deliveries are going to be more common than before in 2017. The drop-off point will now matter less - at work or at home. Increasing number of stores will operate from small spaces. This will be their fitting room, showroom, and drop-off point rolled into one. Customers can place their order after both viewing and touching the products.
Omni-channel strategy have prepared the ground for unified commerce. Modern consumers get unprecedented freedom with platforms like MCOM. It centralizes systems with real time access. This is important given the customers now prefer merchants that give priority to buyer convenience. For them the physical, online and the social media presence of the store is the same. After all, they are dealing with the brand as a whole, not just the parts.
Modern buyers do not like intermediaries. They want direct connect with the brand. The merchants and distributors, on the other hand, would like the build customer relationships. Subsequently, they offer complementary services and warranties as a benefit independent of the brand. This disintermediation is going to be a trend for B2B and B2C commerce. This involves increased use of CRM systems and automated processes for order simplification and relationship maintenance.
It is clear that E-Commerce is not only important but also vital for the survival of retail businesses. The knowledge of the trends for 2017 will help retailers, select best tool and strategy. They should be compatible with the existing modes and operations of the business. You should use this guide to select the right partners for online and in-store growth.