6 e-commerce trends for 2024

Author:
Aneta Barth
Published:
2.1.2024
T

he year 2023 was a challenging time for the e-commerce industry, but also an opportunity to structure its existing operations. After a pandemic-induced surge in online shopping, the market was able to stabilize and focus on combating the effects of rising inflation, war and economic crisis. Despite the difficulties, e-commerce market is steadily growing, but the pace of development is not as dynamic as in 2020-2022. 

The value of the global e-commerce market is expected to grow by $16 trillion in 2023, while in Europe online sales revenues are expected to grow by about 9-10% per year. How can this potential be used and what changes will the upcoming year bring? In this article we will present the most important e-commerce trends for 2024.

The future of online shopping

Consumers expect more and more convenience, personalisation and innovation when shopping online. Increasing competition among sales platforms means that companies need to keep up to date with the latest trends in order to adapt their offerings to changing market needs and build a loyal and engaged customer base. What activities are worth considering in the upcoming months?

Personalisation through AI 

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in e-commerce enables the delivery of a more personalised shopping experience, tailored to individual customer preferences. This is a trend that was strongly present in 2023, but will also have a significant impact on sales activities in the months ahead. What is the use of this technology in e-commerce? 

Customer segmentation

Artificial intelligence uses data on customer behaviour (ad clicks, open emails, in-store activity, products viewed, previous purchases, returns) and data from other sources (e.g. CRM systems) to build models that determine the likelihood of customer actions in the future. For example, if a customer returned a purchased product and has not visited the shop's website since, the AI model could automatically place him in the segment of customers who are not engaged in interaction with the shop. For retailers, this would be a signal to take action towards such a customer in order to activate him. By using AI in customer segmentation, retailers can save time and deliver more effective, personalised experiences for their customers.

Product discovery

Artificial intelligence algorithms can effectively support the item discovery function of an online shop. When a customer types in a given phrase, they can find the right product despite spelling errors or suggest synonyms more in line with the brand's language. In addition, AI-based search functions can analyse customers' behaviour on the website to present them products most suited to their preferences. For example, when a consumer spends time in the ,'mountain gear' category and then searches for trousers, AI algorithms can change the way products are sorted so that technical trousers for the mountains are displayed before jeans.

Source: answear.com

In addition, search function optimisation also applies to the filters located on the side bar of the shop webpage. Artificial intelligence can dynamically suggest filters depending on the shopper's query. For example, an online mountain footwear shop could suggest 'activity type' as a dynamic filter, instead of the standard set of filters such as colour, material, etc., which might be less relevant to the user.

Customisation of content, offers and prices 

AI systems can adapt website content based on customer preferences and activity history. This includes presenting products and content in a way that is more appealing and in line with the expectations of the specific user. In addition to optimising on-page content, AI can analyse customers' communication preferences, delivering personalised emails, push notifications or online ads to make marketing campaigns more effective. Furthermore, AI can also analyse market data and competitors to tailor offers and prices to individual consumers. All activities related to the use of artificial intelligence, are aimed to optimise the work of retailers as well as improve the consumer experience.

Augmented reality AR and virtual reality VR 

As AR and VR technology becomes more widespread, online shops will increasingly offer virtual shopping experiences. With AR technology, consumers can try on products virtually before buying. This is particularly important in the fashion and furniture industries, where customers can see how a product will look like in real life. IKEA, for example, uses AR applications to show customers how furniture will suit their interiors. Another example of virtual fitting rooms is Sephora, which allows beauty products to be tested 'live' using the camera on a laptop or phone.

Source: ikea.com


Source: sephora.com

These technologies allow customers not only to try on products virtually, but also to explore virtual shops without having to move between shelves. This allows customers to see how furniture, decorations or colours will look like in person. As AR and VR continue to evolve, the way consumers interact with products online will change rapidly, increasing customer engagement and therefore profits for e-commerce businesses.

Mobile commerce 

Mobile commerce's share of total e-commerce is growing steadily, from just 56% in 2018 to an expected 62% in 2027. Consumers are spending more and more time on their phones and tablets and value the convenience of buying wherever they are - whether on the move or on the sofa. Mobile selling is an e-commerce trend that is sure to be present in the near future. Anyone selling online has to take it into account and adapt their platform to the lifestyle of their audience. However, simply adapting an online shop to the 'mobile first' principle may not be enough. Among the most important mobile technologies for 2024, we can particularly highlight:

  • PWA applications, a solution that combines the advantages of a classic website and an app. A PWA is based on technologies such as JavaScript, CSS and HTML, but also has the important characteristics of a native application: responsiveness, speed, offline operation or the ability to save to the home screen of the device. It works like a native mobile (or desktop) app, which means that, despite opening in a browser, it has a consistent interface with the mobile app and provides the same functions and user shopping experience. PWA is a cutting-edge technology that is already being used by the biggest players in the market - Google or AliExpress. 
  • Headless technology - an innovative software development concept that involves separating the frontend layer from the backend, with communication between these systems taking place through an API. With headless technology, it is possible to design a completely separate view of an online shop and a mobile app, but operate them through a single backend system. This allows incredible flexibility in setting up the e-commerce platform and making the necessary modifications further down the line in business development. Download our ebook to learn more about the composable commerce approach and Headless technology.

