With the popularity of smartphone devices, that has made shopping “on the go” possible for everyone, the volume of e-commerce based transactions has increased rapidly. Today at least 50% of Americans, 65% of Europeans, 30% Middle Eastern and 28% Asian consumers prefer to buy products online. Overall global online sales volume was $1.91 Trillion in 2016 and is expected to double by 2020. That means E-commerce phenomena is growing at magical speed and show no signs of slowing down.
As growth rate touching the sky high, 2017 looks like the promising year for online retailers. Here are few e-commerce trends that you should watch out for this year.
Real Time Customization of Shopping Experience:-
You will see the emergence of real-time customization of shopping experience to make it unique to each customer. Each shopper will have access to contents and product recommendation based on his geographical locations, demographic information, latest market trends, and purchase history. Personalized recommendations will be no more intrusive, making the shopping experience more pleasant just like walking into a store where sales person know who you are and what you like.
Use of Data Aggregators
It is estimated that more than 85% of online shoppers read product reviews, comments, and feedback from other buyers. That seems to be an effort to reduce their perceived risk associated with online purchase. Availability of more information about products will make people less reluctant to buy online. However, keeping products information up to date for hundreds of items may be difficult for retailers.
Watch out 2017, for increased use of data aggregators by retailers to update product information automatically on all linked Websites including pictures, prices, and description, etc.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE BASED CHATBOTS
Watch out for the use of Chatbots by retailers in 2017, As technology progressed artificial intelligence has made it possible to use “fully automated chat agents” on websites. Many of customers may have their first interaction with chatbots acting as the first point of contact with online brands. That means Merchants will be able to assist a large number of customers at once without spending too much money on hiring customer service agents. You might be wondering why it is so important; the answer is the buyer conversion rate following online chat session is 5 to 10 times higher, and they spend up to 30% more as compared to ordinary website visitor.
BYE BYE CASH PAYMENTS
Although many consumers now days can make payments without taking their wallets out. The popularity of smart devices and increasing trend of mobile payments will make it possible for more people to make cashless purchase. Customers will be paying through their smartphones, smart watches, rings or other wearable devices that will become more capable of handling online payments. Watch out 2017 for increasing volume of payments through these devices, making it essential for merchants to adopt these new payment methods as soon as possible
USE OF BIG DATA FOR PREDICTIVE ANALYSIS
Watch out 2017 for use of Big data by online merchants for predictive analysis. The Analytics tools have made it possible to exploit large amount of data collected through from customer interactions, order history, and demographics information. Consumer behavior, habits, preferences, likes, dislikes can be understood in a better way than ever before. Merchants will be using this capability to predict when, and what customer will be buying , making it possible for them to use this information for marketing purposes.
Online merchants will be moving toward integrating their physical and digital stores into a centralized infrastructure known as unified commerce. It has become a top priority for most of the retailers; you might be wondering why retailers are giving unified commerce that much importance, the answer is it helps to offer better customer experience that every organization will be competing for in the near future. Today`s shopper do not differentiate much between digital and physical sales channels; they want to buy , receive and return products any where For example, a customer who made a purchase online may want to exchange or return that item in the store. They also want to have information about product availability in different stores across the country. However making it possible is not that easy, you may see merchants making efforts to introduce unified commerce across their physical and online channels this year.
ULTRA FAST SHIPPING
Many customers were reluctant to making online purchase due to uncertainty and long wait associated with delivery of products. Watch out 2017 for turning out to be the year, when many merchants will be start to deliver products to customer on same day. The store will be operating from relatively smaller spaces, that will serve as showrooms, fitting rooms, or drop off points. Customers will be able to make a purchase after having seen the products online. Many merchants are already planning to use drones to make ultra-fast delivery of products possible.