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Chris Bell

Four Biggest Ecommerce Trends in 2017 (So Far)

Alan Lakein supposedly once said, “If you fail to plan, are planning to fail.”We say supposedly, because some people attribute the quote to Benjamin Franklin, while others attribute it to Winston Churchill

However, who actually said it should matter little to you. All you need to know is that the prover brings true to this day and that it applies to the world of ecommerce.

The world of online selling is ever-changing, and it’s easy to get too caught up in your day-to-day struggles and tasks and simply lose focus on what’s currently going on outside of your microcosm.

With 2017 half-over, it’s now a great time take a step back and take a look at some of the trends that are shaping the world of ecommerce, so let’s take quick look at some of the developments in ecommerce, see how you can use them to grow your business this year..

1.    The Growth is shifting to Asia

A recent eMarketer report revealed that Japan ended the last year with the 2nd highest rate of digital penetration on the globe. Furthermore, more than 80% of Japan’s Internet users now make online purchases on a regular occasion.

This means that Japanese users are now outpacing shopping habits of American consumers. And while the demand for goods is clearly there, you still need to deal with some problems. For example, the same report revealed that Japanese consumers are far less likely to shop from foreign retailers than any consumers from any other country in the world.

So if you want to get in front of all of these consumers, there are some options for US and UK sellers to ease their entry into the market. For instance, you could start leveraging sites and services such as Rakuten and Amazon Japan that control almost 50% of the Japanese ecommerce market, according to a recent Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry survey.

2.    Growing Demand for Faster Delivery

Delivery speed is becoming increasingly more important in terms of consumer satisfaction. As a matter of fact, these days, people want their goods delivered to them as soon as possible. According to Forrester research, almost 30% of modern customers are willing to pay some extra money for same0day deliveries.

The trend, of course, originated with Amazon Prime, and thanks to the ecommerce giant, businesses who are capable of managing their logistics and shipping with the great speed will be able to stand out among other online sellers. One-day delivery is also one of the main differentiators among international seller.

One more marketplace that is driving this trend in 2017 is, unsurprisingly eBay. Later this year, eBay will launch their Guaranteed Delivery feature, that is promising to transform the way consumers buy items online by promising quick and reliable fulfilment of products, some of which ship for free – so you should pay close attention to eBay in the following few months.

3.    Rise of AI and Personal Assistants

We live in an era where messenger apps are more used than social networks. So it’s now wonder why so many sites are now being replaced with apps, and why so many apps are being replaced by bots, as USA Today puts it. Therefore, this year will mark the emergence of ecommerce Chatbots.

And what exactly is a Chatbots? Well, it’s a robotic agent that helps customer simulate conversation about the service and products. According to HeyWire Business, the leading mobile messaging service, around 52% of consumers prefer chatting on a messaging app than being on the phone with customer service so we’re probably going to see these bots on most retailer sites this year.

And we’re probably going to see an increased use of AI personal assistants, like Shopify’s Kit that work as “virtual employees” and can handle things like inventory management, email and social media marketing.

4.    Increased Mobile Shopping

While the expectations were certainly high for 2016, we haven’t really seen any dramatic changes in conversion rates on mobile devices. According to Monetate research, last year, the average conversion rate for mobile consumers was only 1`.5%, compared to 3.5% for desktops and laptops.

But as Bloomberg predicts, things are about to change. By the end of the year, more than 60% of visits to ecommerce sites will come from mobile devices, like smartphones and tablets. Moreover, we’re going to see a large number of big retail brands invest in developing apps that will make shopping on the go much smoother.

However, simply designing a responsive site won’t be enough for today’s consumers. Not by a long shot. People who really want to increase their sales need to integrate features such as the mobile wallet into their stores and make it easy for potential clients to make payments through their phones on the fly.

Final Thoughts

Ecommerce is all about heavy competition, tasks and challenges and in order to stick out in this crowded market, you need to pay special attention to the current trends and find a way to use them to your advantage.

All of the trends we mentioned above are going to dominate the ecommerce world for the rest of 2017. Therefore, if you want your company to grow faster than ever before, you need to hop on bandwagon and adopt these trends as soon as possible.