11 eCommerce trends to watch out for in 2024 

16 MINS
Claire Sy

Online shopping is undergoing a rapid transformation. This dynamic shift is due to improvements in technology and changing consumer behaviors. Particularly, the artificial intelligence market size can reach $407 billion by 2027.  

Businesses risk becoming obsolete if they fail to keep pace with these changes. Companies must keep up with emerging trends to meet the demands of customers.  

This article delves into the key eCommerce trends poised to dominate in 2024. Learn how these trends help businesses stay competitive, enhance customer experiences, and grow in an evolving digital marketplace. 

Creating an online store

As technology continues to evolve, the eCommerce industry is heading in a new direction. To get a head start, we’ve listed 11 trends to kick off your business this 2024: 

Trend 1: AI and personalization 

AI enables hyper-personalized shopping experiences. From product recommendations to personalized marketing, AI helps tailor the customer journey to their individual preferences. 

AI in eCommerce uses machine learning algorithms to analyze customers’ past purchases, search history and browsing behavior. 

For example, if a customer frequently buys sports shoes, AI might suggest similar items or accessories. Now, you can forecast their future purchases and behavior so you can stock up on in-demand products. 

You can also adjust prices in real-time based on demand, competition, and customer profiles. This ensures competitive pricing and personalized offers. 

Finally, since AI already sorted your customers based on their interests and shopping habits, you can conveniently start your marketing efforts. Deploy targeted email campaigns, personalized ads, and tailored content. 

Start implementing AI into your eCommerce strategy with these steps: 

  • Start with customer data. Understand your customer’s preferences, behaviors, and purchasing patterns. 
  • Choose the right tools. There are various AI tools and platforms available, but choose one that suits your business size, type, and budget. 
  • Focus on user experience. Ensure that the recommendations and personalizations are relevant and add value to the customer’s shopping journey. 
  • Test and learn. Implement AI in stages. Start with one aspect, like product recommendations, and then expand to other areas. Continuously test and optimize based on feedback and performance. 
  • Maintain privacy and transparency. Be transparent about how you use customer data. Follow privacy laws and regulations to build trust with your customers. 
  • Train your team. Ensure your team understands how AI works and how to use it effectively. This includes marketing, sales, and customer service teams. 

As technology advances, AI will become more sophisticated. It will continue to transform how businesses interact with customers. Get ahead and make personalization a key factor in your eCommerce plan. Whether creating your own domain name, writing your content, or crafting your business logo, building your own eCommerce website has never been easier with Web.com’s very own AI tools.  

Trend 2: Voice search and shopping 

Smart speakers and virtual assistants are on the rise. They use voice commands to search for products and make purchases online. This technology is primarily driven by: 

  • Amazon Echo 
  • Google Home 
  • Siri 
  • Google Assistant 
  • Alexa 

First, the device recognizes the user’s voice and converts the spoken words into text. Then, AI interprets the spoken language to understand the user’s intent and context. The system searches for relevant information or products based on the interpretation it generates and responds verbally through the device. 

With this, consumers can shop hands-free on top of doing whatever they’re doing at the moment. For example, you can order groceries through voice search while cooking. 

Speaking is also faster than typing, simplifying the shopping process. This way, your online store is more accessible, especially for people with disabilities or those who are not tech-savvy.  

We’ve set several steps to help you get started on voice search in your eCommerce business: 

  • Optimize for conversational keywords. Unlike traditional search, voice search is more conversational. Use long-tail keywords and phrases that people are likely to use in everyday speech. 
  • Put a focus on local SEO. Many voice searches are local. Ensure your business information is updated on online listings to improve your local SEO
  • Keep it mobile-friendly. Most voice searches happen on mobile devices. Ensure your website is compatible with most device screens. 
  • Increase loading speed. Voice search users expect quick responses. Optimize your website’s loading time. You can avail Web.com’s robust web hosting services to boost your eCommerce site’s loading speed. 
  • Structure your data. Use schema markup to help search engines understand the content of your website, making it easier to fetch information for voice queries. 
  • Optimize your content. Create content that directly answers questions. FAQs and how-to guides are effective for voice search optimization. 

Trend 3: Social commerce and live streaming 

Social media platforms are slowly becoming shopping destinations. You can sell and promote your products on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok. 

These platforms offer options to set up shop so followers can browse your products without leaving the platform. 

Coupled with live streaming, it’s creating interactive and engaging ways to discover and purchase products. Brands and influencers use live video streams to showcase products, conduct demonstrations, and engage with the audience in real-time. 

You can also encourage customers to share their experiences with your products on social media. This content can be more convincing than traditional advertising. 

