By Daniel Brzezinski, GetResponse

Each year, online sales continue to grow at a steady pace. By the end of 2016, worldwide retail e-Commerce sales are expected to reach $1.915 trillion, according to eMarketer — a new record.

But what could slow this growth? Alternatively, what will drive the category forward? As retail marketers gear up for 2017, here are three of the most critical and interesting e-Commerce and retail trends from the past year.

Mobile E-Commerce: Still A Gift And A Curse

In 2016, mobile consistently beat out desktop as an e-Commerce traffic source. Last year, mobile accounted for 22% of all retail e-Commerce sales in the U.S. But the rapid adoption of mobile buying has caught legacy brick-and-mortar retailers — as well as pure-play e-tail businesses — off-guard.

They’re still evolving as technologists capable of adapting digital marketing and shopping experiences to smaller screens and across different channels within the mobile environment. That includes mobile web, app, email, text, chatbots and more. When you combine that learning curve with exploding fragmentation across software and hardware, optimizing mobile has only grown harder this year.

Chatbots Are Driving More Conversational Commerce

Chatbots have exploded over the past year. Everyone from technology companies like Facebook to Microsoft and retail brands like J. Crew and Staples have invested in the space….