What Retailers Need to Know in 2017

Don Kingsborough March 10, 2017
Retailer Trends 2017-large

Looking back at the 2016 holiday season, some important trends emerged in shifting consumer shopping behavior. Not only are new technologies making their way into the shopping experience, but also consumer preferences are rapidly evolving as these technologies become mainstream.

Brick-and-mortar retailers stand to gain big benefits from digital innovation if they can bring it into the store at the pace of their consumers. Here’s what retailers need to know in 2017.

Mobile Shopping Is Here, but Not Necessarily on Your App

Mobile accounted for 57 percent of visits and 40 percent of sales on Thanksgiving Day, according to Adobe. However, a big chunk of this traffic is going to Amazon:

  • Mobile shoppers who make the majority of their online retail purchases on their smartphones make 61% of those purchases on Amazon.com.
  • Last holiday season, shopping on Amazon’s mobile app grew by 56%

App usage is growing but at a slower pace than previous years. More significantly, comScore reports that nine out of 10 minutes spent in apps is concentrated in users’ top five apps. (Overall, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, YouTube, Google Maps, and Google Search have the most unique visitors.)  

Convenience Wins

Consider one of the biggest shifts this holiday season, to last-minute shopping habits: 49.2% of all US online sales the Monday before Christmas were made on Amazon. Amazon’s success underscores the importance of convenience:

  • A site or app to which users are almost always logged in
  • One-click checkout
  • Broad selection and fair prices

To compete, retailers need to find new ways to deliver more convenience for shoppers.

Artificial Intelligence Creates New Retail Models

Companies like Stitch Fix and Trunk Club are showing how machine learning and artificial intelligence can work together to tailor assortments for individual shoppers. These technologies could play a role in physical retail took, giving store associates the insights they need to deliver exceptional service.

Voice and Augmented Reality Are the Next Shopping Experience Disruptors

Natural-language voice recognition is getting better, and consumer adoption has really picked up. Consider that Stanford researchers found that voice texting about three times faster than typing for English and Chinese speakers. Amazon Echo and Google Home sales spiked this holiday season, bringing technology out of the device and into the home. And sooner that than later, into the shopping experience. Amazon achieved a 9x year-over-year increase in Amazon Echo sales during the 2016 holiday season, representing millions of voice-enabled devices in the home, ready to shop for their owners.

Augmented reality isn’t far behind. Pokémon Go and Snapchat Spectacles have driven consumer awareness and demonstrated the potential of this technology. The applications that it could have in shopping are limitless.

2017 Is a Pivotal Year for Retail

With so many emerging technologies to watch with an endless list of existing priorities, it can be tough to figure out how to focus your efforts. Whether or not you have a presence in Westfield shopping centres, we’re here to help. Follow us on Facebook or DM us on Twitter. Let’s start a conversation!



Tags: Research