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  • Writer's pictureDenis Sinelnikov

FORBES Feature: The Future Of E-Commerce: Trends To Watch In 2024

E-commerce is a dynamic industry that has transformed the way we shop and conduct business. With rapid advancements in technology and changing consumer preferences, your business must stay ahead of the curve to remain competitive.

Several emerging trends are set to reshape e-commerce in 2024. I’ll focus on the ones that are worth keeping an eye on this year and then share some tips for taking advantage of them.

Which Trends To Watch

Augmented Reality Shopping Experiences

AR enables customers to have immersive shopping experiences from the comfort of their homes. It allows them to visualize products in a real-world context, making informed decisions before making a purchase. Ikea has been using AR technology with its app for a few years now, proving that it isn’t merely a short-lived fad.

Ikea doesn’t have to be an outlier. We have the frameworks to apply AR technology to e-commerce on a broader scale than we currently do. TikTok and Instagram filters alone prove that we can do this easily, and relatively inexpensively. What we need is for companies that can most benefit from this tech—salons, clothing retailers and more furniture and home improvement retailers—to provide this interactive and engaging shopping experience.

Blockchain For Supply Chain Transparency

Blockchain technology is not new to the e-commerce industry, but its application is evolving. While we tend to think of blockchain in terms of cryptocurrency and NFTs, it has more potential uses. A blockchain is an append-only ledger, meaning that data can be added to the chain but not removed. The accountants and security professionals among you undoubtedly recognize the term and can immediately see the transparency a blockchain ledger can provide.

Logistics companies could greatly benefit from a blockchain ledger. It would provide transparency to their shipping clients and improve communication with their contracted owner/operators. The benefits could even extend to the customers of their clients, who could use the blockchain to provide real-time updates for restocking and shipments.

Customized Loyalty Programs

Personalization has been a hallmark of e-commerce; however, its scope has been historically limited to cross-selling through product recommendations. In 2024, I want to see us bring personalization further as retailers harness data analytics and AI. This could involve large retailers offering more personalized content to users and allowing users to customize loyalty programs to meet their specific shopping habits and needs. Ultimately, increased personalization can forge stronger connections between brands and their customers.

Eco-Friendly E-Commerce

The focus on sustainability and eco-friendliness has gained momentum in recent years. In 2024, this trend will likely intensify in the e-commerce industry. Customers expect e-commerce platforms to offer eco-friendly options, reduce packaging waste and embrace sustainable practices. I want to see retailers align with these values to improve their businesses and gain a competitive edge in the market.

Stronger Security And Privacy Measures

In 2024, I see consumers gravitating toward platforms that prioritize their personal data security, and governments are likely to introduce more stringent regulations. Retailers must invest in advanced security technologies and adopt transparent practices to build trust with their customers.

More Personalized Subscription Models

Subscription services have become increasingly popular in the e-commerce industry, but in 2024, I expect retailers will offer subscriptions tailored to individual preferences, not only in terms of product selection but also in the frequency and timing of deliveries. These highly customized subscription models can enhance customer loyalty and supply a steady revenue stream for businesses.

Taking Advantage Of The 2024 Trends

Knowing the trends isn’t enough. The companies that will rise to the top in 2024 are the ones that position themselves to implement them successfully. We are well past the era of “move fast and break things.” This needs to be the year that you build consumer trust as you take advantage of these trends.

The Considerations

Before you begin jumping on these trends, you need to consider which ones fit your brand, your industry and your customer needs. Ask yourself questions before you start looking at bringing these trends into your e-commerce strategy. Here are some key questions to get you started:

  • Who is our consistent customer base, and what keeps them loyal?

  • What new markets do we want to expand into this year?

  • What security measures do we have in place for customer data, financial data and company data?

  • What weaknesses do we have in our security?

  • How are we collecting data, and are we continuing to receive valuable information on customers and leads?

  • Which trends match our company vision, goals and culture?

  • What is our process for converting leads to customers, and how do these trends fit into this process?

The Technology

Once you have an idea of what trends you want to implement and what roadblocks may be ahead of you, let’s look at what you will need to have in place to make these trends work for you.

  • Have a solid data collection strategy and software. Several of the strategies I’ve discussed revolve around customer data. If you don’t have a reliable program that can run reports, monitor customer activity and interpret data, you will fall behind on these trends. Tools like Qualtrics that use AI can help companies not only capture information but use it to create the personalized experiences consumers want.

  • Improve your data encryption and security. No matter how good your current security is, you need to improve it this year. Because so many of these trends rely on consumer habits and customer data, it’s more important than ever that you can safeguard that data. Not only will the increased security improve consumer trust in your brand, but it will also protect that valuable data from competitors.

  • Invest in AI technology. Investing in AI tools for security, data collection and analysis and customer service interactions is a vital step to help you take advantage of each trend we have looked at here.

E-commerce in 2024 is characterized by several trends that I expect to reshape the industry. From the integration of augmented reality and blockchain for transparency to subscription models with increased personalization and a heightened focus on sustainability, e-commerce is set to offer customers innovative and socially responsible shopping experiences. By figuring out which trends best fit their brand and then investing in technology to enable them, businesses can navigate the e-commerce world of 2024 with confidence and enthusiasm.


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