2017 E-commerce Highlights

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Christmas is over and 2018 is just around the corner, so let’s take a moment to look back on 2017 and its highlights. This is our review of what happened in e-commerce this year on our blog.

new year

1) Snapchat and Instagram upgraded their ad features

Both Snapchat and Instagram released more functions for advertisers. Snapchat launched sponsored lenses, which, when used, can be swiped up on to visit the advertisers site. INstagram also launched a swipe up feature to its stories. Users can now shop from stories, watch videos or even download apps. (Read more)  

2) Pinterest is aligning itself even more with e-commerce

This year, Pinterest added several new functionalities to its platform. New ad formats such as ad groups and search ads were released, with ad groups making it easier for advertisers to manage their ads and search ads allowing advertisers to give visibility to their products through keyword campaigns. Furthermore, Pinterest added a ‘shop the look’ feature, similar to Google Shopping’s, as well as an AI run programme, which allows users to snap something in real life and Pinterest will give them similar pins. (Read more)  

3) New ways to enrich Shopping ads

Google has added a promotions feature to its Shopping ads. Now consumers can click on ‘special offer’ links to either be given money off, free shipping or a free gift with purchase. Allowing brands and retailers to add this feature to their ads means more customer appeal, which, in turn, leads to more sales. (Read more)

4) Capitalising on the mobile trend

Facebook launched ‘Collection’, an ad format exclusively for mobile to capitalise on user preference. ‘Collection’ allows advertisers to show off their products in a visually pleasing manner for mobile users. (Read more)

5) Google Manufacturer Center makes a better shopping experience

Google has been working hard to provide its users with the best possible experience. Google Manufacturer Center is part of that, allowing brands to provide images, details, URLs, and the like to give the customer more of an idea of what they are buying and therefore leading to more conversions. (Read more)

6) Payment methods once again got overhauled

Again mobile use can only go up. Mobile wallets were once again all the rage with moe and more international companies accepting the likes of Alipay and Wechat Pay. There were other innovations as well in the sector, such as Virtual Reality pay and pocket check out systems, eliminating the need to queue at all. (Read more)

7) Delivery goes sci-fi

More progress with drone delivery has been made this year, but robots have definitely been the standout. From last mile delivery to warehousing robots have been popping up everywhere. With customer expectation constantly increasing, these science-fiction-like inventions are becoming more and more necessary. (Read more)

8) Everyone wants to get into social

Now even Amazon has got in on the action with ‘Anytime’ a messaging app to rival Facebook’s Messenger and Whatsapp as well as China’s WeChat, thanks to not only being able to send messages from the platform but also buy and make reservations on it. (Read more)

9) Changes to Google Shopping

Following decision from the European Commission in June, Google changed its offering in order to give more visibility to all comparison shopping engines. Google Shopping became separate to Google, and now had to go through the same bidding procedure as any other price comparison site. (Read more)    

10) Millennials became the focus

Millennials became the focus for many online brands and retailers this year, trying to capture this notoriously picky generation. These ‘digital natives’ expect much more than their predecessors in all steps of the buying process, making ecommerce companies step up their game. (Read more)   

11) Mobile continued to explode

Unsurprisingly mobile continued to grow this year, with almost 35% of purchases made on the channel. And with over 67% of the world’s population having a mobile device this is sure to increase again next year. Furthermore, the channel was not only used for making purchases but also as a means of researching products in-store and consulting stock availability. (Read more)

12) Omnichannel or bust

Consumers are indeed using their mobile device to bridge the gap between online and physical retail. Therefore, online retailers need to have some sort of omnichannel strategy in place. Google’s Local Inventory Ads, for example, not only allow retailers to display their online stock but their physical stock as well, letting users choose whichever buying journey they prefer. (Read more)    

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Elizabeth Norton