Three Commerce Trends for 2017

With the New Year now upon us and Retail’s Big Show by NRF next week, it seems fitting to talk about some of the top trends that we see coming in 2017 for commerce. It’s hard to narrow it down to just a few, but here are three trends we think you definitely need to keep on your radar this year.

Continued globalization

Without getting too political, we think it’s safe to say that globalization in some shape or form is pretty much inevitable going forward. And for retailers, that’s good news. commerce growth rates in the United States and other mature economies continue to grow steadily, but the growth has definitely slowed down as commerce reaches ubiquity in such places.

Take a look around the world, though, and you’ll find markets ripe for huge growth. You don’t have to look any further than China for a big example of what we’re talking about. The country obviously has a ridiculously huge population to begin with. Add in a burgeoning middle class, and a rural population that’s rapidly gaining Internet access, and you start to see a gigantic market that’s set to explode in terms of commerce growth in 2017 and beyond.

Subscriptions, subscriptions, subscriptions

Subscription-based commerce first starting gaining significant traction around 2009, and since then a lot of subscription-based brands have risen and fallen. But the model itself has been proven and doesn’t look to be going anywhere but up. In the last few years, the biggest retail brands (online, in-store, bricks-and-clicks, you-name-it) like Amazon and Target have taken notice and offer a variety of products via subscription. The convenience that the subscription model affords consumers and the recurring revenue it brings businesses is a massive win-win for both parties.

Cloud-based commerce

Increasing complexity of retailing and manufacturing, paired with the maturing of cloud-based services, makes cloud-based commerce one of the smartest trends to hop on board with in 2017. Cloud technology providers have now come to the point where they can keep up with every change, whether it’s a new sale feature on Pinterest or a technology advance in Apple’s iOS. Today’s merchant can finally easily keep pace with the complexity of constant advancements in technology and focus on what it does best: selecting merchandise its customers want, and presenting it to them in an appealing way.

Commerce in the cloud might be a “trend” we see being big in 2017, but it’s also here to stay for the long-term. With the biggest players in the industry getting into cloud-based commerce -- Salesforce acquiring Demandware, Kibo Commerce acquiring Mozu, Oracle building out its Commerce Cloud technology (just to name a few) -- cloud-based commerce truly is the way of the future.


What other trends do you think will emerge in 2017? Which ones do you think will fall flat?

Discuss how to move forward with the trends mentioned in today’s article and more with the Echidna team at the upcoming Retail’s Big Show by NRF, January 15-17 in New York City. Request a meeting below!