Get Ready for 2024: Learn about the latest eCommerce trends

Get Ready for 2024: Learn about the latest eCommerce trends

The eCommerce industry continues to grow and mature. US eCommerce revenue is expected to top $1T in 2024 and account for nearly 20% of all retail sales.

As we head into the second half of 2023 (and the holiday season), here are several eCommerce trends eTailers should have on their radar:

  • Expect more voice-activated searches. More and more consumers are using their smart speakers or assistants on their phones to search for products and shop online. Businesses should consider natural speech patterns as they optimize their eCommerce sites for keywords and content.
  • Personalization boosts sales. Buyers love customized shopping experiences online, and that applies to both B2C and B2B customers. Personalization provides unique messages and offers that help build brand loyalty with features like product recommendations; promotions, discounts, and coupons; email and social media engagement; and multiple payment methods.
  • Chatbots to the rescue. Chatbots provide natural language interactions with online shoppers and can be an alternative to in-store sales associates or after-hours help desk representatives. Chatbots can help answer questions and suggest purchase options, including upselling and accessory items. When online shoppers are confused or frustrated, chatbots can help save the sale.
  • Mobile dominates online sales. Online buyers love the convenience of making purchases anytime from anywhere. According to Statista, online sales reached $2.2 trillion in 2023 and represent 60 percent of all e-commerce sales worldwide. Make sure your eCommerce site is responsive to attract and keep mobile customers.
  • More payment options. While credit and debit cards still dominate online retail, many online buyers are opting for newer payment methods available on their mobile devices, such as digital wallets, mobile phone apps, and even cryptocurrencies. Making these options available increases your sales opportunities.
  • Headless websites offer greater flexibility. “Headless” eCommerce separates the customer-facing side of your site from the back-end processing side. The head includes visual elements such as your product catalog, sorting options, and reviews, while the back end handles the checkout process, payment processing, order history, and more. The two communicate and share data through application programming interfaces (APIs). By decoupling the two elements, headless eCommerce allows eTailers to choose the best vendor for their customer-facing website and back-end processing. Advantages include greater control over your content, the ability to connect multiple brands in one place, and improved SEO.
  • Engage with video, AR, and VR. Customers respond to video, and including videos on your eCommerce site is one way you can boost sales. Videos can be used in various ways: Show your products from multiple angles better than static images; demonstrate how the product is properly configured and utilized; offer troubleshooting tips and helpful application ideas; upsell and suggest accessory items to accompany the sale. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies can also add to the buying experience, letting customers try on clothing (virtually) or visualize how furniture will look in their home.
  • Subscriptions help retain customers. From meal kits to beauty products, subscriptions provide users convenience, value, and consistency. For eTailers, subscriptions attract loyal customers, boost retention rates, and provide a steady income stream.
  • Don’t ignore social media. Social media can be a powerful tool to help promote your brand and engage with customers. Social media platforms are adding eCommerce marketplaces and product search tools that are getting the attention of their users. Retailers should consider expanding their presence on these platforms with offers, videos, and influencer marketing.
  • Leverage artificial intelligence. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has made significant gains in recent years. AI can collect and analyze customer buying behavior, how users navigate your site, and even determine optimal times users make purchases. By segmenting this information, AI can help retailers create personalized shopping experiences for their customers.
  • Enhance the customer experience with loyalty programs. Customers enjoy the perks of loyalty programs, like discounts, coupons, cash-back rewards, and invitation-only sales. eTailers benefit through improved customer retention, increased sales, and better customer satisfaction.  
  • Sustainability as an influencer. As consumers and businesses become more environmentally conscious, they look to buy from companies that share their concerns about sustainability. In response, eTailers are following environmentally friendly processes to lower carbon emissions, using recyclable and biodegradable packaging, and demanding ethically sourced products from their suppliers.
  • B2B eCommerce is growing. Forrester predicts B2B eCommerce sales will be more than $2.3T in 2024, exceeding $3T by 2027. In that time, Gen Z and Millennials will have entered the workforce, moving into positions of responsibility and making purchase decisions. This audience is comfortable searching for and purchasing products online while avoiding interacting with salespeople. However, businesses have different needs than consumers. Businesses tend to make large, single transactions vs. consumers, meaning fewer customers but higher revenue per sale. As a result, business customers expect negotiable prices on large quantities, custom delivery options, and special payment options (such as bank transfers and buy now/pay later options). Make sure your eCommerce site is prepared to handle B2B transactions if that is your target market.

The eCommerce landscape changes quickly as technologies evolve and new ways of reaching prospects emerge. Keeping up with the current trends is essential for online retailers to excel in 2024.

Interested in learning more? Talk to one of our sales consultants about how working with an experienced retail operations partner can help your business unleash the power of online retail. 

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