Shoppers are feeling safer about shopping online as ecommerce payment methods become more secure. Research has found that the average US consumer spends at least $1,800 per year online, a number that’s set to increase next year and in years to come.

Predictions are that online spending in the US will generate between $355 billion and $392.5 billion this year. And this number is expected to exceed $400 billion per year by 2018.

Along the way there will be new software developed to improve the user experience of buying online. A couple of years ago we wouldn't have dreamed about what we're seeing in dev now. So what's next? Here are some of the top, crazy ecommerce development trends expected in 2017.

Mobile shopping will reach dizzying heights

More and more shoppers are going to be using their smartphones and tablets to make purchases online next year. According to think tank Gartner, US customers' mobile engagement behavior will drive mobile commerce revenue in the US to 50 percent of US digital commerce revenue. A recent Gartner survey found that mobile commerce currently generates 22 percent of digital commerce revenue. Developers will have to think carefully about creating ecommerce payment methods which integrate seamlessly into online stores optimized for mobile.

Virtual sales assistance

As much as consumers like to shop online, many do miss the personalized experience of interacting with sales assistants. That’s where virtual sales assistants will come in. This will allow shoppers’ questions, concerns and comments to be conveyed and answered in real-time. Basic questions can be answered by bots which will be programmed to learn how to interact with queries. Other, more complex, issues will be answered by sales staff.

Improved return processes

The one downside to online shopping is the inability for consumers to hold or test products and to try on clothing. This leads to a return rate as high as one in three orders. A highly anticipated ecommerce development trend to look out for in 2017 is an automated return processing system. This will allow returns software solutions to be integrated within the ecommerce store, offering customers a user-friendly portal to complete their returns.

Internet of Things (IoT)

Research by McKinsey has found that using IoT in commerce could increase revenue to between $410 billion to $1.2 trillion by 2025. Ecommerce stores will begin using connected devices to communicate with shoppers, track their behaviors and send them customized offers.

Increased ecommerce development security measures

Of course, all of these added benefits for customers will do little unless their details are safe and they feel secure while completing their purchases. Online credentials and personal details are becoming more valuable by the day and that’s why ecommerce security is becoming increasingly important. Hackers are willing to pay big money for these in order to exploit social accounts, take personal information and, ultimately, steal cash.

As ecommerce increases in popularity and market share, it's essential for ecommerce retailers to authenticate user details with more than just a password. Find out more about how to safeguard your customer interactions with two-factor authentication.

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