E-commerce is fast-moving by nature and is subject to constant change driven by various factors. It is therefore important for retailers to be informed about the latest trends. These can help online retailers to stand out from the competition. To help you benefit from the e-commerce trends for your store, we provide you with an overview of the top 15 trends in e-commerce for 2024.
Reading tip: Do you also want to finally get into e-commerce, but are not yet sure which type of store system is the right choice for you? Then click here to learn how online retailers can choose between on-premise and cloud-based e-commerce platforms.
Table of contents
- 1. Social Commerce
- 2. Hybrid Commerce
- 3. Conversational Commerce and Voice Commerce
- 4. ReCommerce
- 5. Sustainability in e-commerce
- 6. Subscription Model
- 7. Use of first-party data
- 8. Machine Learning and AI
- 9. Ultra personalization
- 10. Automation/pricing
- 11. Marketplace conditions
- 12. Changes to shipping
- 13. Internationalization
- 14. MACH Alliance
- 15. B2B
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1. Social Commerce
E-commerce and social networks are now more closely linked than ever before and it's hard to imagine one without the other. Selling via social media is often more successful when everything is linked to an emotional story. And what is better suited to this than social media platforms? They use storytelling to arouse customers' emotions for a particular product, which helps them find the online store behind it. The e-commerce trend of social commerce will continue to expand in the future. The increasing trend of instant shopping in social networks, for example, will ensure this.
Reading tip: Onlineshop vs. Marketplace – Learn how to make the right decision in this post.
2. Hybrid Commerce
In order to survive, brick-and-mortar retail must increasingly expand its online presence in order to survive. Hybrid commerce is therefore more of a necessity than an e-commerce trend. The word "phygital" is being heard more and more frequently in this context: customers want to receive their usual service locally and yet be able to select and order products digitally. As a result, concepts such as Click & Collect have become an integral part of the retail world, especially since the Corona pandemic.
3. Conversational Commerce and Voice Commerce
In addition to social commerce and hybrid commerce, there are other forms of online commerce that are currently spreading. These include voice commerce and conversational commerce. The former refers to shopping via voice command, as is the case with the assistants from Amazon (Alexa) and Google (Google Assistant).
Conversational commerce, on the other hand, involves written exchanges between companies and customers, such as those possible via chats. A study by Wunderman Thompson shows that sales from voice commerce are expected to amount to at least USD 40 billion in 2022.
During the lockdown period, consumer interest in sustainable consumption continued to grow.
As if all these forms were not enough, another trend is currently on the rise: ReCommerce. This is short for reverse commerce and involves renting or selling used products, such as clothing or electrical appliances, online or in retail stores. This form of online commerce has gained in popularity, especially since the start of the pandemic. By 2024, ReCommerce for the fashion market alone is expected to reach a market value of 64 billion US dollars.
5. Sustainability in e-commerce
Today, sustainability is an important aspect that customers pay attention to. It is therefore advisable to focus on sustainability in e-commerce as well. Shipping service providers are also offering more and more options for delivering goods with low emissions. Cooperating with CO2-reduced transport service providers, bicycle couriers or a campaign in the online store in which your shipping emissions are compensated is sure to go down well with buyers.
Another aspect is the topic of packaging. Here, as a business owner, you should make sure that environmentally friendly alternatives are an additional selling point and help customers decide whether to buy a product. Recycled cardboard, organic filling material or compostable plastic are just a few of many ideas.
Reading tip: These tips will help you to implement sustainability in e-commerce.
6. Subscription Model
The subscription model is currently in high demand in e-commerce. Consumers are therefore increasingly learning to appreciate being constantly supplied with supplies. Cooking boxes are a well-known example of this. Here, customers receive packages with ingredients for selected meals at regular intervals. However, this model is also possible with numerous other products, which is reflected in the fact that the subscription market was worth USD 18.8 billion in 2020.
7. Use of first-party data
The increasing personalization in online retail continues. This is demonstrated, among other things, by the fact that e-commerce retailers are increasingly relying on first-party data. This refers to the company's own data, which the retailer collects itself about the behavior of its customers and can use to improve the customer experience.
Currently, online retailers should look into developing privacy-first technologies so that they can use this technology to improve their online store's data analysis and customer acquisition.
Using first-party data is becoming more popular because it is cheaper than buying data from a third-party vendor. It also makes targeting more reliable and accurate. However, to maintain customer trust and satisfaction, merchants should acquire some basic cyber security knowledge.
8. Machine Learning and AI
Put simply, online stores, for example, can use machine learning to offer potential shoppers a better user experience based on existing data and shopping behavior. You may have already encountered Machine Learning, for example, in the form of tabs titled "Recommendations" or "Suggestions for you". This principle works by adding similar products to the ones you have clicked on in the past. AI-driven e-commerce sales will continue to grow in the future.
Reading tip: In this blog post, we reveal 13 tips on how you can increase your average order value.
9. Ultra personalization
Big Data goes one step further than Machine Learning. Shopping behavior is analyzed in detail to achieve in-depth personalization. The data obtained is used to create ultra-personalized offers and send them to customers by e-mail, for example. And that pays off: Personalized product recommendations account for a whopping 26% of sales. And the trend is rising.
