New Year, New eCommerce: Trends to watch in 2017
Dec 26, 2016 - GROWTH
Olivier Stapylton-Smith

The end of the year is right around the corner and our personal New Year's resolution is to help you become even better entrepreneurs. To get a head start with this we’re going to tell you the 2017 eCommerce trends to watch out for...

But first, let's just state that the eCommerce industry is booming. Online sales are expected to grow from $335 billion last year to $523 billion by 2020. That’s a sizable increase of 9.32% per year. Consumers want to do their shopping on-the-go and businesses are constantly creating new ways to make the process quicker and easier.

When these changes come into effect, some will generate huge amounts of success. These changes will then be picked up by others and become a new eCommerce trend.

The Rise of Mobile

Having the ability to access the internet anywhere you want makes your life a lot easier. So, it’s no wonder they’re being used more for online shopping.

The rise of mobile 2017

In fact, it’s expected that the revenue from mobile will overtake desktop by the end of 2017. Over Black Friday weekend, IBM and Adobe noted the impact of mobile devices stating that “smartphones nearly doubled their share of total online sales”. They found that mobile consisted of 52% of their total online traffic. We’ve also found that roughly 70% of our traffic comes from mobile users.

Even though this just refers to ‘traffic’ (rather than sales), it’s the first sign that mobile will continue to overtake desktop. Especially since desktop sales on Black Friday fell by around 20% this year, with the difference going to tablet and mobile devices.     

This is definitely a trend to watch in 2017. Target your ads to people using mobile devices and focus less on desktop users. This means creating Facebook ads with images and text that are optimised for mobile usage.

Faster deliveries

The best features of online shopping are its ease, speed and simplicity. With smartphones making it easier for you to shop, finding a way to offer deliveries as fast as possible is the next step for businesses.

Amazon, for example, is trialing drones for same day delivery on certain products. Of course, not every business will be able to airdrop products directly to your garden. Walmart is testing delivery with the use of businesses like Uber and Lyft. The idea is that drivers can deliver other people’s purchases while they’re on their way home.

Amazon Air delivery

The old days of 5 working days delivery are coming to an end (yay). Whether it’s from drones or members of the public delivering; in 2017 we’ll see companies competing to have the quickest delivery times.

Social Commerce

However, delivery isn’t the only part of shopping that’s being streamlined though. The entire buying experience will soon be available without ever leaving Facebook. In fact, this has already started, with Pinterest hitting the top spot in social commerce with the introduction of buyable pins way back in 2015.

Pinterest buyable pins 

While we all love to snoop on Facebook and check out the latest Instagram uploads, people use social media for shopping already. A study by GlobalWebIndex shows that millennials use social media platforms to research products before buying them.

The study shows that 30% of the general population and 40% of people aged 16 to 24 use social media to research products before buying online, all without having to leave the comfort of their home(page).

Chatbots and AI

AI (Artificial Intelligence) has come a long way in the past few years and although none of them will pass the turing test anytime soon, they’re still useful.

Chatbots (an instant messaging version of those automated phone calls when you really need to speak to a real person) are known for being a nuisance but some companies are using them to interact with customers on a daily basis.

This has been around for a while now as a customer service tool, fast food chains such as Taco Bell are taking it to the next level with the creation of TacoBot on Slack. They allow people order food and ask questions by messaging their Chatbot.

Burger King and Pizza Hut have similar systems which let people order food from Facebook Messenger and Twitter respectively.

Taco bot on slack

With it’s release in August 2011, Facebook messenger is now used by over 900 million people to communicate with friends, families and businesses. On iOS it’s the second most popular app and was the fastest growing app in the US last year.

We’re expecting to see more companies using chatbots through messenger apps in 2017 as well as a huge improvement in their quality.


2016 was the year of rapid growth and change for eCommerce and as the industry grows further, there will be some significant changes. Here are the stand out trends for 2017:

  • The Rise of Mobile and the fall of desktop in online sales
  • Faster Deliveries as companies make use of new technologies
  • Social Commerce will grow as shopping through social media becomes easier
  • Chatbots and AI will become far more frequent when interacting with companies online

We predict 2017 will be the year of refinement as businesses start to make everything fluid.

If you have any questions you can come ask us at the Moteefe Hangout on Facebook, or you can start the New Year with a new campaign by going to our design builder.

Stay up to date
Others you might like