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TOP eCommerce trends in 2023 and predictions for 2024?
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TOP eCommerce trends in 2023 and predictions for 2024?

As every year, when it comes to an end, it’s time for making conclusions and plans for the foreseeable future. But as Abraham Lincoln once said:

” The best way to predict the future is to create it.”

Thus, wereached out to our esteemed partners who are influential in the eCommerce landscape to gather their insights on the latest and coming trends.

We have asked everybody the following question:

What 3 most important eCommerce trends have you noticed in 2023 and what do you predict for 2024?

The result? A comprehensive 360-degree perspective on the market.

Our aim here is to provide you with valuable information that will aid in your planning and help you achieve your goals for the upcoming year. We hope that our guests’ answers will inspire you.

1.

A positive long-term trend in eCommerce for 2024 after slowdown

by Maciej KALKOWSKI, CEO, Centuria

In the early 2023 it was evident that a significant portion of the economy was facing a crisis. Although this crisis had originated in 2022, for the most part of that year, some countries (e.g. Poland) remained unaffected due to the surge in demand for goods associated with the migration of Ukrainian citizens and their essential provisioning. This influx served as the secondary factor contributing to inflation, compounding the impact of rising energy prices across all sectors of the economy.

However, the impact of the crisis was not uniform across all industries. Some sectors experienced growth despite the challenging circumstances. In response, companies had to reevaluate their sales plans and adjust their expectations for EBIT and EBITDA based on their specific industry conditions. Those businesses that were well-prepared and willing to invest, even amidst market uncertainty, are poised to weather the crisis more successfully. Following an initial surge in growth driven by COVID-19 (often resulting from unplanned investments), 2023 witnessed a downturn, marking a period of negative trajectory.

Given the events in the last quarter of 2023, specifically the conflict in the Gaza Strip, making predictions for 2024 is quite difficult. However, unless new factors worsen the situation (e.g. potential blockade of the Suez Canal), many indicators suggest a positive long-term trend. This is encouraging, considering the consistent double-digit growth of e-commerce over the years and the increasing importance of implementing IT solutions for gaining a competitive edge.

Referring to the three main trends – I would expect a return to the trends of recent years, and I would single out the inevitable digitization of B2B, the return of brands to D2C investments, and marketplaces. One thing remains timelessly important in all trends – performance of systems.

2.

Ensuring security, quality, and performance for cross-device e-commerce

by Aneta RUTKOWSKA, COO, LH.pl

There was a lot going on in 2023 e-commerce world, but the trends that stood out in my opinion were:

Dropshipping

I get the impression that dropshipping, or rather the vision of easy, fast and fun sales without a warehouse, dominated e-commerce publications in the passing year. Many dropshipping platforms saw increases and social media swelled with advice on how to make money ‘on dropshipping’ and how not to lose out by investing in the wrong products.

Deferred payments and the growing popularity of BLIK

The year 2023 was also marked by deferred payments and the popularization of platforms such as PayPo, Twisto and Klarna. Summing up the first five months of 2023, the Financial Market Development Foundation revealed data on the value of the deferred payment sector. They showed that this sector already accounts for almost 27% of financing provided by loan companies. 2023 also saw the growing popularity of BLIK and the controversy surrounding the amount of commissions paid by shopkeepers.

Controversy aside, however – consumers have definitely gained the habit of buying with BLIK this year, as evidenced by data shared by BLIK itself: “Between July and September this year, customers paid for online purchases 227.9 million times – 28 per cent more than in the same period in 2022.”

Source: https://blik.com/blik-nie-zwalnia-tempa-blisko-pol-miliarda-transakcji-w-iii-kwartale-2023-r

Shopping on mobile devices

Perhaps talking about the trend in terms of ‘mobile first’ in 2023 is a bit like an Internet Explorer mem, but it is impossible not to mention it at all! We shop on the phone, on the run, in a hurry, with a more or less stable connection. In my opinion, never before has fast loading of the shop, the search engine, or the shopping cart been so important as in 2023. Nobody has time to waste, and the competition (if only through the popularization of so-called drops), never sleeps.

Perhaps I will answer somewhat perversely, but here are the things I wish 2024 brings:

More attention paid to the security of online shopping. In 2024, there should be no room for outdated and not updated shop platforms, outdated plugins and modules, or turning a blind eye to security shortcomings. Online security awareness is growing, and online shop owners can make a significant contribution to this.

Greater attention is being paid to the quality of the shop, its speed, optimisation, and performance not only in terms of the application itself, but also the server on which the shop is hosted.

