5 E-Commerce Trends To Watch For 2017

2016 was a historic year for the e-commerce industry. U.S. e-commerce sales grew 15.8% and represented 10.9% of all retail sales.  E-commerce sales are expected to grow to more than $400 billion in the next several years. 2017 is set to be even more profitable for online retailers. 017


So here’s the big question:What e-commerce trends will shape the landscape in 2017?

We looked at 5 trends that online retailers should be paying close attention to heading into the new year.

Apple Pay

Shopify is reporting a 200% increase in conversion for the first group of online retailers using Apple Pay. Apple already represents 75% of all contactless payments made in the U.S. Apple Pay transactions are on the rise, growing 500% year-over-year. In fact, more purchases were made through Apple Pay in September 2016 than the entire 2015 year. That is a substantial increase in transactions.


With one touch shoppers can bypass those frustrating contact forms and payment information sheets. Retailers are seeking alternative payment methods to satisfy their shoppers and Apple Pay has been their #1 choice so far. Unlike with credit card issuers, Merchants don’t pay anything to Apple for Apple Pay.

Mobile e-commerce makes up 19% of digital e-commerce consumer spending. Apple devices were responsible for 97% of mobile commerce revenue in Q2 this year, 57% from iPhone alone. Smartphone’s converted 1.43% in Q4 of 2014 compared to a 4.66% rate on desktop according to Smart Insights, but this will not be the case in 2017.

Mobile Sales Will Keep Rising

It’s no secret that mobile shopping has been on the rise. However, mobile shopping is finally starting to creep up on desktop conversion. Mobile shoppers converted nearly as high as desktop users on Black Friday 2016.


Desktop shoppers have always converted higher because using a desktop is easier. Online retailers are now optimizing their sites for mobile and are much more responsive than they used to be. The number of desktop shoppers also shrunk significantly on Black Friday in 2016.



Mobile shopping might very well overtake desktop in 2017.

In fact, there were significantly more orders that originated from mobile devices compared to orders from desktop shoppers. In 2016, there were more mobile sales than desktop sales on Black Friday:



Exit-Intent pop-ups aren’t exactly new to the e-commerce industry. But they are now proven to be a major factor in converting shoppers. These pop-ups are simple. They appear when a user is attempting to leave a website. Exit-Intent pop-ups showcase deals and promotions that can entice a shopper into making the purchase immediately. On average, there is a 25% decrease in cart abandonment after implementing campaigns that offer deals to shoppers.


Another reason these pop-ups are going to be a huge factor in 2017 is because they are also a powerful lead building tool. Promising a discount in exchange for signing up to your store’s newsletter is a great way to use these pop-ups. Promote exclusivity by promising to these shoppers they will be the 1st to know about new sales. This is a great way to increase brand loyalty and customer retention.

Social Media Buying Will Increase

As of now, millennials are not buying products through social media.

A new GlobalWebIndex study suggests that millennial shoppers use Facebook, Twitter, and the like to research products before they buy them. According to the study, 40% of global consumers ages 16 to 24 use social media to research products. And 30% of the general population use these platforms for product research before they buy.

Social platforms do not drive many direct orders as a referral channel, as a mere 1% of all e-commerce orders in 2015 occurred from a direct social media referral, according to Custora.

Young people are using social media to research products, but aren’t buying them inside of social media apps. Social media platforms are focusing on making the transaction process easier and more trustworthy. Ad sales have driven revenue for social media companies since their inception. However, they are shifting long-term focus on transaction revenue. Tencent, a Chinese tech company with over 1 billion users, focused on transactions as their long-term revenue plan and saw a 48% growth increase in Q1 of 2016.

Simply put, it’s going to get easier to buy things all over the internet. Social media companies are going to take advantage of this in 2017 and make up for a disappointing 2016 of low sales.

There Will Be Much More Competition

The e-commerce industry is scorching hot, which is great for retailers that are already established. However, the total number of online stores is rapidly increasing and that is affecting growth for retailers.

Online sales in 2015 were flat for 17% of responding retailers, versus only 3% in last year’s report. “Much of this is due to more retail competition than ever before,” says the report, authored by Forrester e-retail analyst Sucharita Mulpuru. “More than 800,000 online stores in the U.S. alone are now vying for recognition, market share and relevance with assortment

The number of online stores is growing partly due to the fact that it is incredibly easy to create a store. In 15 minutes you can set up a Shopify store and start selling. There are between 12-24 million stores online, but out of those 12-24 million, only 650,000 online stores generated over $1K in revenue annually. While e-commerce sales continue to grow at a fascinating rate more people will take notice and look for a way to get a piece of the market.


  • Apple Pay will be a major factor for mobile conversion in 2017.
  • Mobile sales are going to keep rising.
  • Exit intent will be used by many more online retailers to convert shoppers at a higher rate.
  • Social media platforms will implement new strategies to produce more transactions.
  • There are going to be more online stores created in 2017 than there in 2016.

What other trends are you anticipating for 2017? Tweet us @PriceWaiter!

Love podcasts? Check out the Best E-Commerce Podcasts of 2017!

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