The online sales model is one of the economy's sectors that invests the most in innovations, focusing on customer retention. In 2024, we can expect to see some significant changes in consumer behavior, available technologies, and sustainable and ethical practices.
In this article, we will explore some of these trends and how they can impact the e-commerce market.
Social commerce as a new way of buying and selling online
One of the main trends expected to solidify in 2024 is the growth of social commerce, i.e., the sale of products and services through social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and others. These platforms allow sellers to create virtual stores integrated with their profiles, facilitating the purchasing process for users. Moreover, social commerce also enables greater interaction between consumers and brands through comments, reviews, recommendations, and user-generated content. According to a Statista study, the global sales value of social commerce is projected to reach $604.5 billion in 2024, an increase of nearly 200% compared to 2020.
This trend is partly due to changes in consumer habits, as they become increasingly connected and influenced by social media. In 2023, the number of social media users worldwide reached 4.48 billion, representing 56.8% of the global population. Major retailers have been investing in creating their own communities within their virtual stores, thereby boosting customer engagement without the risk of them being influenced by competing products. This shift aligns with the changing buying habits of younger generations and the need to understand how connections are formed within the customer base.
The Personalization of the Online Shopping Experience with the Aid of AI
Another trend expected to gain momentum in 2024 is the personalization of the online shopping experience with the assistance of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. These technologies enable e-commerce websites to analyze consumers' history, preferences, and behavior, offering products, services, and deals more tailored to their needs and expectations. Additionally, AI and machine learning can assist in optimizing logistics, inventory, customer service, and the security of online stores.
According to a report from Invezz.com, the global Artificial Intelligence (AI) market is projected to transition from $136.55 billion in 2022 to an impressive $298 billion in 2024, marking a notable increase of 109.56%.
Furthermore, the international artificial intelligence (AI) market recorded an approximate value of $87 billion in 2022. However, forecasts already indicate significant expansion, projecting this value to reach $407 billion by the end of 2027, revealing a substantial compound annual growth rate of approximately 36.2% from 2022 to 2027. This substantial growth is fueled not only by technological advancements but also by the growing consumer demand for a more personalized and convenient online shopping experience.
The Use of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)
A third trend set to stand out in 2024 is the use of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) to enhance the visualization and immersion of consumers in products and services offered online. These technologies enable users to see how products would look in their environments, such as clothing, furniture, and decor, among others. They also allow users to experience services like travel, entertainment, education, and more in a more realistic and engaging manner. A study by Accenture Interactive indicated that 61% of surveyed consumers stated they would be more inclined to buy from a brand that uses immersive technology like augmented and virtual reality.
Contributing to this trend is the development and popularization of AR and VR devices and applications, which are becoming increasingly accessible and diverse. The popularity of these immersive technologies is reflected in the numbers: according to Statista, data from 2023 suggests that the AR & VR market is projected to grow by 12.60% between 2023 and 2028, resulting in a market volume of $58.1 billion in 2028.
The Growth of Subscription Models
A fourth trend set to consolidate in 2024 is the growth of subscription models in e-commerce, offering consumers the convenience of receiving products and services on a recurring basis without the need for individual orders. These models can be applied to various sectors such as food, beauty, health, fashion, education, entertainment, and more. By providing a continuous experience and eliminating the need for individual orders, subscription models foster customer loyalty. The predictability of recurring deliveries encourages consumers to maintain their relationship with the company, contributing to a longer customer lifecycle.
According to insights from Statista, over 50% of household goods subscribers retained their subscriptions in 2022. In the long term, market reports estimate that the size of the subscription e-commerce platform market will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 68.44% between 2022 and 2027, indicating significant opportunities for companies and highlighting a growing demand for subscription services.
Sustainability and Ethics in Online Business A fifth trend expected to gain relevance in 2024 is consumers' concern for the sustainability and ethics of online businesses, encompassing aspects such as the environmental, social, and economic impact of e-commerce activities. This movement is largely driven by global challenges, including climate change, social inequality, poverty, and human rights violations.
In today's world, consumers are increasingly conscious and demanding regarding the origin, quality, transparency, and responsibility of the brands they purchase online. By adopting strategies grounded in Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) sustainability, companies can strengthen bonds with consumers, gain public trust, and meet emerging market expectations. According to an IBM, study, 62% of consumers are willing to change their purchasing habits to reduce environmental impact, and over 50% prefer to buy from brands that share their values.
As we approach 2024, trends in e-commerce paint a dynamic landscape full of changes and promising opportunities. However, it is crucial to emphasize that the fate of e-commerce will be shaped by those who not only follow but also lead the trends.
The ability to provide consumers with a more personalized, engaging, and impactful online shopping journey will be the key to success in this ever-evolving scenario. We are not just facing transformations but an opportunity to shape the future, offering experiences that go beyond expectations and redefine the standard of digital excellence.
Be ready for 2024!