Start integrating social commerce into your eCommerce business with the following steps: 

  • Choose the right platforms. Identify where your target audience spends their time. Different platforms cater to different demographics and interests. 
  • Optimize for mobile. Most social media browsing is done on mobile devices. Ensure your social commerce interface is mobile-friendly. 
  • Create engaging content. Your content should be engaging, informative, and shareable. Live streaming content should be interactive and include calls to action. 
  • Showcase your products. Use live streaming to showcase products, offer exclusive deals, and conduct Q&A sessions to address customer queries in real-time. 
  • Utilize analytics and feedback. Analytics helps you understand customer engagement and preferences. Use this data to refine your strategy. 
  • Provide customer support. Use social media channels to address inquiries and issues promptly. 

Social commerce and live streaming are expected to grow, with more platforms enhancing their eCommerce capabilities. Integrating AR and AI for virtual try-ons and personalized recommendations will further enrich your customers’ social shopping experience. 

Trend 4: AR and VR experiences 

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are transforming how customers interact with products. These technologies offer immersive experiences, from virtual try-ons to 3D product previews. 

AR overlays digital information in the real world. For example, it lets customers see how products like glasses, makeup, or clothing would look on them in reality — simply through their smartphone cameras. 

Meanwhile, VR creates a completely immersive digital environment. It can transport customers into virtual environments where they can interact with products in a life-like setting. For instance, customers can simulate a virtual store and experience a brick-and-mortar shopping experience from their homes. 

Integrate AR and VR into your eCommerce store with these steps: 

  • Understand your audience. Know if your target customers are likely to use AR and VR. These technologies are most effective for products where visualization is crucial like clothes, shoes, gadgets, and tools. 
  • Start small. Begin with basic AR features, like 3D product views or virtual try-ons, before moving to more complex VR experiences just like Gucci’s Sneaker Garage, a feature that lets you virtually try on their sneakers. 
  • Choose the right platform. Some eCommerce platforms offer integrated AR/VR solutions. 
  • Focus on user experience. Ensure that your AR and VR features are user-friendly and add real value to the shopping experience. 
  • Promote your AR/VR features. Tell your audience about these features and how these enhance their shopping experience. 
  • Gather feedback. Use this feedback to improve and tailor the AR/VR experiences to your customer’s needs. 

However, not all customers may be familiar with AR and VR. Be sure to provide clear instructions and support to help them use these features. Plus, developing AR and VR experiences can be costly. Consider the ROI and start with cost-effective solutions.  

Finally, poorly executed AR/VR can negatively impact the user experience so be sure to provide high-quality graphics and smooth performance. 

Trend 5: Sustainable eCommerce initiatives 

Eco-friendly practices, sustainable packaging, and ethical sourcing are increasingly important to consumers. According to statistics, 45% of consumers will be more likely to buy more from companies that care about the environment. 

Sustainable eCommerce refers to practices that reduce the environmental impact of online retail activities. It encompasses everything from the sourcing of products to packaging and shipping. Some of its key elements include: 

  • Eco-friendly products 
  • Sustainable packaging 
  • Ethical sourcing 
  • Carbon footprint reduction 
  • Efficient logistics 

With growing consumer awareness about environmental issues, sustainability is becoming a key factor in purchasing decisions. Kickstart your sustainable practices with the following: 

  • Assess your supply chain. Identify areas where you can implement eco-friendly practices, from sourcing to delivery. 
  • Educate customers. Clearly communicate your sustainable initiatives. Educating customers about the benefits of sustainable products can influence purchasing decisions. 
  • Partner with green suppliers. Work with suppliers and logistics providers who share your commitment to sustainability. 
  • Offer sustainable choices. Give customers options like eco-friendly packaging or carbon-neutral shipping. 
  • Incorporate sustainability into branding. Make sustainability a part of your brand identity. This can differentiate your brand and attract environmentally conscious customers. 
  • Measure and improve. Continuously measure the impact of your initiatives and seek ways to improve your sustainability efforts. 

The trend towards sustainable eCommerce is expected to grow as more consumers seek environmentally friendly options. Advances in sustainable materials and green logistics are likely to make sustainable practices more accessible and cost-effective. 

Trend 6: Same-day or next-day delivery 

Rapid delivery services are setting new standards for customer convenience. It offers customers the convenience of receiving their purchases almost immediately. This shift towards faster delivery is reshaping customer expectations and becoming a key edge for online retailers. 

Fast delivery enhances the overall shopping experience, leading to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty. It can be a decisive factor for customers when picking between your brand vs. brands that don’t offer this option. This potentially leads to more conversions and repeat business. 

