8 e-commerce growth trends to follow in 2024

Last updated
Mar 31, 2024
Yes, of course, AI enabled shopping is the top trend. And influencers. And social commerce. And perks!

What can online sellers expect in 2024?

Even though in-person shopping is popular again, online shopping is continuing to grow. In fact e-commerce experts think that global e-commerce sales will go up from around 6 trillion US dollars to a bit over 8 trillion dollars by 2026.

To keep pace, e-commerce companies need to keep on top of the newest trends in their space. 

What e-commerce trends did we witness in 2023?

In 2023, we saw a lot and we (mostly) saw it coming. 

Firstly, in 2023, mobile shopping became increasingly popular, with sales on mobile phones hitting an all-time high.

Next, 2023 saw an increasing amount of interest in subscription services. Some say it gives consumers the chance to personalize their experience and interaction with a company, some say it's a byproduct of "planned obsalescense" that people can't just own a solid product for many years anymore (Don't we all know someone who still has an electrolux vacuum?).

Whether it's coerced or just the evolution of ecomm, The Business Research company has said subscription e-commerce will grow from $199.41 billion (2023) to $330.58 billion in 2024. 

Another e-commerce trend we saw in 2023 was a focus on sustainability. As this movement grows across the world, companies are joining in, trying to find the most eco-friendly ways possible to conduct business and sell their products or services. A notable stat is one from McKinsey, which found that more than 60% of shoppers are ready to pay extra for products with eco-friendly packaging. Thus, the Global Sustainable Packaging Market is expected to grow at a rate of 7.67% from 2023 until 2028.

Except, we also saw companies like Shein bring the allure of fast fashion to the masses, with over 251 app downloads and 50% of the fast fashion market share in the US. Fast fashion is often criticized for its use of exploitive labor practices and cheap manufacturing methods that are not ecofriendly.

TikTok. The Stanley travel cup. The rise of influencer shopping. Do you need to light a car on fire and make it go viral to get some good old fashioned PR these days? No, but it doesn't hurt! 

What can we expect going forward for e-commerce in 2024? 

We look at the top 8 top trends in the e-commerce space we’re expecting or already seeing unfold in 2024. 

Top e-commerce trends to watch in 2024

We’re not in the business of fortune telling. But we’ve taken signals from 2023 to make strong educated guesses on what we think will happen in 2024 in the e-commerce space. So here goes:

1. Artificial Intelligence continues to find new applications for e-commerce

Whether you like it or not, AI (Artificial Intelligence) is here to stay. It has been helping online businesses, especially in e-commerce, for some time. In 2023, it became even more popular with generative AI, showing everyone how it can make certain business processes like customer chats online, more efficient. 

Now, in 2024, AI will continue to be a big trend for online shopping. For online stores, AI can do a lot of helpful things:

  • Make customer experiences and suggestions personal with automation.
  • Improve many processes, from how products get to the store to managing and updating how much is in stock.
  • Adjust online advertising to reach the right people more effectively.

Following on from the massive impact AI had on the e-commerce world in 2023, we expect it to continue to grow from strength to strength in 2024. 

Some AI tools that are currently being used and loved by e-commerce brands, include:

ViSenze: Many online shops use this AI tool. It helps customers find what they want in your store fast and simple. When it's easy for customers to find products, they tend to buy more, and that means more sales for you.

Barilliance: This AI software customizes the shopping experience for each customer, aiming to boost sales, conversion rates, and how much customers spend over time. For instance, it predicts what a customer might buy next and sends them messages suggesting those products or offering discounts. It can also send reminders, like when someone leaves items in their cart or hasn't visited your online store in a while.

LivePerson: This is a chatbot system that uses human-like AI to talk with customers on online retail websites. It can chat with customers on various platforms like web chat, email, messaging, social media, and phone calls. This tool for online stores learns from lots of real customer chats to make genuine interactions and help customers help themselves. That way, your service team can concentrate on more important tasks.

