Midway through the eCommerce year of 2017: These trends will await you in the second half of the year

The first half of 2017 has passed by and we will now take initial stock. Have the predicted trends established themselves or have others been added?

Not only in eCommerce, but also in retail in its entirety, a rapid development can be observed. Talk is of a so-called “everywhere commerce” – a description of just how many channels through which retail is nowadays taking place. Be it through the social web, mobile services or by voice control, the trends in eCommerce are characterised by new surprises every year.

Which trends can you expect in the second half of this year?

Trend #1: Artificial intelligence as an assistant and consultant

You can order a taxi as needed or guide customers through your online shop – language assistants as well as chatbots are very much on the rise in online retail. “Voice commerce” offers owners a speech-controlled shopping experience on the basis of artificial intelligence. Global players like Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri are the pioneers of this development. Intelligent language assistants not only provide general support for taxi or food ordering, but also act as sales assistants in the retail trade and advise customers on suitable products which are matched to them.

Chatbots, on the other hand, are so far to be found increasingly in messengers such as Facebook. A chatbot is a software that impersonates a person with whom the customer then communicates. In this way, they receive product recommendations and consultations, as well as avoid arduous clicking through the online shop.

As an online retailer, you should first consider the purpose and the target group you are pursuing with a chatbot before you actually employ the technology.

Trend #2: Inspiration from content commerce in the online shop

For online retailers today, it is no longer only relevant to have a shop in the first place. It is much more important to stand out from the crowd and offer the customer a unique added value in addition to your multitude of products. The shop itself fades into the background and becomes embedded in top-quality content.

Up until now, linking these areas – the technical shop system and the content management system – has been the greatest challenge. But the effort does seem to pay off: According to a Forrester study, some 51 percent of the companies using content commerce report higher sales. As an online retailer, you also benefit from other positive effects, such as increasing your brand awareness and a longer visitation of customers to your website.

Intricately designed lookbooks, like that of the American clothing manufacturer Carhartt, invite you to linger and take a look around. (Source: Screenshot Carhartt lookbook)

In the fashion and cosmetics sectors particularly, you can also implement “inspirational commerce”. By designing elaborate lookbooks with stimulating lifestyle images, you will inspire your customers into purchasing. At the same time you will also be offering a new shopping experience.

Trend #3: Efficient price management using Business Intelligence tools

If you want to adapt your price setting to current eCommerce trends, then there is no way to avoid a strategic price management. Currently, some 40 percent of online retailers use dynamic pricing as a pricing instrument. To avoid pricing pressure in eCommerce, as an online retailer you have to determine the price that both attracts buyers and also increases your margin.

Intelligent software solutions like blackbee enable you to adjust your sales prices to your competitors’ prices, both precisely and over the longer term. blackbee supports you in the implementation and establishment of a professional price management. Convince yourself now of the advantages in our technology.

Do you need further information on the topics of price optimisation and price monitoring in online retail? Contact us now – we look forward to your message.