So, that was 2016. Great, wasn’t it? OK, that might be overstating things. It was, er, instructive. But one thing 2016 was good for was the growth of e-commerce. That’s set to continue in 2017, and we think next year’s big thing will be content.

Watch out for even more blogs, articles, podcasts and videos. What’s behind the phenomenon? Well, we believe that retailers like a bit of repeat business. We’re perceptive like that.

That means building a relationship with buyers. Rather than having a mucky one-night stand. That way, they cease to compete on price and instead compete on the overall experience. So here are five ways we might see e-commerce change next year.

1. Watch out for video

Recent research by high-foreheaded men in white coats has concluded that millennials prefer watching YouTube to standard TV. Well, we saw last year’s Apprentice candidates and we can’t blame them.

More intriguingly, three-quarters of them enjoy watching videos made by brands and big companies. This translates to: millennials love content marketing. Let’s get making videos.

2. Smartphone-savvy formats

Internet use used to be solely on giant computers the size of Belgium. No longer. Most web browsing now takes place on phones. Experts reckon up to 75% of Internet use next year will be on mobiles.

If you’re a typical person, and I think you are, you’ll spend three hours a day on your device. The New Year’s Resolution here must be to focus on mobile-friendly content formats.

3. More investment in content

Online marketers are investing more in content development and promotion. In fact, nearly two-thirds of marketers questioned in a marketing study thought their content marketing was more successful than a year ago.

This improvement in confidence in content marketing should mean more of it getting done in 2017. That means more investment. Here at Pixel by Pixel, we like that. Would you like to place your marketing budget into our bank account?

4. Relationships

If you’re consistently nice to someone, they’re more likely to be your friend. This assertion of staggering genius is what lies behind the new relationship-building ethos of modern e-commerce.

What we can expect is drip-feeding. That will probably mean story-based episodes on YouTube. In 2017, entertainment is key.

5. Artificial Intelligence

This year, content marketers began to mess about with machine-generated content. This isn’t yet a full-blown thing, but it was enough of one to be discussed at big marketing conferences attended by ‘thought-leaders’ in pink cravats.

This sort of artificial intelligence could take the shape of automated translation, personalised content experiences or predicting what to write about.

Watch out, world. You have been warned.

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