The state of E-commerce 2024

Timothy Andersen
September 28, 2023

Starting with a quick reflection on 2023

To better understand what’s in store for 2024, it would be prudent to quickly reflect on the year 2023 which has been a year of significant transformation for the e-commerce industry. With the pandemic winding down, 2023 served as the first full year of the “post-Covid” era, bringing with it many questions on what changes it would bring. From major acquisitions and platform updates to groundbreaking innovations and unforeseen challenges, let's take a look back at some of the most defining events that shaped the year:

Acquisitions and Mergers

Platform Updates

Technological Innovations

Major Challenges

New Trends

Looking ahead to upcoming trends in 2024

The e-commerce landscape is constantly evolving, and surely 2024 will not disappoint with new technologies and consumer expectations emerging all the time. For Shopify store owners, staying ahead of these trends is crucial for success in 2024.

Here are some of the top trends that will shape e-commerce in the coming year:

AI and Automation

There is no avoiding this topic. Artificial Intelligence will continue to play a significant role in e-commerce in 2024. From automating customer service tasks and chatbots to dynamically adjusting prices and promotions, AI can help streamline operations and improve efficiency. Your app can leverage AI to automate tasks like customer segmentation, abandoned cart recovery, and email marketing, freeing up your time to focus on more strategic initiatives. You can supercharge your efficiency by creating new product images and product descriptions in minutes. Finally, AI can process complex and nuanced data and feedback, and generate actionable insights from them.

We are just getting started with seeing what applications AI will provide, but the general consensus is that it’s impact will definitely be felt.

Headless E-Commerce and Omni-channel Shopping

Customers expect a consistent and seamless shopping experience across all channels, including online, social media, and physical stores. E-commerce businesses need to create an omni-channel strategy that integrates their various touch points and provides a unified customer journey.

Headless e-commerce serves as a solution by detaching the front-end of stores from the backend. Essentially, you can connect your back-end database of products and services to any integratable digital source or device, turning any of them into new sales channels. Shopify’s headless commerce solution is pioneering this trend currently as an enterprise feature, and hopefully opening up similar solutions to lower tier plans as well.

Trust

On the flip side of the rise of AI and of expanding social commerce is the degrading of trust. 53% of people find it hard to trust products sold via SNS and 52% of Americans say they feel more concerned than excited about the increased use of artificial intelligence. Increasing efficiencies and capabilities for the good guys means the same for the bad guys as well. It is becoming increasingly difficult to trust if an interaction with a business includes a human being on the other end, and that there is not a scam of malicious intent.

Data privacy is no stranger to this topic. Increasingly strict regulations and default settings on modern browsers keep businesses from gathering demographic and targeting data as in the past.

Customer sentiment on their favorite brands vs most brands

Personalized and authentic customer experiences

Consumers are no longer satisfied with generic shopping experiences and 80% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services. Businesses are increasingly leveraging data and AI to personalize product recommendations, marketing campaigns, and content, leading to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty. However, over relying on these same technologies and taking shortcuts can dehumanize your customer interactions leading to inauthentic customer experiences. It is not so easy as flipping a switch to turn on AI or complex algorithms and letting it run on its own.

In this market environment, standing out from the crowd of increasingly capable e-commerce businesses require an increasingly deep understanding of your customers. Gojiberry is working hard to help you do just that by gathering feedback and insights directly from your customers. These human insights are important in understanding customer needs, and which technologies and features will truly make the larger positive impact on your business.

Sustainability

Consumers are increasingly conscious of the environmental impact of their purchases. E-commerce businesses are responding by offering sustainable products, using eco-friendly packaging, and implementing carbon-neutral shipping practices. Two-thirds of Gen Z shoppers stated they are likely to buy products from a brand that has strong ethical and sustainable credentials. A McKinsey report dives into the increase in cost required to tackle reusable packaging, however it balances out with Gen Z shoppers stating they are willing to pay more for sustainable options.

Facing these global challenges will take monumental effort, however 2024 will hope to bring new innovations and best practices to chip away at it. Understanding what your customers care about most is a step in the right direction to doing so effectively.

Wrapping up

Wrapping up

2024 will undoubtedly bring new exciting innovation and new challenges. Being aware of these trends and upcoming changes is a great starting point. In order to stand out from all the others entering and growing in the e-commerce space, you will need to have a strong, deep understanding of your customer’s needs. With that understanding, you can work on the right things in an agile way - leading to strong business growth in the year 2024!

Interested in learning more about Gojiberry? Check us out!

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