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The 8 most important e-commerce trends in 2024 that every entrepreneur must know

Is your e-commerce manual up to date? Read on to master the art of selling online in 2024!

Just a decade or two ago, the idea of ​​purchasing groceries or a new wardrobe with a few clicks seemed novel. Now it’s the norm. Many companies now even operate solely on the Internet, without a physical presence. According to Statista, revenues from the business-to-customer (B2C) e-commerce market will reach $4.17 trillion in 2024, and average revenue per user (ARPU) will amount to $1,643.

As global Internet access becomes more widespread, the e-commerce market will not only grow, but also become more competitive. To stand out, it’s important to stay up to date with the latest e-commerce trends. In this article, we look at eight of the most important e-commerce trends that are redefining online shopping by combining convenience with innovation.

1. Advanced AI chatbots for e-commerce

E-commerce includes advanced AI-powered chatbots that can process natural language, handle complex queries, and provide personalized assistance. When integrated with customer relationship management (CRM) and inventory systems, these intelligent chatbots can facilitate a seamless shopping experience. They not only recommend products based on customer preferences, but also manage the entire order lifecycle, including tracking and returns.

2. Social trading

Social commerce, the combination of social media and online shopping, is changing our online shopping habits. Platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest have evolved beyond mere advertising spaces into direct sales channels. Here, users can effortlessly purchase products without leaving the app.

According to a 2023 Deloitte report, 64% of online shoppers discover new brands and products through social media. What’s more, one in three consumers like to discover items that are popular in their social circles. Influencers also have considerable influence, with 67% of social media users likely to consider a brand or product promoted by their favorite influencer.

Given these numbers, it’s no surprise that the social commerce sector is poised for explosive growth. Forecasts estimate that the market will reach approximately $2 trillion by 2025, accounting for approximately 28% of all online retail sales, or 13% excluding China.

3. Sustainable shopping

Today, consumers are increasingly aligning their spending with their values, favoring brands that employ environmentally and socially responsible practices – even at a premium. These practices may include reducing plastic packaging, minimizing greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, offsetting carbon footprints, conducting regular sustainability audits, etc.

According to Skyquest’s latest research, the market is expected to exceed $40.75 billion by 2030 and grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.38% from 2023 onwards. This growth is not only a win for the planet – it is also a strategic move for companies. Integrating sustainability practices offers an exciting avenue for e-commerce brands to increase growth and build customer loyalty in a market that is increasingly conscious of environmental and social issues.

4. Go to savings

Economic pressures such as inflation and rising costs of living are driving consumers towards used and vintage goods, which are not only cheaper but also sustainable. As a result, the recommerce market, which includes the buying and selling of used goods, is booming. Platforms like ThredUp and Poshmark are at the forefront of this movement.

With the recommerce sector growing 11 times faster than traditional retail, it is expected to reach an impressive $84 billion by 2030. This shift highlights a significant shift in consumer behavior where value, sustainability and economic necessity are converging, changing the retail landscape.

5. Live Shopping

Live shopping, where viewers can interact directly with hosts presenting and selling products in real time, is gaining popularity. Started by Alibaba in 2016, this trend has witnessed staggering growth, especially in China, where live e-commerce is generating astonishing revenues. Further highlighting its impact, a 2021 McKinsey study found that two-thirds of Chinese consumers made purchases via live streaming in the previous year.

Seeing this success, US platforms including Amazon, TikTok, YouTube, Shopify and Walmart quickly adopted online shopping. The latest data from Coresight Research from 2023 shows that by 2026, live streaming shopping events in the US could generate up to $68 billion in sales. This growing trend highlights the potential for more engaging and interactive shopping experiences that go far beyond traditional, static internet browsing.

6. Development of mobile commerce

Mobile commerce has quickly overtaken traditional desktop shopping. Pew Research Center data from 2022 shows that 76% of American adults prefer to shop using smartphones, compared to 69% who prefer desktop or laptop computers. This change is being driven by technological improvements such as fingerprint and facial recognition, as well as one-touch payment solutions.

Smartphones not only streamline the shopping process, but also offer unique benefits to retailers, such as the ability to instantly interact with customers through personalized recommendations, push notifications and in-app-exclusive offers.

For e-commerce companies, investing in mobile-friendly platforms is a must. Ensuring that mobile apps and websites are intuitive and optimized for easy browsing and seamless transactions is crucial to attracting and retaining the attention of today’s shopper.

7. Visual search technology

Visual search technology enhances the shopping experience by allowing users to simply upload an image to find and purchase similar products. As social media fills our feeds with visual inspiration, consumers increasingly expect the same seamless experience on e-commerce sites.

Leveraging advances in image recognition, machine learning and computer vision, this technology simplifies product comparisons and helps you find cost-effective options online. Gartner research suggests that integrating visual search can increase digital commerce revenues by 30%. Visual search tools not only increase sales, but streamline the shopping experience by reducing the frustration of hard-to-find products and meeting today’s shoppers’ expectations for fast and efficient service.

8. Retail stores are still relevant

Despite the rapid growth of e-commerce, brick-and-mortar stores still occupy a significant place in the retail landscape. Forrester research predicts that in 2024, a significant 72% of U.S. retail sales will still occur in brick-and-mortar stores. This trend is likely driven by the ROPO effect – research online, shop offline – where consumers use online tools to compare prices and read reviews but prefer to make final purchases in-store.

Statista data from 2023 further confirms this, showing that many shoppers prefer to check out products in person. This applies especially to the furniture, household products, cosmetics and clothing categories, where the ability to touch and try on items is preferred.

This continued preference highlights the need for retailers to implement effective omnichannel strategies. By seamlessly combining online and offline shopping experiences, companies can increase customer lifetime value by up to 30%.

Application

The e-commerce landscape in 2024 is a combination of innovative technologies, emerging consumer behaviors, and a shift towards sustainable and ethical purchasing practices. For companies that want to thrive in the digital marketplace, adapting to these trends is a must. The leaders in this space will be those who not only adapt, but also anticipate and shape the future of online shopping.

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