Ecommerce trends are shaped by a variety of factors including contract logistics, seasons and weather, consumer demand, and economic climate.
The leading ecommerce trends for 2024 have been forming over recent years. They’re ruled by customer convenience and loyalty which comes down to two questions:
- Which technologies can ecommerce businesses use to meet customer expectations and make it easy to buy from them?
- And how can they build trust with customers and maintain their loyalty?
Creating convenient processes for customers to follow is a must in 2024. Convenience ranked as the most important purchase factor at the end of 2022. If you haven’t already thought about this, then now is the time to start! If a customer finds it difficult to return a purchase, or they received their delivery late, they can easily jump ship to one of your competitors.
Brand loyalty is built by maintaining a good reputation. Reputation in the ecommerce sphere means being great at communication, providing quality products and top-notch service, and customer rewards.
We’ve listed the leading ecommerce trends for 2024 that revolve around customer convenience and brand loyalty.
Mobile Commerce (m-commerce):
The use of smartphones for online shopping has been consistently growing. Ecommerce businesses are focusing on optimising their platforms for mobile devices and developing user-friendly mobile apps.
The rise of mobile commerce means that key suppliers throughout the supply chain must ensure that their systems are mobile-friendly. From a manufacturer’s accountancy firm through to its logistics provider. Having data at your fingertips enhances efficiency and accuracy. And therefore, customer relations.
Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) & Virtual Reality (VR):
AI and ML are being used for personalisation, chatbots for customer service, recommendation engines, and fraud detection. These technologies enhance the overall shopping experience and help businesses make data-driven decisions. AI and ML can automate loyalty vouchers and newsletters to prompt customers to buy, known as purchase motivation.
Providing a customised shopping experience in this way allows brands to connect with their customers and builds brand loyalty. AI and ML are now also being used for demand forecasting, route optimisation, and inventory management in logistics. This can benefit ecommerce businesses in their customer relations.
From our own perspective as logistics providers, we can leverage AI for predictive analytics, route planning, and warehouse automation to streamline operations and reduce costs.
VR technologies have been integrated into the ecommerce experience, allowing customers to visualise products before making a purchase. This is particularly relevant in industries like fashion, furniture, and home decor. IKEA is one brand that allows its customers to use this technology to visualise how products will look in their home.
This is particularly useful as customers will want to avoid returning such large items for fear of inconvenience and hassle. However, many good logistics companies working with brands will operate a hassle-free returns process.
Increased demand for fast shipping:
Customers expect quick and reliable shipping options. This is where your logistics provider can either enhance your reputation or let it down. Logistics providers can optimise their processes for fast order fulfilment and timely deliveries. Technologies like route optimisation and real-time tracking are crucial for satisfactory deliveries.
Same-day and next-day delivery expectations have been trending in ecommerce for years now. So, brands have to take their customers’ expectations into consideration. They can no longer rely on the quality of their product alone. Working with a third-party logistics provider (3PL) allows ecommerce companies to meet their customers’ expectations while they continue to focus on and develop their products and services.
Customer expectations leads us neatly on to the topic of sustainability. Consumers are more environmentally conscious than ever. Ecommerce businesses are responding by incorporating sustainable practices. This includes eco-friendly packaging, transparent supply chains, and promoting environmentally friendly products.
The actual transporting of products and movement of goods should be a top priority in terms of creating a sustainable and environmentally conscious business. 3PLs can implement eco-friendly practices, such as optimising delivery routes to reduce emissions and adopt green packaging solutions. This will also feed your marketing campaigns. Communicating to your customers that you’ve thought about how you get your products to them will gain their loyalty.
Subscription-based ecommerce models are gaining popularity. Customers appreciate the convenience of receiving products regularly without the need to reorder. Businesses benefit from these recurring revenue streams. Subscription models mean regular, predictable shipments.
Ecommerce businesses can ensure efficient and reliable recurring deliveries by working with a 3PL. This shouldn’t impact your sustainability practices as your couriers or logistics providers should already be operating efficiently and sustainably.
With the increasing use of voice-activated devices like smart speakers, voice commerce has become a significant trend. Ecommerce platforms have adapted to voice search and commands. The growth of voice commerce affects order processing and customer communication.
With many households owning some form of voice-activated device, voice commerce is fast becoming one way to engage with customers and make their dealings with your company much easier and more convenient for them. Tapping into this technology could put you ahead of your competitors.
The entire supply chain industry was negatively impacted by Brexit, Covid-19 and a number of other sector-specific issues. As a result, many retailers were seeing more stockouts than ever before. When this happens, consumers swiftly move on to competitors. This series of events taught 3PLs new processes. Predictive analytics are used by logistics providers and couriers to forecast demand.
Good 3PLs will also carry sufficient warehousing space with technology to enhance the picking process for accuracy and speed. Utilising this kind of technology can help prevent stockouts by predicting demand based on market trends, economic data, seasonal trends, internal CRM systems and social media analysis.
Essentially, ecommerce trends revolve around customer convenience and brand loyalty. Understanding and adapting to these trends is essential for ecommerce businesses to stay competitive and meet the evolving needs of consumers in 2024.
Collaboration and integration of technologies will be key to creating efficient and responsive customer service.
This is especially true when it comes to a brand’s logistics provider – are they enhancing your reputation?