We are in the last quarter of 2016. But what lies ahead for e commerce?

2016 was the year that mobile really became significant in ecommerce, with 30% of all ecommerce traffic being from mobile devices. Of that mobile traffic, 30% was tablets and 70% was from smart phones. Based on by Gartner, e-merchants are expected to increase their revenues stemming from targeting mobile phone users by even as much as 50% in the coming year.

2017 will be the year that mobile dominates ecommerce. Mobiles will be used more as a form of payment, while a combination of faster internet speeds and more mobile friendly design will encourage impulse buying.

User interfaces are becoming simpler and simpler, just as well the purchasing processes – users are getting more and more used to the simplicity that mobiles and smart devices in general provide them with.

This user experience, which a lot of ecommerce stores are optimized for, influence expectations quite significantly. The mobile has an impact on the desktop: if you can purchase on the mobile with only a couple of finger movements, a long checkout process on the desktop will seem uncomfortable. Ecommerce design will be further streamlined and security will be an increased focus.

Amongst the most pertinent of 2016 ecommerce trends to look out for are real-time, signal-driven analytics. These newer analytics replace the older ones from yesteryear and provide deeper insight, breadth, depth and scope than ever thought possible before.

Leading the revolution here is a name that many online retailers already know; kissmetrics. This software enables the ability to assign tracking signals to every sales channel and possible conversion source, and follow it from its source to either a conversion, abandonment or bounce. With real-time analytics such as this that are signal-driven, retailers now have the power to analyse every possible conversion point. Kissmetrics can be integrated with Shopify, BigCommerce and Magento designs.

One of the biggest predictions for 2017 is that virtual personal assistants will become commonplace, assisting customers at every step of the purchasing process.

More of the sales process will be carried out online, with live customer service like Zendesk. This allows retailers to actively engage customers at any point of the sales process. Responding in real-time meets customer’s need for convenience, and allows customer service assistants to build rapport.

Many retailers are already seeing great improvement in conversion rates using online personal assistants. Zendesk, and other similar customer service software can be intergrated with Shipofy, BigCommerce or Magento sites.

Customers expect that the ordered goods arrive to them in the shortest possible time. 5-7 days is now a thing of the past. Most retailers now try to Amazon prime has lead the way in showing how many customers value fast delivery, and more ecommerce stores are now following suit.

Fast Delivery Package Shipping Online with rocket concept

A Forrester report highlighted this growing consumer demand, showing us that 29% of consumers would be interested in – and would be willing to pay more – for same-day delivery of goods in 2016 and beyond.
Obviously, same day delivery requires the infrastructure to support it. As demand grows, we expect to see major carriers start to offer services to facilitate this, with distributed warehouses and multiple collections per day.

the inability to try on things like apparel can result in a high rate of returns, something that can reach as much as 33%, according to the Wall Street Journal

Virtual reality will bring us closer to experiencing a product, pre purchase.

Ted Baker have already experimented with VR changing rooms, and as VR equipment becomes more common place within homes we expect to see large retailers using this to try and help customers see how items would look when worn, or how items would look in your home.

2017 will be all about making the customer’s life easier. Faster page load, easier access to information, quicker answers to their questions and quicker delivery times.

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