Bridging the gap between physical and online shopping has been a big trend in ecommerce this year – with Google Local Inventory Ads to show online shoppers product availability in nearby physical stores, and with innovative apps like the Glitch app from Adidas, it’s clear that retailers are now finding new ways to link both their bricks-and-mortar stores and ecommerce sites. It’s fair to assume that in 2017, retailers will be pushing this even further.
Social media Impact
Perhaps one of the biggest developments in ecommerce this year was the response from social media networks. The integration of Facebook Dynamic Ads on Instagram, and Facebook’s launch of product tags are just a couple of examples of how social media platforms took the industry forwards a huge step. And this is only set to continue.
Often overlooked in the world of social media marketing, Snapchat is taking ecommerce in its stride with new advertising strategies becoming more widely available in 2017. This year saw the video shopping ads that launched in April in the discover, local, and live sections, and were tested by Target and Lancôme to advertise their products in short videos that had a built-in buying option. This involved the user swiping up from the ad to order the product.
Ecommerce Software Trends to Follow
While the fit and fare of shopping carts and marketplaces all (technically) count as SaaS, e-tailers also rely on shipping software, returns management software, inventory management software and accounting software solutions to run their day-to-day operations. Most retailers are also using newsletter and email services, social posting services and CRM systems, too. So what’s in the books for 2017?
• Ecommerce software will become more intuitive. Certainly, there are some undeniably awesome software solutions out there for ecommerce. But emerging technology will improve these solutions. Expect to see more self-learning solutions, enhanced chat bots, predictive shopping and automated conversion funnel enhancers, to name a few.
• Free software will take a bow. Certainly, you will still be able to get a free trial of various software suites. But don’t expect open-source software to stick around under the free-for-all model for too much longer. For example, WordPress, a popular host for ecommerce sites, is not really free. If you need hosting, a web domain or a variety of plugins, you’ll pay a monthly or annual fee. Expect solutions providers to instead offer affordable monthly plans that have several tiers, focusing on the strong upsell potential as opposed to a support heavy and freemium solution.