E-commerce in 2017
In the quickly evolving digital world, brick-and-mortar stores are progressively becoming a thing of the past. A recent study of U.S. consumer behavior found over 50% of the surveyed population prefers online shopping over going to a store. This pivotal shift can be attributed to the rising popularity of e-commerce.
The e-commerce industry experienced exponential growth in 2016 by posting a remarkable growth rate of 15.6% and sales totaling nearly $2 trillion. eMarketer also includes projections for the next few years, which indicates that 2017 will be yet another record-breaking year the e-commerce industry.
In addition to a healthy growth rate, the practice of e-commerce is evolving and adapting to the preferences of the consumer. Making the shopping experience dynamic and adding a high degree of personalization are critical innovations implemented in the majority of e-commerce platforms. Successful operators in the industry (i.e. Amazon) are putting a heavy emphasis on developing a unique experience for each consumer.
To gain competitive advantage, online vendors are investing in features that will enhance their platform. These additions include recommendation platforms, predictive analysis technologies, and AI (artificial intelligence). These new technologies lead to higher efficiency to help brands gain market share and encourage users to return on a regular basis.
Mobile functionality is another obvious trend in e-commerce. The numbers of mobile shoppers passed desktop traffic for the first time in 2016, making traditional websites optimized for PC use an outdated practice. With nearly every consumer carrying a smart device in his or her pocket, a robust mobile shopping platform is more of an expectation than a competitive advantage.
2017 will undoubtedly be a fascinating race between all types of businesses participating in e-commerce. These participants will need to be at the right place at the right time with a highly functional platform to gain the customer’s final purchase.