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2017: the year mobile stops being king?

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This will be the year of personalisation, data analytics tools, and artificial intelligence – replacing mobile as the key area of interest for retailers, according to a round up of world wide reports and publications.

PayU’s Research and Development Team analysed for the third time hundreds of worldwide publications and reports on eCommerce and have concluded that, while mobile is still vital to ecommerce development, other factors that work off the back of mobile are going to be key this year.

So what have they identified? According to PayU, there are three things that retailers need to be aware of as they sail the stormy waters of 2017.

1: Personalisation

This is the most frequent word in forecasts for 2017 and it is inflected for every case.

“Ultimately, personalisation dethroned mobile as the leading trend in the industry,” says Aleksandra Lenartowicz from PayU’s R&D. “Modern business is increasingly based on personalised offers and marketing messages. The major challenge for online retailer is to make customers feel that they are special. Not like one of the thousands of consumers, but the one, unique recipient who may expect customised products, content, and communication methods, and service.”

Many experts have a similar view. “One-to-one personalisation will be key to success in eCommerce in 2017. Knowing what your customers want, often before they do, and delivering it to them will build you a growing community of loyal customers” says Kathryn Monkcom, a British blogger.

“In 2017, online shopping will be data-driven more than ever because it is necessary to adjust the offer to the context and circumstances of the customer to become able to sell something to him in the first place”, adds John Komarek, the founder of effective marketing agency Pixelter.

2: Delivery and return

Delivery (preferably same-day delivery) and return (preferably free of charge) are the Holy Grail of commerce. Even though it is a distant horizon for many eSellers, investments in partner network and logistics improvements will result in 2017 in many positive changes in shipments.

However, this will not result from one specific innovation, but many minor improvements:

  • The upcoming months will primarily focus on same-day delivery, which is anticipated by more and more consumers.

  • We will see an increase number of local pick-up locations (e.g. automatic machines, fuel stations, stands, grocery stores, etc.).

  • The online retail will utilize the growing popularity of crowdsourcing (packages can be finally transported not only by couriers, but also “ordinary” drivers, including those who work for taxi apps, such as Uber).

  • There is still a lot of hype on drone delivery. Even though this is tested by major eCommerce companies, it is for the time being mostly an attractive marketing vision.

Do these great efforts in logistics make sense? They do! “A Forrester report states that 29% of consumers would be willing to pay extra for same-day delivery”, as noticed by Kit Smith, Content Writer at marketing company Brandwatch.

3: Mobile

Even though mobile fell to the third place on our list of trends (it came in second and third in 2015 and 2016, respectively), it is still vital. Mobile devices account for more than half of the Internet traffic and continue to increase their domination over desktop computers and laptops. Experts predict that 2017 will witness eCommerce reaching the new heights in terms of popularity and profitability. As for eStores, there is still a lot to be done.

“It may surprise you that a very big chunk of customers still aren’t happy with purchasing on a mobile device. Over half prefer purchasing on a PC, and many worry about privacy and security”, says Robert Allen, Smart Insights editor.

“According to think tank Gartner, mobile engagement and the mobile behaviour of shoppers will skyrocket ecommerce-driven mobile revenue by at least 50% by the year 2017”, as noted by Michael Lazar, an author at Engadget.

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