The top 7 e-commerce trends for 2024

The top 7 e-commerce trends for 2024

What is shaping e-commerce now and will continue to in 2024? Learn about the major trends to understand and use to your store’s benefit.

The top 7 e-commerce trends for 2024

In a saturated market of e-commerce, you need to always be on the alert for changes, new technologies, and shifting customer demands. Only 5-10% of Shopify stores make it to pay off and have a steady flow of purchases. 

To grab your place in the sun among those successful shops, you need to have a unique value proposition, a search-optimized website with a comprehensive structure, well-regulated fulfillment, and a well-thought, consistent marketing effort.

In this post, we’ll talk about the 7 trends that are shaping e-commerce right now and will be among the top success factors in 2023.

💡 Check out our post about the 5 biggest trends in store design and functionality to make sure your site meets the mark in its level of engagement and visual appeal. 

7 major e-commerce trends to be aware of

In a nutshell, it’s nothing new: you’ve probably already heard that social commerce and immersive technologies will be ruling the day. Apart from serving to the demands of new demographics and more tech-savvy and picky customers, you should hedge your bets regarding product sourcing and deliveries, as global logistics networks are crumbling.

1. Stock availability impacts customer choice

Smart inventory management and planning should be on top of the list of your 2023 concerns. Almost half of shoppers tend to switch to a competitor brand if they see a product they want is out of stock.

In addition, Shopify’s data shows that the inventory-to-sales ratio spiked in 2022 for items over $100, so you need to keep the balance between having enough inventory and avoiding overstock situations that will drain your budget. 

Use low-stock alert solutions that will notify you about products getting close to being sold out, and set low-stock thresholds for each item individually based on its sales. For example, our app Nada can send you automated emails when your products reach the limit you specify. 

💡 Incorporate availability information into product pages to encourage purchases and let customers subscribe to back-in-stock notifications.

Back-in-stock notifications for particular product variants
Back-in-stock notifications for particular product variants

2. Sourcing diversification is essential

Supply chain disruptions have led to merchants seeking new sourcing partners and switching to local suppliers. For instance, 31% of Shopify Plus stores started sourcing inventory closer to their location, while 29% expanded their network of suppliers by the end of 2022 and now cooperate with multiple ones. 

Diversifying your product sources is especially important for dropshipping businesses that fully rely on external manufacturers and carriers. 

3. Seamless immediacy of social purchases

There’s no denying that social media is impacting e-commerce businesses by helping consumers find new brands and engage with existing ones. When searching for products and brands, Gen Z and younger customers are using social channels, most excessively TikTok, more often than Google.

With that said, a solid presence on social media is your way to getting new customers and keeping the existing ones loyal. People show dedication to the companies they follow: 9 out of 10 buy from those brands. Plus, they appreciate the option to instantly purchase products without leaving a social network of their choice: 7 out of 10 claim to use this option. 

Don’t underestimate the impact of social media and take care of your accounts so that they function for instant shopping as well as for brand representation. Also, consider partnering with influencers to stay relevant to your target audience and create memorable—possibly viral—campaigns. For instance, 45% of TikTok shoppers purchase items promoted by influencers. 

❗ While social media presents numerous opportunities for e-commerce businesses, it also adds some complications in tracking the customer journey and attributing customer acquisition sources. Together with privacy-related issues, social networks make the journey non-linear: for example, a person can see your ad on Instagram or Google (or both at different times) and not click on it but remember your store and return to it.

4. The never-ending search for a better deal

As the spending power has decreased in 2022—admitted by 63% of respondents of a PWC consulting mer surveyshoppers will continue to seek cheaper deals. To work your way around, you can create relevant upsells, bundle products together, and offer free gifts with purchases

Free shipping is also a great helper that motivates people to make a purchase and add more or more expensive items to their orders. You can inform about free shipping in your announcement bar or add a free shipping progress bar to the cart (especially if you’re using the cart drawer). In our app Gift Box, you can set a free shipping threshold that will be shown in a small pop-up on your store (and possibly combined with other gifts given when certain conditions are met).

💡 If you don’t have subscriptions on your store but they might fit your products, consider adding this option. Around 35% of online shoppers use subscriptions on a regular basis, and when done right, they can save some money for your customers and cut your operational and delivery costs (plus, improve loyalty and increase the number of repeat customers). To sell subscriptions on Shopify, you’ll need to use a dedicated app for this. 

Besides their price concerns, customers are increasingly more guided by factors like sustainability and environmental impact. Make sure to communicate your values on your site and in your messaging.

Menu section dedicated to brand sustainability
Menu section dedicated to brand sustainability

5. Battling returns with immersive visuals

Beyond creating price-conscious deals, you should reevaluate your product information— together with the brand image, delivery options, return policies, and loyalty perks, it should be very realistic and convincing of the benefits.

Since online shoppers return 20–30% of products, you’re risking surging your acquisition costs (which are already disastrously high across the industry) and simply losing money. 

Hyper-realistic imagery can help eliminate product returns. For example, 3D images can improve product perception by 23%. Consider adding 3D visuals, 360-degree product photos and videos, and augmented reality solutions. 

Rotating product image with playback controls
Rotating product image with playback controls

💡 If you’re selling customizable products, give customers the opportunity to visualize them. Shopify apps can help incorporate 3D/AR visualizations

6. Embracing voice commerce

Not augmented reality alone will be pushing the limits of product representation. Voice commerce is on the rise, expected to reach over $30 billion by 2024. 65% of users aged 25-49 interact with voice-directed assistants every day, for shopping in particular, and 80% of customers who make purchases with the help of those assistants are satisfied with the experience. 

What you can do to take the advantage of voice shopping includes using conversational keywords in your content and optimizing for Amazon Echo and Google Home.

💡 Consider adding a voice option to your site search. Some Shopify search apps have this capability. 

7. Loyalty incentives go a long way

Loyalty can increase your customer’s worth by up to 22 times. With acquisition costs skyrocketing, engaging with returning customers should be your top priority. When shoppers are dedicated to your store, they will be more likely to purchase your products even if competitors offer cheaper options: around 90% claimed they would pay more to a trusted company. Plus, loyal customers can recommend your store to friends, leave product reviews, and generate social media content about your brand.

💡 Another thing about learning about your loyal customers is that it opens up ways to leverage your own data instead of relying on third-party one. Given privacy-related constraints, this is the only way to achieve personalization at scale.

Before you build the right approach to your most loyal customers, you need to identify them. Our app Loyal will automatically divide your audience into 6 segments based on the recency, frequency, and monetary value of their orders. With the app, you’ll have a ready-made group of loyal customers and be able to track how this group changes over time.

Here are some of the ideas of what you can offer to loyal customers: a loyalty system where earned points can be exchanged for goods or services; an increasing discount based on the number of purchases; access to exclusive products and brand-to-brand collaborations; free samples of new products; making those customers your ambassadors by sharing their content on your site. The list of possibilities is endless—just make them feel special, and they’ll return to your store. 

Loyalty program example
Loyalty program example

A holistic approach is key

To keep your business afloat and customers continuously engaged, you have to be aware of the non-linear journey of your shoppers and be ready to interest them at any point of interaction. Embrace new technologies like 3D/AR visuals and voice search, make your products shoppable on social media, and take care of reliable sourcing and inventory control. 

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Anastasiia Osypenko

Anastasiia is a content marketer with expertise in tech and SEO. Besides writing and editing, she makes music and spends time with her pets.

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