Start implementing same-day or next-day delivery with these steps: 

  • Assess its feasibility. Consider your business’s logistics capabilities and whether you can realistically offer same-day or next-day delivery without incurring significant costs. 
  • Choose the right partners. Collaborate with reliable logistics partners who can meet the demands of rapid delivery. 
  • Management of your inventory. Ensure you have efficient inventory management systems to quickly process orders. If you don’t want to handle logistics and inventory management, consider dropshipping
  • Optimize fulfillment processes. Streamline your order fulfillment process for speed and efficiency. This may involve automation or optimizing your warehouse layout. 
  • Set clear policies. Clearly communicate delivery terms, including any additional costs or restrictions, such as geographic limitations. 
  • Manage customer expectations. Be transparent about delivery times and keep customers informed about the status of their orders. 

It’s important to take note that rapid delivery can be costly. Consider whether you need to pass these costs on to customers or if they can be absorbed to remain competitive.  

Trend 7: Chatbots and automation 

Chatbots and automated customer support streamline the shopping experience, providing instant assistance and improving customer service efficiency. 

These technologies can handle a range of tasks, from answering FAQs to helping with product selection, thereby streamlining the shopping experience and improving efficiency. 

It’s available round the clock, so you can offer instant and accurate assistance to customers at anytime, anywhere. And since automated systems can handle a large volume of queries simultaneously, you can reduce the need for extensive customer service teams and save costs. 

You can add chatbots and automation to your website through the following steps: 

  • Identify suitable tasks. Determine which customer service tasks can be efficiently automated, such as answering common questions or providing product recommendations. 
  • Choose the right platform. Select a chatbot platform that integrates seamlessly with your eCommerce platform and meets your specific needs. 
  • Customize your chatbot. Tailor the chatbot’s responses to reflect your brand’s voice and values. Ensure it can handle a wide range of queries relevant to your products and services. 
  • Train your chatbot. Use machine learning to train your chatbot with a variety of customer interaction scenarios. The more it interacts, the smarter and more effective it becomes. 
  • Integrate with your CRM. Connecting your chatbot to your customer relationship management (CRM) system can enable more personalized interactions based on customer history. 
  • Monitor and optimize. Regularly review the chatbot’s performance and customer interactions to identify areas for improvement. 

While chatbots are efficient, they cannot entirely replace the human element. Ensure there’s still an easy option for customers to speak with a human representative if needed, especially for complex or unique customer inquiries. 

Finally, be transparent about data collection and ensure your chatbot is secure to protect customer information. 

Trend 8: Mobile-first approach 

With 5.25 billion global smartphone users in 2023, optimizing eCommerce platforms for mobile shopping is no longer optional but necessary.  

A mobile-first strategy ensures your eCommerce site is easily navigable and user-friendly on smaller screens, leading to a better customer experience. 

It also helps with your website’s SEO. Search engines like Google prioritize mobile-friendly websites in their search results, enhancing your site’s visibility. 

To make your website mobile-friendly, consider these factors: 

  • Responsive design. Ensure your website’s design is responsive, meaning it automatically adjusts to fit the screen size of different devices. 
  • Simplified navigation. Create a simple and intuitive navigation structure. On mobile devices, complex menus can be difficult to use. 
  • Optimize loading speed. Mobile users expect quick loading times. Optimize images and streamline your site’s code to improve speed. 
  • Touch-friendly interface. Design elements like buttons and forms should be easy to use on a touchscreen. 
  • Diverse device compatibility. Regularly test your site on various mobile devices to ensure compatibility and a consistent user experience. 
  • Key content priority. On smaller screens, space is limited. Prioritize essential information and functionalities to be immediately accessible. 

Remember that designing for smaller screens means being strategic about what content and features are most important. Focus on simplicity and clarity. Plus, don’t forget about the user experience on desktops and other devices. 

Trend 9: Image search and visual discovery 

Image search and visual discovery technologies enable users to search for products using images instead of text. It also uses AI to analyze an uploaded picture and find similar products or related items available in an online store.  

Generally, image search simplifies the search process, especially when users cannot describe what they are looking for in words. 

Get started on image search and visual discovery with these steps: 

  • Integrate visual search capability. Use a visual search tool or API you can integrate into your eCommerce platform. Popular options include Google Vision AI, Amazon Rekognition, and Microsoft Computer Vision. 
  • Optimize product images. Ensure high-quality, clear images are used for your products to facilitate accurate visual search results. 
  • Educate your customers. Inform your customers about the visual search feature and how to use it effectively. 
  • Tag your data. Tag product images with relevant metadata to improve the accuracy of search results.  

Trend 10: ROPO Phenomenon 

Research Online, Purchase Offline (ROPO) is an eCommerce trend where consumers research products online before buying them in-store.  

Internet users utilize online resources to compare prices, read reviews, and gather detailed product information before making a purchase decision. Also, many customers still value the experience of physically examining a product before buying. 

