2016 was another remarkable year for ecommerce. New technologies seemed to emerge by the day, each with groundbreaking ideas to make our lives easier. As we head into the new year, I’d like to share my thoughts on where ecommerce is headed in 2017.

  • Mobile: There seems to be no end to the rise of mobile shopping and this growth is expected to continue into 2017. Retailers will be expected to invest more resources than ever into their mobile experience, and many will even give greater share of their site development budget to mobile than desktop. As a result, customers can expect faster load times, easier navigations, and quicker checkouts with the addition of mobile payment options such as Google Wallet and Amazon Payments. As the customer standard for mobile shopping rises and more retailers advance the experience, adoption and usage will increase. And so the trend continues….
  • On-Demand Delivery: It seems each year there is a new category added to the growing list of on-demand services, ranging from movies to car service to at-home makeovers. It’s no wonder that consumers are expecting tangible goods at the same speed. Retailers are reacting by making their products available for same-day delivery by using their physical locations as mini distribution centers. For retailers who aren’t equipped with the logistical capabilities for such a service, startups such as Postmates and Instacart are filling the gap by offering same-day delivery for a number of retailers, both large and small. For now, humans are still handling the delivery and it’s up for debate on whether drones will take over that task anytime soon.
  • Cyber November: Over the past years, the line between Black Friday and Cyber Monday has blurred, leading to a massive shopping weekend. As a result, the online deals are starting even earlier. This year Amazon launched its Black Friday Deals store on November 1. Next year, other online sites are anticipated to follow their lead. Goodbye Cyber Monday, hello Cyber November.
  • Voice Assistants: The market for voice assistants such as Siri and Amazon Echo is still very young. However, this technology is quickly catching on and is expected to become an integrated part of our daily lives. Currently, they can assist with small tasks such as checking the weather or adding to our to-do lists. But in the future, these tasks can become more complex, perhaps even allowing for users to make purchases with voice prompts. How this integrates with an online shopping site is still to be determined, but this is one area that all retailers should watch closely.

What are your 2017 ecommerce predictions? How would you like to see online shopping evolve? I’d love to know your thoughts!

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