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5 digital retail trends that will be big in 2017

Jennifer Lonoff Schiff | Dec. 22, 2016
Experts in retail, ecommerce and marketing look into their crystal balls and predict what will be the big trends in online retail in the coming year.

3. Social shopping

“Social media already influences consumer behavior, but in 2017 it will become a bigger driver of direct transactions,” predicts Bart Mroz, cofounder & CEO, SUMO Heavy. “Instagram recently rolled out a new feature that enables brands to tag products that are featured in the photos they post (much like the way a user would tag his or her friends). By tapping on those product descriptions, users are able to go to the brand’s website to learn more and make a purchase. In 2017, look for more social media platforms and more brands to bring the shopping and buying experience straight to users’ social feeds.”

4. Personalized retargeting

“For retailers, the online shopping cart abandonment rate globally is 75 percent, a record-high,” says Brzezinski. “Mobile has made things worse as attention spans tend to be shorter on smaller screens, despite driving a higher share of ecommerce traffic than desktop. As the cart abandonment problem has increased, etailers are adopting a wider set of tools to try to counteract lost transactions.”

While retargeting has been around for a while, 2016 was a big year, with “more marketers sending triggered cart abandonment emails than ever before, [using] more personalized [messages],” which resulted in greater success rates. And he expects this trend to continue in 2017.

5. Virtual retail

“Virtual reality (VR) is changing the retail landscape by fusing together the offline and online environment for enhanced customer engagement,” says Paul Miller, CMO Americas, Xero. “VR is making it possible for sportswear shoppers to test out gear in environments it would be used in or try on clothing in a virtual dressing room.

“We are already starting to see adoption of VR to help build stronger customer relationships,” he notes. “For example, beauty subscription [company] bellabox turned to VR to let its customers virtually chat with the company’s founder. VR is still in its early stages, but retail [in 2017] will greatly benefit from this increasingly popular technology.”


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