Emerging ecommerce trends in 2024

In an ever-evolving digital landscape, staying ahead in ecommerce requires insight and adaptability. Here are the top trends to look out for in 2024 that will reshape ecommerce. 

Mobile-first UX: More than a trend, it’s a necessity

In 2024, the necessity of a mobile-first user experience (UX) has become undeniable. The tech industry’s long-standing mantra of ‘mobile-first’ development has proven to be more than just a trend; it’s a fundamental shift. Reflecting on last year’s data from our European payments platform, we observed a significant milestone: over 50% of transactions were made on mobile devices, a trend that continues to rise. This is a clear signal for businesses: if you haven’t already, it’s crucial to prioritize mobile users in your web and app design strategies

The unstoppable rise of mobile payments

The convenience and security offered by mobile payment solutions like Apple Pay and Google Pay have led to their widespread adoption. In 2024, these payment methods are not just popular but essential for ecommerce – especially among younger demographics who prioritise speed and convenience in their shopping experiences.

“Buy Now, Pay Later”, a flexible revolution

“Buy Now, Pay Later” (BNPL) options have transformed the way consumers shop, offering flexibility and affordability. In 2024, this trend continues to grow, especially among younger shoppers who appreciate the ability to spread payments over time without incurring interest. This trend not only empowers consumers with more purchasing power but also challenges retailers to integrate these options seamlessly into their payment systems.

The challenge of increased product returns

With the rise of BNPL and other flexible payment options, product returns have become a more significant issue for merchants. In 2024, this trend will be more pronounced, creating logistical and financial challenges. Retailers must find efficient ways to manage returns, minimise costs, and mitigate the impact on their bottom line. Developing a streamlined returns process and considering the sustainability aspect of returns are crucial strategies.

AI: transforming ecommerce at its core

Artificial Intelligence (AI) in ecommerce has moved from being a novel concept to a central operational element. In 2024, AI’s role in personalising customer experiences, optimising supply chains and refining digital marketing strategies is more pronounced than ever. A staggering 97.2% of businesses are investing in big data and AI, with 91% of leading companies actively increasing their AI investments. AI enables retailers to deliver more targeted, efficient, and engaging shopping experiences, making it an indispensable tool. However, retailers who are hesitant to embrace AI risk falling behind. Integrating AI thoughtfully into ecommerce strategies, understanding its risks, and maintaining transparency with customers is key to harnessing its full potential.

The human touch in a digital world

In the age of AI-dominated commerce, the human element is gaining newfound appreciation. As reported by Mintel, consumers are increasingly valuing human qualities like empathy, creativity, and the desire for genuine connection. In 2024, we’ll see a trend where “human-as-a-premium” becomes pivotal. Brands are balancing technological efficiency with the human touch, focusing on how products can enhance life emotionally and technologically. This approach not only resonates with consumers but also builds deeper brand loyalty.

Thriving subscription commerce

Subscription commerce continues to flourish, appealing to consumers with its mix of convenience and excitement. Expected to reach $2419.69 billion by 2028, this model benefits both consumers and retailers. Personalization, budget-friendly options, and flexible fulfilment are key to standing out. However, transparency and ease of membership management are vital, as consumer trust and legal regulations around subscriptions tighten.

Genuine green initiatives: beyond greenwashing

In 2024, genuine sustainability efforts are crucial. Consumers are discerning and can identify superficial “green” claims. Real environmental responsibility involves improving production processes and reducing carbon footprints, from sustainable packaging to minimising returns. Brands need to focus on tangible, honest environmental practices rather than mere token gestures.

Leveraging user-generated content in marketing

User-generated content (UGC) is becoming a cornerstone of digital marketing. Long-term collaborations with content creators are more effective than one-off promotions. These creators, acting as brand ambassadors, bring authenticity and continuity, crucial for engaging audiences in a saturated digital landscape. Brands are increasingly adopting UGC-style ads for their relatability and effectiveness, especially on platforms like Meta where selfie-style videos are resonating with audiences.

Navigating the shifting landscape of digital ads

The digital advertising space is rapidly evolving, with a clear shift towards content that mirrors genuine user experiences. In 2024, ecommerce brands are finding success with advertising strategies that mimic real-life testimonials and user stories. This approach not only enhances authenticity but also significantly boosts engagement rates. The key lies in creating content that feels personal and relatable, steering away from overtly polished and commercialised presentations.

As we navigate these trends, it’s evident that the ecommerce landscape in 2024 is dynamic, consumer-centric, and increasingly reliant on a blend of technology and personalization. For businesses to thrive, understanding and adapting to these trends is not just about staying relevant but also about shaping a future where digital commerce is intuitive, responsible, and deeply connected to the consumer experience.