Of course we are very happy to support you with your e-commerce project. If you have any questions feel free to contact us.
The automation of pricing in e-commerce is a growing trend that enables retailers to react dynamically to market conditions and increase their competitiveness. Dynamic pricing, real-time adjustments and flexible strategies play a key role here. The automation of pricing helps e-commerce retailers to remain competitive while working more efficiently and data-driven.
11. Marketplace conditions
Amazon decided to change its returns policy in 2023. Many returns are now no longer free of charge - apart from unpacked returns. For this, only the QR code of the return is scanned by the shipping service provider, who then takes care of packing and labeling. It can be assumed that other marketplace operators will also change their return conditions due to cost considerations. Retailers should therefore keep an eye on changes to the marketplace conditions.
12. Changes to shipping
Speed of delivery remains a crucial aspect of e-commerce. By optimizing logistics processes, online retailers can enable same-day delivery in specific regions. In addition, the use of delivery drones will be increasingly used in the future to deliver parcels quickly and efficiently.
In 2024, the barriers to international trade will be further reduced. New trade agreements and advanced technologies will make it easier to expand into different countries. Companies will increasingly invest in adapting their e-commerce platforms and offerings to local needs in order to best understand and serve customers in different regions.
14. MACH Alliance
The MACH Alliance is seen as a promising e-commerce trend for 2024 as it focuses on modern, scalable and flexible approaches to meet the challenges of digital commerce. The MACH Alliance promotes the idea that companies can create more flexible, scalable and future-proof solutions for e-commerce through the use of microservices, API-first approaches, cloud-native technologies and headless architectures. Companies that adopt these principles should benefit from improved competitiveness, better adaptability and increased customer satisfaction. The MACH alliance is therefore expected to continue to have an impact on the e-commerce landscape in 2024.
Reading tip: MACH Alliance and Shopify: How to implement the MACH principles in Shopify.
B2B commerce will be a big topic for Shopify merchants in 2024. As Shopify announced back in December, the company will focus on B2B in 2024 and immediately announced two exciting updates:
New opportunities in B2B wholesale: Shopify is opening up the option for merchants to offer digital products such as downloads, services and parcel protection. This innovation enables companies in the B2B segment to diversify their product range while reducing shipping risks for large orders.
Automatic discount functions for B2B customers: Discounts created with Shopify Functions are now automatically applied to B2B customers. This new feature allows B2B merchants to offer targeted discounts to their customers. App developers can use an attribute in the cart input to identify B2B customers and customize discount behavior specifically for this audience. Note, however, that discounts are currently not compatible with B2B customers who submit all orders as drafts for review.
Reading tip: Our Shopify News blog regularly informs you about new exciting updates.
The current changes in e-commerce are many and some of the technologies are still in their infancy. However, online retailing continues to grow and only those who follow the current trends can remain successful in the future. Nevertheless, retailers should always put user-friendliness and added value for the customer above the technical possibilities. Do we really need augmented reality apps to imagine what a rice stove looks like in the kitchen? Will we eventually order pizza only via voice commerce? We don't know what the future holds, but the way we shop will certainly change fundamentally.
The levels of ecology and sustainability are also changing. For example, more and more emphasis is being placed on reducing packaging waste and the packaging material itself is to become more environmentally friendly. The 2022 amendment to EU packaging law is driving further changes. Among other things, it increases the recycling rate of cardboard and cartons. In the future, it will also be important for retailers to work together with logistics and industry to further drive CO2 reduction in supply chains.
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Frequently asked questions about e-commerce trends
What are e-commerce trends in 2024?
There are a few trends in e-commerce, including for example:
3D, VR, AR and headless commerce
Conversational commerce and voice commerce
Use of first-party data
Machine Learning and AI
Omnichannel: The perfect link between online and offline commerce
Sustainability in e-commerce
Blockchain, NFTs and digitalization
What are the types of e-commerce?
There are many sales strategies in e-commerce. The best-known and most popular are B2B (= business-to-business) or B2C (= business-to-consumer). There are also C2C (= consumer-to-consumer), D2C (= direct-to-consumer), or C2B (= consumer-to-business).
What is the most important thing in e-commerce?
There are many important factors in e-commerce. From the customer's point of view, however, these are primarily speed, cost savings and convenience.
Is e-commerce in demand?
E-commerce is enjoying ever further growth. Since the Corona pandemic, more and more retailers are turning to online commerce.
How can companies benefit from the e-commerce trends of 2024?
Companies should optimize their logistics, rely on innovative delivery methods, invest in technology and prepare for internationalization in order to take full advantage of the current e-commerce trends.
Why will cross-border e-commerce become easier in 2024?
New trade agreements and more advanced technologies will further reduce barriers to international trade. Companies are investing more in localizing their platforms to operate globally.
What is social commerce and why is it a trend in 2024?
Social commerce refers to the sale of products directly via social media. In 2024, this is an emerging trend as consumers are increasingly shopping on social platforms and brands are increasing their presence on these networks.