The 10 e-Commerce Trends Driving Retail in 2017

— January 10, 2017

As retailers continue to build their digital capabilities and work towards a completely unified operational approach they are placing an increased emphasis on e-commerce firepower. To uncover the major e-commerce trends that will have the greatest impact on retail in 2017 and beyond, Absolunet analyzed more than 50 digital and e-commerce projects from major retailers and highlighted the common themes.

Its Top 10 e-Commerce Trends for 2017 report spotlights the e-commerce trends that will dominate the next 12 months and will impact both the way retailers operate and consumers shop.

The entire report can be found here. Below is a quick look at the top 10 trends.

  1. The End of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Although both days set sales records in 2016 the report states a new trend will emerge: Cyber November. Black Friday and Cyber Monday will no longer signal the start of the holiday shopping season, but will simply be part of a longer, more digitally focused shopping season that will dominate November and December.
  2. Real-Time Customization. Both the digital and the in-store shopping experience will adapt to consumers in real-time. Shoppers will increasingly have access to unique content: product recommendations and add-ons chosen based on their preferences, geographic location, market trends, demographic group, etc.
  3. Data-as-a-Service + e-Commerce. Retailers will be able to match the massive content of the e-commerce leaders by subscribing to a data service. The more info available about a product online the more likely a customer will make a purchase, but constantly refreshing info on each SKU was nearly impossible until now.
  4. Artificial Intelligence. In 2017, many consumers will have their first interaction with a chatbot, a fully automated chat agent that will answer their questions and act as the first point of contact with the brand. The bots increase the number of platforms on which a brand can transact by offering guided, interactive browsing at all times.
  5. Bye-Bye Wallets. 2017 will mark the beginning of the end for wallets and cash thanks to wearables and other next-gen payment technology. Retailers should get out in front of this trend before the competition does.
  6. The Snapchat-ization of Shopping. Gen Y and Z consumers are hooked on the instant communication and unique experiences made possible by mobile technologies, RFID, NFC, and geolocation. In parallel, analytics will shift from the Web to the street; from the computer to the individual.
  7. Predictive Analysis. By exploiting the massive amount of data collected through various consumer touchpoints, merchants can use predictive analysis to better understand shoppers’ purchasing habits, preferences, and, predict their next purchases, based on the behavior of other customers with similar profiles.
  8. The Uber-ization of Shipping. The fulfilment revolution will continue with smaller stores, local drop-off points and same-day delivery. The report predicts that many consumers will receive their first same-day delivery. And the smaller store formats 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.
  9. Unified Commerce. Silos continue to be eliminated, and, possibly for the first time ever, easily avoided. Instead of adding a digital storefront to the in-store infrastructure, merchants will instead integrate their stores (physical or digital) into a centralized infrastructure.
  10. Disintermediation. Consumers want to deal directly with brands, but where do retailers fit in? Merchants will attempt to cement their relationship with the customer by becoming indispensable and by offering added value: warranties, complementary services and, of course, independence from the brands.

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