Internet commerce continues to grow. According to BigCommerce.com, 51 percent of Americans prefer to shop online rather than in person, and that number is continuing to grow each year. However, one of the few constants in internet marketing is that things are always changing. That’s why keeping abreast of trends and new developments is essential to remaining competitive in this dynamic and exciting market. Here are four of the most important ecommerce trends internet marketers should be watching.

 

1. Faster Delivery

 

Amazon’s Prime (two-day) shipping has set the bar high for internet retailers. Consumers are now expecting quick delivery. Delivery times as soon as same day via local drop-off points and contracting with local delivery services are common. A Forrester study found that 29 percent of consumers would be willing to pay extra for same-day delivery.

 

2. The Popularity of Recurring Payments

 

Recurring payments allow you to bill your customers regularly without expensive and time-consuming invoicing and payment processing. With just a one-time set up, your payments will show up in your bank account on the designated date each period. Offering recurring payments are ideal for magazine subscriptions and subscription boxes, but can also be used for any retailer or service provider that offers a regular product or service. This includes health clubs, day care centers and even churches.

 

3. The PC Is Far From Passé

 

While an overwhelming number of consumers research a purchase via their mobile devices, around half of them still feel more secure making the final purchase on their PC. That means that while having mobile capabilities is important, you shouldn’t ramp up your mobile site at the expense of your traditional, PC-viewable website.

 

4. The Increase in Chat Bot Usage

 

Chat bots, those computer icons that have traditionally helped browsers with customer service and navigation issues, are coming to the retail sector. Through live messaging, consumers can be directed to the items and categories they are seeking. Removing the need to scroll through pages and pages of merchandise. While consumers have been traditionally reluctant to do business with bots, this is starting to change.

Staying abreast of ecommerce trends has never been more important for companies selling products and services via the web. For 2017, watch for increasingly quick delivery options, an increase in automated payments and more and more site using bots to better serve their customers.