With the New Year now upon us and Retail’s Big Show by NRF just a week away, it seems fitting to talk about top trends in eCommerce to be keeping a pulse on so you can be creating a winning strategy in 2017. From top marketing tech trends like AI Algorithms, to trends in Mobile Commerce and Payment it was hard to simply pick a few. But here are three trends to keep on your radar this year:
1. Globalization of eCommerce
US eCommerce growth rates continue to slowly and steadily grow, but the true opportunity is in the international markets. Asian markets in particular are worth investigating. China's growth is so rapid that total eCommerce sales there are expected to double between now and 2019, adding $1 trillion dollars worth of additional sales in three years.
To take advantage maybe easier said than done. Your site will need to be well translated both in content and imagery, and your teams will want to have strategies in sync with local expectations and use the no VAT charges to subsidise delivery costs. However, the beautiful thing about eCommerce is you don’t have to worry about setting up a physical location to start selling into a new country and the shipping rates are fairly inexpensive at the moment.
2. Subscription based business models
We first saw this now popular business model pop heavy into the scene around 2009. Beyond just SaaS and PaaS, this is a true eCommerce business model. Now even big-box brands like Amazon and Target have taken notice and offer this service to their customers. The flexibility it affords consumers and the recurring revenue it allows businesses is a massive win-win for both parties.
So what’s the key to success with this model? Although tempting to focus on getting more and more customers to subscribe, it is more important to focus on keeping your current customers loyal. Retention is key to finding your golden ticket with a Subscription based business, so put on your thinking capping as all kinds of industries are ripe for disruption by successful subscription based eCommerce sites.
3. Cloud based eCommerce platforms
With the increasing complexity of retailing and manufacturing, paired with the maturing of cloud-based services, this is one of the smartest trends to hop on board with in 2017. Cloud technology providers have now come to the point where they can keep up with every change, whether it’s a new sale feature on Pinterest or a technology advance in the Apple iPad operating system. Merchants can finally be shielded from the complexity of the constant advance of technology and focus on what it does best: selecting merchandise its customers will want and presenting it to them in an appealing way.
Ultimately, the cloud provides Merchants with a centralized, secure location to store data, use it to analyze trends, craft the offers with the best chance of being successful and connect to the buyer in all touchpoints from in-store to online and everything in between.
What other trends do you think will emerge in 2017? What ones do you think will fall flat? Discuss how to move forward with the trends mentioned in today’s article and more with the Echidna team at the upcoming Retail’s Big Show by NRF January 15-17 in New York City. Retailers are welcome to request their meeting by filling out the form here.