2017 Predictions Part 2: Personalization, Payments & Shipping

January 12, 2017

Customer expectations are changing as quickly as the technology they use, and retailers need to keep up if they want to keep customers happy. Among the trends our solution and technology partners see vying for retailers’ attention in 2017 are accelerating momentum around personalization (from product to customer journey), continued evolution of payments, and the rise of shipping as a competitive differentiator. Here is a roundup of our partners’ reflections:

Personalization Accelerates

"The importance of full journey personalisation, both on site and off site. We are future proofing our clients to deliver this experience by constantly researching the best software and partners to implement the most advanced on-site search facilities across client sites." (Jon Woodall, Space 48)

“Personalized products are going to be a big trend, for example, Artifact Uprising. The ability to create your own personalized and beautiful items with ease will be key in 2017. Additionally, personalization is going to meet the authentic, niche microsite experience to drive more customization, particularly in fashion and lifestyle brands. Taking this one step further, retailers will start to see the importance of information architecture by capturing and maintaining more data points across the various products and product components they stock. Another important aspect of personalization is personalization based on the shopper, regardless of the channel they are engaging in. We are seeing more third parties gain a better understanding of customer behavior, not only online but also in-store. 2017 will see us better harness this information and create a better experience for shoppers across the board.” (Sasha Butkovich, Corra)

Payments Evolve

“Mobile checkout at retail stores [is increasing]. (Dong Xu, Silk Commerce)

"Classy Llama expects that hardware-based payments will become a larger factor in eCommerce payments in 2017. More merchants will add Apple Pay and Android Pay as payment options, thereby reducing friction in the checkout process. This should help smaller merchants compete more effectively against giants such as Amazon. " (Erik Hansen, Classy Llama)

“Bye Bye Traditional Wallets. 2017 will see a drastic decrease of traditional payments and will move towards payment via smartphone, watch, or other wearable devices. The use of digital wallets like mobile wallet will grow up both in digital and physical stores. With the new credit card standards, a lot of retailers are updating their POS systems moving closer towards a world that is able to accept mobile payments as easily as credit card payments. 2017 will be a year when a larger portion of the general public becomes comfortable paying with their mobile phones rather than their credit cards.” (Marco Dalla LiberaAlpenite)

eWallet Plus - As smartphone user base increasing rapidly, mobile payments are becoming more and more common. Mobile payment clubbed with loyalty points is on the rise and will be one of the key trends to look for. The upgrades to consumers’ mobile devices and merchants’ point-of-sale systems will spell the end of the traditional wallet for many people in 2017, especially since “mobile” payments will be possible using more than just a smartphone—watches, rings, and other devices and “wearables” will now be connected and capable of making payments. Merchants would be wise to set themselves up to accept these new payment methods as soon as possible. For example, Selfie pay. (Tapas Ranjan Lenka, Cybage)

Shipping As Competitive Differentiator

Shipping on demand: The rise of real-time inventory across multiple locations and channels will usher in a new era of speedy delivery. Advances in inventory management and shipping capability have enabled retailers to turn their physical stores into fulfillment locations—thus minimizing the distance between available inventory and the consumer. In 2017 you can expect cost-effective, hyper-local shipping options to become normalized and customer expectations advancing further still.” (Carl HartmannTemando)

“Online Retailers will go for Speed. Online shoppers want immediate shipping: their expectations of an acceptable delivery window are shrinking. That’s because big market players, like Amazon, have conditioned shoppers to expect fast delivery and they will condition them to expect same day delivery. So delivery speed will become competitive differentiators. Same day delivery is not simple and retailers have already started to build their own same-day shipping options through partnership with other companies and start-ups. Logistics and supply chain industries are also investing more and more in new technologies like self-driving cars, drones, etc. to revolutionize the delivery industry.” (Marco Dalla LiberaAlpenite)

2017 Predictions Part 1: Rethinking Retail with B2B, Mobile, International & Digital Transformation