2. Social commerce is growing thanks to younger generations 

In 2024, a lot of people will continue buying things directly through social media, with huge impacts from paid influencers and marketing partners. Almost 97 million people in the U.S. do it, and this number will likely get even bigger as younger generations like millennials and gen z keep using this way of shopping.

For gen z, 83% say they start looking for things to buy on social media. Many brands are making it easy for people to find and buy stuff right from their favorite social apps, like Instagram and TikTok. This not only benefits brands who are active on social media but also makes people expect more from all brands.

Experts think that by 2026, buying through social media will be worth $2.9 trillion. So, if you're an online store, it's a good idea to get involved with social media selling now.

3. Sustainability is still a hot topic for e-commerce brands

Sustainability is still the word on everyone’s lips in 2024. 

An increasing number of consumers are choosing companies based on their values - and when sustainability is high on a company’s list of priorities, younger consumers are more likely to buy their goods or services. 

However, it's tricky to be truly environmentally friendly. In the US especially, people are starting to doubt companies that claim to be green but might not be genuinely doing good for the environment.

According to Mintel’s recent report on consumers:

60% of people in the U.S. believe that many companies are only pretending to be sustainable.

Sustainability gives customers who like to "vote with their dollar" a chance to do so. By aliging your values to something concrete like environmental impact, you add value to your product and

Cisco puts a laser focus on their sustainability agenda. Their sustainability reports set the bar for other companies who want to get thought leadership right. 

‍

Screenshot of Cisco sustainability report that is 20 years running in 2024

4. Omnichannel e-commerce experiences will matter even more in 2024

Omnichannel commerce aims to give customers a smooth and consistent experience across multiple devices or experiences (like browser to app). These channels could be online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, an independent website, social media platforms, mobile apps, physical stores, QR codes and more.

Around 73% of shoppers use different channels, and stores using three or more channels make customers more engaged, 251% more than stores using just one channel.

Consumers reported via McKinsey that 80% of them tried a new shopping behavior during the pandemic, like "buy now, pick up in store". Customers expect alignment between all these channels in messaging, user experience, design, services, and pricing.

To keep a strong brand image, stores must be present on the online platforms where your customers spend time – like their own website, social media, and other online shops (like Amazon). In 2024, being able to change and respond to what customers want is important for omnichannel practices. 

Businesses are finding a middle ground between real and online worlds. They're using technologies like virtual reality and live streaming to make online shopping better. This helps businesses meet different customer preferences and reach groups who are not in traditional buying channels or clicking on ads.

Some honorable mentions, especially focusing on the overall customer experience:

  • Giving customers choices on how they want to get their purchases, whether online or in-store.
  • Fully embracing social commerce, or else missing out on younger audiences.
  • Offering customer service that is personalized, putting customers in control and making them feel comfortable.

5. Customers demand and deserve better user experiences

Focus on making your customers’ experience in your e-commerce shop as easy and smooth as possible. 

In a world where you cannot control the price of ads, or google's algorithm, you can control the experience on your own website.

As we live in a high-speed world these days, especially online, a slow load speed or confusing website layout can lose you customers.

Firstly, attention spans are lower are lower than ever before, especially when it comes to load speed on websites. This means, if your e-commerce website takes too long to load, your potential customers will find another, faster company. 

Secondly, people live very busy lives, and often only have time to buy products and services when they’re on the move or in between work – and distracted. Due to this, if your e-commerce website is too confusing - meaning your customers don’t know how to get to the products or services or they are given too many choices then the customers might drop.  

Ensure your customer’s journey, from finding products to checking out, is as simple as possible. 

Tesla, for example, has a very simple menu in the shopping section of their site. It’s easy to navigate and purchase what you’re looking for. Load speeds are in the green, and they are not confusing the consumer with too many options. 

‍

Screenshot of Tesla homepage with very simplified menus and design.
Tesla.com

6. Customers have a “What’s in It for Me?” mindset 

Customers now want to feel cared about by the company they choose. 

As well as giving them good products and service at a good price, these days, more is needed to keep them coming back.

Whether it’s occasional freebies or competitions they can enter for being your customer for a particular length of time, you need to make your customers feel like you’re rewarding them for being loyal. 

