As a new year begins to take shape, it’s time for consumer brands and retailers to think about how ecommerce will change in 2017. Based on how we’ve seen the online landscape transform in the last few years, here are our predictions for 2017’s ecommerce trends.
Amazon Will Continue to Grow and Expand
Amazon’s revenue has been rising steadily for 5 years. Their workforce has grown from 33,700 workers in 2010 to 268,900 in 2016. It’s not a bold prediction that Amazon’s growth won’t be slowing down in 2017.
However, we predict that this growth will make 2017 the year that Amazon moves past physical goods and begins to sell services like house painting and repairs.
Amazon also now controls a huge fleet of trucks, airplanes, and cargo ships. They spent $11.5 billion on shipping last year, which is twice the amount they spent two years ago. 2017 could also be the year Amazon expands to non-purchase related delivery, directly challenging FedEx, UPS, and the US Postal Service.
Search Behavior Will Change Thanks to New Technology
Voice-activated search from Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri makes it easier than ever to get information from a digital assistant. In 2017, people will become more comfortable with the technology, leading some think it’s Amazon’s Trojan Horse: a technology that starts with basic interactions but soon becomes an indispensible resource for fulfilling needs. Before long, Alexa will be doing the shopping for millions of consumers.
Expect More Brick and Mortar Stores from Amazon
In 2016, Amazon expanded their Amazon Fresh grocery delivery service to Amazon Go, a physical store that stocks fresh and pre-prepared foods where customers Expect Amazon to continue experimenting with brick and mortar stores, and thanks to their unparalleled regional consumer data, don’t be surprised if the bodega-sized store in your neighborhood is stocked with everything you want to buy.
Retailer.com Paid Search Will Separate the Winners and Losers
Amazon is currently leading the way in ecommerce paid search with Amazon Marketing Services. 2017 will be the year that retailer.com paid search will become the norm.
Competing online retailers who don’t add their own paid search option (or can’t get brands to participate) will start to fall like their big box brick and mortar stores did years ago.
Brands Will Strive to Improve Shopping Experience
Mobile shopping continues to gain momentum. For 2016 holiday shopping through early December, half of web traffic and 30% of retail sales came from mobile sites. Brands and retailers are going to have to make the shopping experience even more mobile focused, with checkout as seamless as possible for mobile purchases. Mobile shopping is gaining ground with millennials and younger shoppers, making it low hanging fruit for brands looking to be ahead of the curve.
Brands who can create a true onmichannel shopping experience will reap the rewards. Look for key ecommerce sites to begin revising return policies and taking other steps in 2017 to provide a more convenient shopping experience.
The Little Guys Will Start to Disrupt Big Retailers
Even with all the projected growth for large e-tailers, we predict that a big 2017 ecommerce trend will be smaller retailer.coms with highly curated wares growing in importance and influence. Now that shoppers are used to conveniently buying almost what they wanted on Amazon, they’ll be more comfortable buying exactly what they wanted somewhere else. As a result, look for an increase in acquisitions of ecommerce boutique brand darlings in 2017 as well.