Three Trends Shaping Ecommerce in 2017

January 17, 2017 9:00 am | Published by

Last Spring, we shared 65 facts about how we shop online. Some of the major lessons in that post include the importance of a “mobile-first” design philosophy, website speed, the conversion power of testimonials, and the rise of video content. While that post was more hands-on and practical in nature, this week I’d like to share with you some insights into the “big picture” e-commerce trends that will come into play in 2017. These trends (and the infographic that so clearly highlights them below) come from

#1 Shift In the Purchase Decision
In 2015, Amazon saw a 97% YoY increase in sales. It will soon surpass Macy’s as the top clothing store. Macy’s, by comparison, closed 40 locations in 2016 and is expected to close 100 of its 728 stores in 2017. (Similarly, Walmart announced in January 2016 it would close 269 stores in the U.S. and abroad.) In sum, brick-and-mortar retail is being replaced by e-commerce and, with this exchange, comes new patterns in consumers’ purchase decisions. Shoppers are using their phones to turn to friends, families, reviews and influencers. Some quick facts about how our phones are changing the way we shop:

  • Designer fashion retailer Gilt receives 50% of its daily traffic and more than 30% of its total sales from mobile.
  • Americans spend 4.7 hours a day on their smartphones.
  • Smartphones accounted for 17.1% of all Cyber Monday spending in 2015.

#2 More Product Categories Will Enter the Market
In its early years, e-commerce was largely dominated by known product categories like electronics and toys. Improved shipping and return policies like those extended by Zappos, Amazon, and other retailers have allowed more variable product categories like fashion to thrive. In 2017, we will see the next level of “difficult” e-commerce product categories take off: groceries.

AmazonFresh allows consumers in limited markets to shop more than 95,000 fresh food items and prepared meals, all of which can be delivered same-day. Of course, there are countless other local delivery services throughout the world that ride over-the-top of existing grocery stores and supply chains.

  • 1 in 5 households bought groceries online at least once in the prior month.
  • Half of people aged 25-34 bought or were likely to buy groceries online.
  • Amazon controls more than one-fifth of the online food and beverage market.

#3 Rapid Order Fulfillment/Delivery Becomes Increasingly Important
Consumers have come to expect two-day, next-day and same-day delivery on many of their favorite products. This expectation will continue to solidify, forcing e-commerce industries to adapt.

  • The number of Amazon Prime memberships in the U.S. jumped 35% in 2015 to 54 million.
  • According to a recent survey, nearly half of U.S. households have an Amazon Prime membership.

More E-Commerce Trends Shaping 2017

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