As the new year comes upon us, we expect and anticipate change in most spheres of our lives, and so it is with e-commerce too. There are new trends and new forms of consumer behavior emerging that need the use of new technologies and tools to be used.
Recently, consumers aged 16-25 years have been shaping the e-commerce experience. This age group and the next generation form a large part of the total retail spending power, which calls for newness in the e-commerce world.
Given below are six top trends that will shape the e-commerce scene in 2017:
#1 Artificial Intelligence
In 2017, machine-generated content will evolve under the label of artificial intelligence. AI could take several avatars as it enters the realm of e-commerce content marketing and extends its reach to include automated translation, perhaps foretelling what to write about and offering personalized content experiences.
#2 Contextual Shopping
Here’s one new trend that can go miles this year. This new trend is all about e-commerce platforms tracking how much of a product you have used already and remind you to place an order for the next pack when the present one’s almost finishing. If you do this on Amazon, for instance, all you would do is to press a button to place an order and it is immediately charged to your card that you have set up with them earlier. This convenience can be taken a little forward with shopping sites being able to send you reminders to refill and offers on products that you use regularly.
#3 Increasing Use of Mobile Phones
Searches on mobile phones are more the order of the day than desktops. In 2017, shoppers will prefer to shop online by making just a click to buy. By taking advantage of the fact that people always have their smartphones with them rather than a tablet, the trend to shop more online will grow this year.
#4 Perfect Shopping Experience
When social media networks are used as platforms for e-commerce transactions, the result is social commerce. In 2017, one trend that will become easily apparent is that social commerce will be on the rise because they will help offline shoppers have the same experience as when they shopped at brick and mortar stores. Brands that come with emotional value will have more loyal shoppers and enjoy more revenue earnings. In turn, such consumers will unknowingly become the brand ambassadors of such products.
#5 Easier Returns
In 2017, stores’ return policies will be quick, convenient and zero-hassle. This is a trend to look out for because if a store doesn’t offer these conveniences, shoppers will turn away and go to other shopping sites.
If you shop on large sites like Amazon with huge options in each category, making a sale here would be easy because the products here are unique and consumer confidence is high. In this context, if such sites make it difficult for people to return products, shoppers will just turn away from here and shop at sites where the return policy is easy and convenient. Besides, by ensuring easy and quick returns, sites increase their revenue because shoppers spend more confidently, knowing that they can return products with ease. This also helps increase customer loyalty.
#6 The Power of Online Reviews
An indirect manner of garnering popularity for products on e-commerce platforms is to publish online reviews of them by users of these products. Besides, they lead to tons of referral traffic and bring in a constant traffic to the site. This is all set to increase in 2017 as more than 60% of customers regularly read online reviews before buying any product. A prospective buyer will most likely trust a consumer review than a product description. On the other hand, such reviews increase sales on e-commerce sites by about 18%.
With shoppers becoming tech-savvier and wanting to get the best bang for their buck, 2017 will see retailers being forced to adapt to the demands of consumers to buck the competition.
Christopher Meloni is a Marketing Manager at Kodematix. Apart from his profession, he also has a passion of blogging and he likes to explore new and innovative methods of marketing within his field. Connect with Christopher on Twitter @tweetmeloni.