Despite the convenience of shopping online, some consumers prefer the immediacy of taking home a product immediately after purchase. Thus, ROPO highlights the continued relevance of brick-and-mortar stores despite the growing popularity of online businesses. 

To leverage the ROPO trend into your eCommerce business, consider the following tips: 

  1. Enhanced online presence. Ensure your products are well-represented online with detailed descriptions, high-quality images, and customer reviews. 
  2. Local SEO. Optimize for local search to attract nearby customers who might research online and then visit your store. 
  3. Click and collect services. Offer options like ‘buy online, pick up in-store’ (BOPIS) to bridge the gap between online research and offline purchases. 
  4. Consistent brand experience. Maintain consistent branding and customer experience across both online and offline channels. 
  5. In-store availability information. Provide real-time information on product availability in physical stores on your eCommerce site. 
  6. Online-to-offline (O2O) promotions. Implement marketing strategies that encourage online researchers to visit your physical store, like exclusive in-store discounts. 

The ROPO phenomenon is likely to evolve as technologies like AR and VR offer more immersive online experiences. These eCommerce technologies can potentially influence the balance between online research and offline purchases. Start integrating digital and physical retail to cater to this consumer behavior. 

Trend 11: Data-driven decisions 

We’ve talked about the power of machine learning and AI and how they use data to understand customer behaviors to increase eCommerce sales. Having all this information on customers and the industry empowers businesses to make data-driven decisions. Get started with the following steps: 

  • Collect quality data. Ensure that you are collecting high-quality, relevant data. This includes customer interactions, sales data, website traffic, and social media engagement. 
  • Use the right tools. Employ analytics tools and platforms that can process large datasets and provide actionable insights. Many eCommerce platforms come with built-in analytics capabilities. 
  • Train your team. Equip your team with the necessary skills to understand and utilize data analytics tools effectively. 
  • Test and experiment. Use A/B testing and other methods to experiment with data-driven hypotheses and continuously refine your strategies based on results. 
  • Comply with privacy policies. Be transparent about data collection and use and ensure compliance with data protection laws like GDPR
  • Integrate data across channels. Consolidate data from various sources (online store, social media, CRM, etc.) for a comprehensive view of your business and customers. 

Take note not to get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of data. Focus on key metrics that align with your business goals. Understanding what data is telling you can be challenging and may require specialized skills or external expertise. 

Finally, the goal is to derive actionable insights from data, not just collect it. Ensure that your data analysis leads to concrete actions. 

ECommerce trends cater to people’s evolving shopping habits and preferences. So, what’s in it for eCommerce businesses? We’ve listed the pros of adopting new trends in the industry. 

Staying ahead of the competition 

Adopting these trends can give you a significant edge over competitors. Embracing innovations such as AI, AR/VR, and a mobile-first approach can help differentiate yourself from competitors who may be slower to adapt. 

These trends also let you meet the evolving expectations of your tech-savvy audience, offering modern and efficient shopping experiences. 

Enhancing customer experience 

By embracing these trends, businesses can offer richer, more personalized shopping experiences, leading to higher customer satisfaction. Incorporating these technologies can give personalized recommendations, immersive product visualization, and instant customer support. 

This creates a more engaging and tailored shopping journey. These advancements streamline the browsing and purchasing process, making it more intuitive and enjoyable for customers. The more you satisfy your customers, the more you build customer loyalty. 

Improving sales and conversion rates 

Innovative eCommerce practices can boost sales and conversion rates by making shopping more accessible, engaging, and convenient. These practices appeal to a broader range of customers, encouraging first-time purchases but also fostering repeat business. This way, you significantly enhance overall sales and conversion metrics. 

Optimizing operations and costs 

Certain trends can help streamline operations, reduce costs, and enhance overall efficiency, contributing to a healthier bottom line.  

For instance, integrating AI and automation streamlines operations, leading to reduced labor costs and minimized errors. Data-driven decision-making aids in precise inventory forecasting and efficient resource allocation, avoiding overstocking or stockouts. 

Furthermore, a mobile-first approach and efficient website design can lower customer acquisition costs by increasing organic traffic and customer retention. These operational improvements can cut down expenses while also enhancing the agility and responsiveness of the business. 

For businesses looking to thrive, adopting these trends isn’t just advisable. It’s imperative to stay relevant and competitive in a rapidly changing market. 

If you’re just getting started on eCommerce, you can collaborate with Web.com and easily launch your own online store. Pair these trends with our robust solutions and set yourself up for success in the coming years. 

  • Claire Sy

    Claire is a Content Marketing Writer at Web.com. Although she’s just started her content marketing journey, she’s eager to write compelling articles while learning more about the SEO and marketing world. Growing up, Claire had always loved reading, but she started taking an interest in writing through poetry and stories. She also likes playing chess in her spare time.

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