Bye bye 2016, and hello 2017! To welcome in the new year, we’ve put together 7 topics to pay close attention to in 2017, to help adapt your business to the key market trends.
1.) Chatbot, the customer’s new shopping buddy
One of the biggest ecommerce highlights of 2016 was the rise of the chatbot, pushed by Facebook’s “Bot Store”. This year will most likely see more artificial intelligence and machine learning in conversations between customers and virtual assistants. Some brands have already tried them out for the holiday season – Chris Mas from Orange, for example. These new companions should become a staple part of the online shopping experience in 2017, so why not get involved!
2.) Virtual shopping will become a reality
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) will revolutionise the way we shop. According to Gartner, 100 million buyers are expected to buy augmented reality by 2020. Entertaining buyers through gaming has become a new strategic focus to offer an unusual shopping experience. In 2016, there was the launch of the augmented reality game, Pokemon Go, and Buy +, launched by Alibaba for Singles Day, which offers consumers an entirely immersive shopping experience. VR and AR will therefore be part of the unavoidable technologies that will become much more widespread in 2017.
3.) Think global, act local
Dominated by Amazon and Alibaba, global e-commerce is expected to reach $3,000 billion by 2018. In 2017, the boundaries of the customer shopping path will slowly disappear in favour of global commerce, where online retailers will inevitably have to integrate into foreign countries to defend their place on the global market. Translating your e-commerce site and/or joining global marketplaces to acquire new market shares are two first steps towards internationalising your business. You will also need to adapt your e-commerce strategy to the target market and think “Local”: e.g buying behaviour, payment methods, delivery policies, and returns. If internationalisation is part of your company resolutions for 2017, do not hesitate to contact our teams who will be pleased to answer your questions! 🙂
4.) Deliver faster, and further
With free delivery in 2 hours via its “Prime Now” service (reserved for Premium members), Amazon has transformed the delivery sector, where businesses are constantly looking to offer the fastest and best quality delivery possible. The American giant was soon followed by other companies like Argos and Net a Porter, who used service providers connecting traders and couriers to improve their delivery policy. It’s a safe bet that this type of service will become more commonplace in 2017, as brands will need to meet the increasing demands of consumers.
5.) Customisation is key
Customising the shopping experience is now essential to help increase your customers’ awareness and loyalty. Upon arrival at your online store, shoppers expect brands to guide them with tailor-made suggestions based on their expectations. Hence the importance of knowing your customers well, so you can offer them the most relevant products possible. With new customisation solutions emerging almost daily, 2017 is the time to start being even more attentive to your customers.
6.) Tighter security
Being attentive to your customers also means having data security that you will use to improve your knowledge of your customers and offer them the best product. Companies must adhere to these regulations as of April 2016. Obviously, this security must also be ensured during payment to reassure shoppers in the final stage of their purchase.
7.) Ecommerce on the move
The mobile will definitely be the nerve center of e-commerce in 2017. Used every day to search for information, find a site, and search for and buy products, the smartphone has become essential. Google and Facebook have been attentive to this for a while now, offering advertisers the opportunity to highlight their product catalog via Shopping ads. However, this also means having to adapt your online shop for mobile devices, to offer an optimal purchasing experience to your customers.