2017 looks like it’s shaping up to be a solid year. Between consumer confidence trending upward and more people spending — and racking up some debt — retailers are slated to be pleased when the ball drops and the confetti settles.
But in order to look forward, it’s important to look back at the past year. And in this case, we’re reflecting on 2016’s eCommerce trends.
Here are nine concepts PYMNTS believes are the most useful eCommerce trends coming out of 2016, propelling 2017 forward.
1. Sales associates aren’t winning popularity contests.More than 55 percent of consumers say they prefer interacting with technology or automation over speaking to a real live person when shopping.
2. The cost of shipping matters.While customers say they’ll be willing to spend more to ship items faster, they hesitate to purchase. More than 80 percent of Amazon users admit — secretly or not — slow shipping dissuades them from buying. The secret is 88 percent of shoppers want free shipping.
3. Consumers want technology while shipping. Usage-wise, mobile coupons are used less than 60 percent of the time, while in-store geolocation sees 22 percent usage and push notifications receive 34 percent.
4. Technology follows. Customers say that in-store tracking with mobile push notifications doesn’t bother them. In fact, more than 70 percent say they’d willingly accept them.
5. Content is king. Nearly 90 percent of shoppers say detailed product content is important to them. They want to be informed and be able to make informed decisions.
6. Buy online, pick up in-store is happening … more. Two out of three consumers say they’ve already tried it using a mobile device. With more people having smartphones and retailers going mobile, this trend isn’t slowing.
7. Stars in their eyes — matter. More than 90 percent of consumers buying on Amazon say they will opt out of buying an item if it doesn’t have at least — yes, at least — three stars.
8. Chatbots are happening, and consumers don’t mind. According to 7, more than 40 percent of customers are perfectly happy chatting with a bot regarding a retail-related experience. (And in case you need more chatbot news, check out PYMNTS’ weekly Chatbot Tracker.)
9. Loyalty isn’t king … yet.Customers are still gaining on loyalty, with only 44 percent of retailers engaging with customers through a loyalty app.