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5 Digital Retail Trends for 2017

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This article is published in collaboration with Scutify, where you can find real-time markets and stock commentary from Robert Marcin, Cody Willard and others. Download the Scutify iOS App, the Scutify Android App or visit Scutify.com.

Over $3 billion was spent on Black Friday in the United States, with another $3 billion spent the next Monday to shatter previous records.

As well as giving people deals they can't resist, the seasonal sales were driven by technology including apps. The following are the top five digital trends expected to be an even bigger deal in 2017.

  • Mobile Shopping

Mobile shopping continues to grow but things are expected to really blow up in 2017 following the success of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Around $2.5 of all the money spent during those two days was spent through a mobile device.

PayPal transactions continue to be over $14 billion and Android Pay and Apple Pay are creating a seamless mobile check-out. People are also spending more time on their mobile phones with mobile internet traffic overtaking desktop internet traffic. In 2017 businesses must have a strong mobile presence thanks to all the searches people are doing on mobiles and all the time they spend on mobile social media networks like Instagram. It's also expected there will be more mobile wallet usage in 2017.

Companies such as Samsung and CVS saw success with Samsung Pay and CVS Pay. The result is that other retailers will start adopting the practice of mobile wallets to build brand loyalty and connect with their consumers. Mobile wallets provide brands with the chance to connect with their consumers whenever and wherever, and offer rewards. These apps can even be used to offer customers location-based time-sensitive vouchers. These will no doubt please your customers and convince them to make the purchase.

  • Chatbots

Chatbots came to prominence in 2016. Everyone is getting involved with chatbots from tech giants like Microsoft and Facebook to even retailers such as Staples and J. Crew. It's not hard to understand why either. Chatbots engage customers in real-time. Even though it's automated conversational commerce it still eels more authentic and human than other marketing methods. Customers want to have responsive, convenient interactions, and chatbots are a great way to do that.

2017 will see chatbots and live chat become even bigger as consumers will start conducting transactions through them.

These days messaging apps have more active users a month than social networks. During 2017 online retailers will start using chatbots with Messenger from Facebook to give their shoppers a better experience. Bots can change the way that online shopping works by offering customers personalised choices. Customers will no longer be limited to searching for things or browsing for them. There are already retailers that are using Messenger to provide shipping information and order confirmations.

  • Social Shopping

It's already known how much behavior can be influenced by social media, but it's going to be a bigger commercial influence in 2017. There was a recent update to Instagram that allows brands to tag their products in pictures much the same way people can tag their friends. Users can tap the product description to learn more about the brand or make a purchase through the website. It's obvious that this integration of social media and shopping will be a bigger deal in 2017.

  • Personalised Retargeting

The average for online shopping cart abandonment is 75% globally, which is a record high. Mobiles have exacerbated the problem by shortening the attention span, even if there are more people shopping through their phone than their desktop. Online retailers are trying to find new and creative ways to counteract these lost transactions.

Retargeting is a strategy that has been around for some time now but it really blew up in 2016 as more marketers began sending out emails about abandoned carts through personalised messages. It proved to be successful and as such this trend is expected to continue through 2017.

  • Virtual Retail

Virtual reality (VR) has changed the face of retail by engaging customers through a combination of online and offline environments. One example of the benefits of VR is that sportswear shoppers can try out gear in the environment they need to wear it for. Even regular clothes shoppers can benefit by getting the chance to try on clothes in a virtual dressing room.

Virtual reality is already being used to create and build strong relationships with customers. Bellabox is a beauty subscription service that uses VR to allow customers to chat with the founder of the company. While the concept of virtual reality is still relatively new it is expected that retail will benefit greatly from the rising popularity of the technology.


This article was written by Adam Monson for on .

This article published in collaboration with Scutify, the best app for traders and investors. Download the Scutify iOS App, the Scutify Android App or visit Scutify.com.

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