The Top 10 Ecommerce Highlights of 2016


2016 is coming to an end, and now is the time to take a look back at the events that marked the ecommerce sector this year. Let’s reflect on the year together in our review of our top 10 ecommerce topics in 2016:


1.) Payment methods came a long way: including MasterCard’s “Selfie Pay”

Last year, Alibaba trialed its ‘smile to pay’ payment system, and in February 2016, Mastercard launched Selfie Pay. Whether you like it or not, selfies are more popular than ever, particularly amongst younger generations. Therefore, integrating selfies into the payment process is great way to appeal to a younger target audience. As well as reaching a new audience, this payment method is simple to use, and doesn’t require users to remember a PIN or password. (Read more)

2.) Instagram proved it’s ecommerce potential with Shoppable Tags and more

After launching their Dynamic Ads, Instagram is now focusing on its product tags to facilitate transactions within the application. On the 1st November, Instagram announced the launch of “shoppable tags”, a  new way to buy products on the app through photo tags. (Read more)

3.) Everyone was talking about cross-border ecommerce

With many companies expanding abroad, cross border ecommerce was a hot topic in 2016. Developing your business outside of your native country requires a certain knowledge of the target market and also presents several obstacles. Lengow’s white paper dedicated to cross-border ecommerce aims to help you with the transition to moving your business abroad… (Find out more)

4.) Google launched “Shop the Look”

In October, Google announced their new “Shop the Look” feature for ready-to-wear brands distributing their products on Google Shopping. Only available for mobile users, Shop the Look offers customers a new interactive shopping experience, where they can discover and purchase products from styles they type in the search engine. (Read more)

5.) With a rise in bot commerce we questioned: will robots replace retailers one day?

Bots have been around for a while, but recently, they have been subject to new experiments by a number of key players such as Microsoft, Telegram, Slack, WeChat and even Facebook. This year saw the rise of the bot, so could they be a thing of the near future? (Read more)

6.) Facebook launched ‘Canvas’

Facebook initially revealed plans for the feature in June 2015, and has been testing it since last October, but in February, the social network finally announced the official launch of its new advertising platform Facebook Canvas, and the roll-out of features dedicated specifically to online retailers. (Read more)

7.) They also launched Dynamic Ads for Retail

According to Facebook, 49% of in store purchases are influenced by digital interactions. Aware of the growing share occupied by mobile in both online and offline purchases, Facebook decided to develop its Dynamic Ads feature by launching a new advertising format: Dynamic Ads for Retail. By tackling the offline market, Facebook will help bricks-and-mortar businesses with their omnichannel strategy, and also help generate sales in physical stores. (Read more)

8.) Online marketplaces continued to rise in popularity

With more and more companies expanding their businesses abroad, the most favourable way of doing so has been on marletplaces. With a low risk factor and a wider audience, 2016 saw many companies, such as JustFab, start distributing their products across Europe. According to a report by WebInterpret, 65% of UK sellers said that between 21%-30% of their online sales come from international marketplaces, and in the UK, Amazon is the no.1 most visited ecommerce site, which means we definitely love to buy from marketplaces. On a more global scale, they could represent almost 40% of retail sales online by 2020. (Read more)

9.) GTIN codes became a necessity

For a long time, they were simply optional in retailers’ product catalogues, but GTIN codes have now become essential, or even compulsory, for selling on both your online store and on marketing channels. (Read more)

10.) Singles day broke a new record

This year, Singles Day broke records with over $14 billion spent, and a mind blowing 657 million orders placed…in just 24 hours! The Chinese shopping giants Alibaba hosted a Hollywood  style gala to countdown to the event with A-List celebrities and performances. This event is clearly becoming unmissable for international retailers, as more and more businesses from abroad are beginning to sell abroad to get involved with the sales. (Read more here)

Tegan Marlow

Your e-commerce library

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