You’ll be more likely to get repeat visitors, by keeping your brand fresh in their minds. Send them little reminders every so often, letting them know you’re here for when they need you. 

7. Customer retention in e-commerce 

Following on from the “what’s in it for me” mindset we’re seeing in the world of e-commerce in 2024, customers will need reasons to stay loyal to a brand. Sudden changes in policies, even one negative experience, can send a customer looking elsewhere.

New customer offers are a tried-and-true way to get new customers. However, these days, as we’ve mentioned, customers want to feel like their loyalty isn’t going unnoticed. You want to give people a reason to stick around - and that’s what customer retention is all about. 

  • Surprise your customers with a discount on their next buy or give them a free promotional chance, like getting early access to your newest product. These rewards make customers feel more connected and loyal to your brand.
  • A loyalty program helps keep customers coming back to your business by rewarding them for their support. You don't have to

8. Personalization and perks

Personalization and perks are another related trend we’re seeing for this year. Customers expect to be treated as more than just a dollar sign by companies.

In terms of loyalty, this can cover a wide range of things, such as repeat purchase offers, birthday gifts for customers, anniversary perks, and holiday offers. This way, your customers will feel like you value their loyalty – and it’s a reason for new customers to stay. 

Here are some suggestions to help you start a loyalty program:

Provide value: Make sure your best customers get valuable offers from you on a regular basis. This could be discounts, access to special items, hosting events, or exclusive content.

Partner up: Teaming up with companies like Paylode means being able to launch your own perks programs without having to neogtiate or build any software. Partnering can help you get started faster and give you access to a much bigger marketplace.

Give your e-commerce customers the perks they deserve

If you’re looking to boost your customers’ engagement, satisfaction, and retention to keep your e-commerce company in line with 2024 trends, it’s time to explore Paylode. Curate perks for your members and customer base without putting your own things on sale, giving your customers reasons to come back and a little gift just for buying.

From discounts to freebies and more, you can reward your members for valuable actions.

This way, your customers will stick around, and you’ll be able to answer that “what’s in it for me?” mindset we’re seeing in consumers right now. 

If you want to follow the e-commerce growth trends in 2024 by rewarding your customers for their loyalty, get in touch today.

About the author
Saima Omar
Saima Omar is a journalist and content marketing expert working with B2B and B2C brands. She's deeply interested in the buyer's journey and how language can affect purchasing behavior. When she's not writing content for her clients, you'll find her reading Fantasy Fiction, watching Harry Potter, and drinking frothy lattes.
Engagement insider
Weekly tips you can skim in under 1min — sent at the same time every week. Bite sized, actionable insights for perks people.
Read about our privacy policy.
You're subscribed.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Editorial promise
Our editorial team aims to write trustworthy, helpful guides for business leaders building perks programs. We fact-check every article at the time of publishing.

Keep reading

A Practical Guide to Perks & Engagement Programs in the Insurance Industry

A Practical Guide to Perks & Engagement Programs in the Insurance Industry

Explore our guide to Perks & Engagement Programs tailored for the insurance industry. Learn how these programs enhance policyholder loyalty, drive engagement, and comply with industry regulations. Discover practical strategies for implementing effective perks that increase retention and differentiate your offerings in a competitive market.
Alternatives to affiliate services like Upfeat, Global Savings Group and Savings United

Alternatives to affiliate services like Upfeat, Global Savings Group and Savings United

The content industry watched in awe as major media sites like Forbes and Sports Illustrated removed their coupon pages – in some cases 5,000 of them – to avoid the risk of penalty from an impending Google algorithm update. If you're relying on coupon pages to generate traffic for brands, you have alternatives.
Rater Launches Dating Perks With Paylode to Bring Rewards to Dating App Users

Rater Launches Dating Perks With Paylode to Bring Rewards to Dating App Users

Finally, you can rate your matches’ authenticity – and get rewarded for it.

See how businesses use perks programs to engage their customers

Discover how customer-centric companies use the Paylode platform to improve their customer retention and satisfaction.
We care about your data in our privacy policy.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.