The prevalence of video and social commerce

Short-form video has taken the social media world by storm, and platforms such as TikTok and Instagram have become effective tools for promoting many online businesses. Customers are used to consuming video content, so photos of products are becoming insufficient for them. Companies can therefore use this trend to their advantage and create a variety of video content on social media that shows the use of a particular product 'live', a short  manual, durability tests or advice on how to get the most out of the product.

However, this is not all, as in addition to social media platforms, it is worth supplementing product images on the website with short videos that will show how the product looks like on a person in motion. Many companies such as Apart, Ryłko or Swarovski are already using such solutions. Thanks to these actions, the consumer can see exactly the size, colour or texture of a given item, which has a positive impact on customer's experience and increases the chances of finalising the purchase.

Q-commerce, or instant delivery

Quick commerce, often referred to as Quick commerce or Q-commerce, is a response to the growing demand for convenient and instant delivery. Consumers expect orders to be delivered faster and faster, and companies have to meet these demands by reorganising their logistics and inventory management. In order to cope with this challenge, shopkeepers are increasingly choosing to partner with external suppliers and create micro-distribution centres, so-called dark stores. These are retail or warehousing facilities that resemble a regular shop, but are used exclusively to handle online orders. They are often placed in strategic locations to enable rapid same-day or next-day delivery of orders to customers. 

This approach was born in the food and beverage industry. Good examples of such companies are Uber Eats or Glovo, which deliver products even within an hour of ordering. However, this trend is setting the pace for the rest of the e-commerce industry, which needs to adapt to growing customers' expectations to ensure competitiveness in the ever-evolving world of online shopping.

Digital transformation in business sector

D2C 

The D2C, or Direct to Customer, model is gaining popularity in online sales. In 2019, the percentage of D2C consumers was 49%, while in 2022 this has already risen to 64%. In this model, the manufacturer is selling products directly to target customers, bypassing third-party distributors. In practice, it means that brands that are involved in production, pack and distribute their goods both stationary and online by themselves. The benefits of implementing this type of sales include greater business independence, no margins for intermediaries, increased efficiency in sales monitoring and production management, or the ability to tailor products to customers' needs.

B2B

The potential of e-commerce in the B2B sector continues to grow, with consumers increasingly willing to shop online. The global B2B e-commerce market is predicted to grow 20% by 2030. With increasing competition among e-commerce businesses, companies that procrastinate on digitalising their sales processes may miss the opportunity to stand out in this demanding market. Therefore, a key step in business development for many companies in the coming year may be the digital transformation of B2B sales. Purchasing processes in B2B e-commerce, however, are often more complex, requiring negotiation, personalisation of offers and prices, integration with external ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems, advanced delivery options, and special security for online transactions.

To simplify this task for companies, at Strix we have developed the B2B Box platform, which makes it possible to start selling online in just 3 months. It is a comprehensive system based on a stable e-commerce engine, enabling sales in multiple markets, languages and currencies. With this solution, B2B companies can quickly launch an e-commerce platform and optimise their sales process for their customers' expectations.

Digital Product Passport

As part of its sustainability and environmental efforts, the European Union is planning to regulate the so-called Digital Product Passport. This is an electronic document that contains information about a product, such as its composition, sources of origin, environmental impact, as well as information about the product's life cycle - including recycling and disposal. Product identification is to be possible by means of a unique identifier, which will be electronically accessible via a data carrier (e.g. QR code, barcode or NFC tagging). Data will be collected not only for the finished product, but also for its components or intermediates. The aim of adopting the new legislation is to make it easier for consumers to choose organic products and to eliminate the practice of so-called greenwashing, the use of misleading declarations of a product's sustainable origin by companies.

The implementation of the passports is scheduled for 2026, and one of the first industries to be covered by the implementation is expected to be batteries. The introduction of the new regulations will require businesses to make changes to their production process, develop new procedures for collecting and sharing product information and implement innovative technologies to support the Digital Product Passport. Appropriate IT systems, such as the PIM (Product Information Management System), which are used to effectively manage product information, will be particularly helpful in this regard. They facilitate the collection, updating and distribution of consistent product data across all sales channels, to the benefit of both business and consumers. Therefore, it is worth to explore the topic of Digital Product Passport now, so that you will soon be ready for a revolution in product information management.

What will 2024 be like for e-commerce?

The predictions presented in this article are just some of the trends that are likely to dominate e-commerce in the upcoming year. The industry is growing and evolving so rapidly that it can certainly still surprise us. However, there are some trends that appear to be key over the next 12 months. Among them, we can mention investments in new technologies such as artificial intelligence, mobile commerce or headless, as well as the personalisation and focus on the quality of the customers' shopping experience, regardless of the business model.

However, it is worth remembering that success in e-commerce requires flexibility and the ability to adapt to the changing needs of the market and technology, as well as the specifics of the industry in which the company operates. If you are planning to grow your business next year, but are unsure where to start, the Strix team will be happy to support you at every stage of the process, from creating a strategy, to implementing a platform, as well as further developing and scaling your online shop. Check out our services and get in touch with us, and we'll find the best solutions for your business.

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