"The pet care and pet health space is a category which will continue to [grow] in 2017," says Vanessa Pino, content & inbound marketing director, 1-800-PetMeds. "We've seen over the years how pets are members of the family. [And pet care] products will [become] even more popular," she predicts. One of the reasons: personalization.
"Personalization has proven [to be a] great success in retail," she says. And we will see more sellers of pet-related products "marketing [personalization] to owners of four-legged family members," which will help drive growth in this category.
4. Artisanal/handcrafted goods
This category, which was a top pick for 2016, should continue to do well in 2017, say ecommerce watchers.
"There's a movement to forgo the large retailers and find artisanal, one of a kind goods," says Rusenko. "Millennial shoppers are particularly on the hunt for something bespoke, and they are creating their own online shops at a rapid pace. On our platform, we notice that the more unique the story and product, the more successful the sales."
5. Sporting goods
"Though already massive, we believe the sporting goods vertical is poised for growth in 2017," says Leo Castro, vice president,product marketing & brand, BigCommerce. "With over $10 billion in spend online in 2015 and 40 percent growth over the past several years, 2017 looks to be even stronger," he says. "Unlike home furnishings or electronics, where many people still prefer to see and feel merchandise before purchase, consumers are increasingly comfortable buying outdoor equipment and sporting goods online."
Moreover, "visually appealing storefronts with modern, mobile friendly designs... combined with the steady decline of physical sporting goods stores, will fuel an online surge in this vertical in 2017."
6. Virtual reality
"I think the hot ecommerce trend in 2017 will be sites that are selling VR headsets and applications," says Dave Hermansen, CEO, Store Coach. "Already becoming popular, there should be an explosion of interest in virtual reality headgear when Windows 10 releases its next huge update in the early part of 2017, the 'Creators Update.' Part of that update is supposed to include VR functionality, and they have already partnered with half a dozen companies who will be making virtual reality headsets with 'freedom sensors.'"
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