E-Commerce Trends for 2017

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The e-commerce market is alive and well in Australia. The country’s online sales are predicted to exceed $32 billion in 2017, resulting in a global top-ten ranking.

This is no small feat, considering we have a population of only roughly 23 million. So, what is driving this online market?

A strong economy is definitely at play here. So is Australians’ love for their computers. Nearly all — save 15% — have access to the internet. This makes it very easy for e-commerce businesses to access a large portion of the population. Furthering this access to consumers is the number of social media users which is projected to exceed 12 million this year.

Businesses do well when they pay attention to and adapt to retail trends. Generally, the better they understand changes in the online retail world, the more success they can expect.

The online market has other advantages as well. From being open 24/7 to making products available to consumers at great distances — retailers of any size do well to focus on this component of their business.

And, as evidenced by the trend of increasing online retail popularity, it would seem that they are.

So, what can we expect in the way of e-commerce trends, aside from the likelihood of continued increasing popularity?

Here are some up-and-coming trends:

1. More Purchases from Handheld Devices

At 19.4 million, Australia has a very high proportion of mobile phone users. In 2015, they were used for over one third of e-commerce transactions with 27% of consumers making online purchases from mobile phones.

This means we can expect online retailers to really focus on optimising their sites for mobile in the coming months. It will make for simpler, device-friendly navigation.

2. More Small Business E-Commerce Sites

Large online retail sites are feeling the pressure of competition which is creating a bit of a niche market for smaller businesses and startups. Small businesses can take advantage of lower overhead costs — personnel, real estate, etc. — when dealing with e-commerce sales. They can also reach a large portion of their clientele without having several physical locations for their business. Look for an increase in small business retail sites in 2017.

3. GST for International Businesses

A factor that will likely influence major international online retailers is that starting in July, 2017, they will be required to collect GST when selling into Australia. This will give Australian businesses an advantage, so we can expect their presence to increase while that of foreign businesses goes down.

4. Faster Shipping

While consumers have come to expect free shipping from most retailers, recent years have seen a surge in fast shipping to the point where we have come to expect it. One element of online shopping to likely hit Australia in 2017 is a drive to deliver grocery purchases as fast as humanly possible. Already in full swing in the U.K., this supermarket war will no doubt offer an advantage to consumers who don’t want to wait long for their online grocery purchases to arrive.

In 2017, also look for an increase in “in-flight redirections” which refers to the option of changing the destination of your purchase after the shipping process has begun.

5. More Unique Buying Experiences

While e-commerce is a relatively new business market, keeping things fresh and new is still a must. Customers are looking for more than just an online catalogue of products for them to click on, followed by entering shipment and payment details.

In 2017, expect successful online retailers to come up with unique shopping experiences with fun websites and clever marketing campaigns. Consumers like to be entertained while shopping and the more enjoyable the buying experience, the more likely they are to repeat it.

In conclusion, look for greater competition amongst e-commerce sites in 2017, especially when it comes to Australian retailers. More shipping options, coupled with a drive to focus on an enjoyable shopping experience will no doubt support the upward trend of e-commerce popularity.

Get in touch with the team at DEFSYS to find out more and how we can assist your brand online today.