Advances in technology have a direct impact on the trending software and platforms used by e-commerce professionals or 2024. To remain competitive and to stand out in the industry, it’s important to understand previous and current movements in the e-commerce industry.
That’s why in this article we’ll go through the different predicted trends that you can take advantage of and apply to your business. With having an awareness of these emerging trends, you’ll be able to stay ahead of the curve in 2024.
Top B2C e-commerce trends
Exponential growth in mobile shopping
E-commerce merchants aiming to increase customer sales must consider the importance of phones and tablets. There is an upward trend of customers engaging with e-commerce platforms solely through their phone or tablet. This increases the importance of the mobile version of your site.
In 2024, ensuring your site is optimized for mobile use will become an important task. This involves focusing on visual designs, minimal text, and seamless checkout flows to simplify the process for a smaller screen.
Integrated shopping on social media
Social media platforms have also strategically included creative opportunities for customers to shop through integrated posts, live video shopping events, and influencer partnerships.
Same or next day shipping
In the past few years we’ve seen orders become fulfilled either through next day shipping, same day shipping, and click and collect options. These shipment options have become so popular that customers now have the expectation of fast shipping. If you have yet to integrate these options for your e-commerce store, 2024 is the perfect year to work with logistics providers to enable faster fulfillment. It’s also important to enable a simple returns process.
Many e-commerce businesses have partnered with private delivery services that allow for parcel drop off points through partnering with local businesses. Some services even offer home pickup options. With this option, the courier arrives at the customer’s home at their chosen time to collect the return. Implementing these options in 2024 will create a simple shopping experience with customers, establishing trust and helping you stand out against other competitors.
Emerging B2B e-commerce trends
B2B digital commerce represents a large amount of total online sales. Customers buying digital products or services for business needs have expectations when they make purchases.
Personalised customer experiences
One trend to implement in 2024 is to deliver a shopping experience that offers personalized recommendations based on past purchases and behaviors. Similar to Amazon’s consumer experience, tapping into data analytics and AI to make tailored shopping suggestions is a unique emerging trend to increase conversions. This creates ease to the shopping experience and allows customers to also see which other products or services you have on offer can suit their needs.
Reordering and subscription models
It’s also important to enable an easy reordering process through setting up subscriptions that allows customers to reorder with ease, encouraging the customer to remain loyal to your business. Understanding each client’s unique purchasing needs and navigation patterns allows suppliers to surface relevant products at key points in decision journeys.
Content also plays a major role through the buying process offering customized help guides and ROI calculators advisories help B2B buyers justify and evaluate their purchases. Offering assistance and the way through integrated live chats will allow you to stand out and offer a high quality B2B e-commerce solution.
Trends in operations and logistics
With the growing demand in online sales has come the increased need for fulfilling massive order volumes with speed and accuracy. To achieve this requires reimagining how fulfillment is made in warehouses. Robotics and AI now enable automated fulfillment centers to pick, pack and ship items more quickly than having people pick and pack each order.
E-commerce platforms such as The Iconic have applied this to their business allowing for more accurate and expedited fulfillments overall. Investing into robotic warehouse platforms minimize costly errors while reducing dependency on human labor. For smaller businesses, there is also the option of outsourcing external robotics warehouses to take care of the fulfillment process for you.
New technology offers real-time transparency into the inner workings of your inventory, stock, and fulfillment needs. It allows you to reduce waste, theft, and even ensures that protocols continue to be met on a global level. Innovations like drones and driverless delivery vehicles promise to further compress shipping times once they become approved and regulated by local governments. Major logistics providers have begun funding testing for these emerging fulfillment methods.
Although it’s still years away from becoming a normalized method of delivery, it’s important to be aware of these developments and pay attention to how they’re being tested on an international level in 2024. There’s a great opportunity for businesses to be ahead of the curve on this trend. By combining automation and streamlined delivery methods, supply chains can promise an increased level of convenience and responsiveness for both the business and customer.
Payment and financing evolution
As e-commerce expands globally, allowing overseas customers to smoothly pay in local currencies and methods provides you with many advantages. Cryptocurrencies and mobile money solutions through platforms like M-Pesa conveniently serve unbanked consumers in emerging markets.
For larger purchases, buy now pay later financing (BNPL) and “pay with stock” plans attract interest as they allow more flexibility for customers and encourage larger purchases. BNPL financing spreads costs over installment plans, while innovative models like Affirm even offer loans tailored to each shopper at checkout. Becoming a company that specializes in these different types of payment methods empowers new and existing customers globally to have an increased spending power.
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR)
While technology leads to increased efficiency, it can also be applied to reach customers in a creative and interactive way. Immersive augmented and virtual reality technology welcomes online shoppers into interactive environments with this new technology. Furniture brands like IKEA let customers virtually place the 3D version of furniture into their apartment just by using their camera. Makeup sites allow trying on different lipstick shades using AR filters.
Although AR and VR tools have been a prevalent e-commerce trend and were even regarded as a 2023 e-commerce trend, there are new ways they are being used to reach customers. AR is now being used in advertising to alter billboards and even create virtual art installations to create an experience that bonds customers to your brand. Data should inform decisions, but people still want to interact with brands in a new way. In 2024, combining technology with authentic human experiences is the key to standing out and creating lasting connections with customers.
Key takeaways on e-commerce trends in 2024
Considering these emerging trends and creating a plan to implement some of them is important to remain competitive in 2024. It’s important to remain flexible to changes in trends and how it impacts your store and even more how it impacts the e-commerce industry overall. With the right strategy in place you’ll be able to make changes that improve and optimize your e-commerce store.