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2017 eCommerce Predictions

At the end of the year, everyone likes to pull out the ol’ crystal ball and make their big predictions for next year. Well, 2016 has been an interesting and unique year in many ways, and marketers aren’t breaking from that tradition.

I’ve already done a lot of my research as I’m starting to think about planning for 2017.  Here are a few of my favorite prediction pieces:

Brandwatch: E-commerce Trends: 7 Predictions on What to Expect in 2017

PracticalEcommerce: 5 Ecommerce Content Marketing Trends for 2017

Engadget: The Most Important Ecommerce Trends To Follow Into 2017

In case you don’t have a chance to read all of these, let me summarize it for you:

Mobile: It will be important (duh?)

Machines: Artificial Intelligence & Chatbots

Content: Personalized and Video

Same-day delivery (thanks Obama Amazon!)

No real shockers here, but one thing that did immediately strike me is that we’ve talked about how important rich, structured product data is to creating a compelling mobile experience and personalized content. Yet, maybe the biggest futuristic driver of the need for better, richer product data: the Machines.

Think about it. When A.I. takes over assortment and tries to personalize the presentation of the most relevant products – based on the hundreds of things it knows about a shopper’s identity, preferences, recent history – how is it going to make decisions knowing only brand, color, price, size, and material on your assortment?

Answer: it’s not.

Today, common investments like site search and personalization engines struggle to consistently deliver relevant results because of the lack of high-quality, structured product content. Without great product attributes, the future where A.I.-driven chatbots decipher our natural language queries to deliver the exact product our heart desires in the same day…will not happen in 2017.

It is always fun to predict the future, and sure, imagining a world where robots are more present is exciting. But, first things first: let Edgecase prepare your product data for the onslaught of the machines.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Parks has two decades of leadership experience helping technology startups grow revenues and build great sales and business development organizations. As Edgecase VP of Sales, he is responsible for building a world class sales team and growing the company’s base of industry leading, brand-named clients.