The mobile trend will not stop, short shopping paths and a pleasant and functional UX are, in my opinion, the basis for good e-commerce in 2024.

3.

Data-driven and well calculated e-commerce business

by Grzegorz WOŹNIAK, eCommerce & Marketing Expert, Casbeg

I observe the following trends in the e-commerce market in 2023:
First is the scaling of eCommerce based on marketplace platforms, especially the search for a good entry strategy with sales on platforms i.e. Amazon or Allegro.

Second is the rising labor costs, which affect the deepening shortage of professionals with more experience and result in their exodus from the organization. The side-effect of this situation is the growing interest in interim services.

Summing up 2023, one cannot forget the AI revolution, which is already being harnessed in many shops to generate product descriptions, and customer service or recommend products to the customer based on in-store behavior.
I think one of the most important trends in the coming year 2024, will be the development of the data-driven business management thread. Companies that are well-calculated will definitely gain a competitive advantage just by investing wisely in data collection and analysis.

Another trend that has just begun is the rivalry of the giants in the marketplace, after the entry of TEMU into the Polish market and the spectacular decline of Shopee we will see strong rivalry driven by big budgets, which will affect sales in shops with lower marketing resources.

2024 will be a year of struggle for margins, rising customer acquisition costs will force less profitable shops to bet on customer loyalty and, above all, redirect the attention of managers to cut expenses and labor costs in favor of increasing profitability.

4.

Consolidations and responsible growth of eCommerce in 2024

by Sanne BOLKENSTEIN, Commercial Director, Hyvä Themes

Contrary to earlier predictions, monolith systems are not dead, but 2023 marked a renewed appreciation for the capabilities, performance and developer friendliness of monolith Open Source ecommerce systems like Magento. Hyvä plays a key role in the revival of Magento due to its unparalleled performance and low costs compared to expensive and complex solutions like PWA.

Acquisitions and takeovers lead to more consolidation in the whole ecommerce landscape, from hosting companies to agencies and tech solutions. The shortage of developers combined with an increasingly competitive landscape forces companies to join forces to survive.

Conscious consumerism forces ecommerce brands to rethink their product offering, logistics and pricing strategy. Sustainability and responsible growth become increasingly important factors to separate yourself from the competition.

AI will become more ingrained in all aspects of ecommerce: product placement, recommendations, customer support, return management and churn prevention. We’ve only just scratched the surface of the possibilities to integrate online and offline shopping experiences with AI.

Augmented by conscious consumerism, consumers will shop more “local”: small, specific webshops will become more interesting than big marketplaces and will offer better customized shopping experiences.

Accessibility will become more and more important in 2024. This is driven by regulatory compliance, but also the fact that the average age of online shoppers continues to rise, plus the economic incentive of reaching a new target group of customers who are currently unable to execute their purchasing power online.

5.

Technology advancements fuel eCommerce growth, boosting customer awareness and raising expectations

by Kamil KIJEWSKI, Digital Strategist / SEO Expert, MTA Digital

In Poland in 2023, we are seeing significant growth in retail sales. The share of e-commerce sales is also growing. We have a fairly young digitized society. In addition, Covid has permanently changed shopping habits in all age groups. The expansion of logistics networks and diverse delivery options contribute to the growth of e-commerce.

At the same time, customers have become increasingly aware and demanding. E-commerce has to keep up with expectations. Customers increasingly expect better product presentations and safe shopping experiences. This trend will continue in the coming years.

The level of product presentation has increased. AI and Machine Learning has allowed increasingly better optimisation of shops, the ability to tailor offers to individual preferences is growing – e-commerce is competing more and more on Customer Experience (CX).

2024 will be technology driven to obtain business goals with no sacrifice to customers’ growing expectations. E-commerce already automates processes to optimize business flows. The importance of data and the ability to verify, visualize and analyze it will increase, which will require a combination of technical and expert human factors.

In the coming year, we can expect a rise in personalized shopping experiences, driven by advanced software. This technology will enable customers to configure products to their liking, determine prices, and complete orders independently, without needing to interact with a sales team.

Additionally, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) will enhance this experience by allowing customers to visualize products in different settings, like seeing furniture in a room or trying on fashion items virtually. These innovations, offering a touch-free interaction with products, are already attracting interest, with around 40%* of users showing a willingness to use such solutions.

I would also mention influencer marketing‘s growing importance in all areas b2c and b2b, Thematic gurus effectively recommend products and services based on their trustworthiness and authenticity.

Sources:
https://www.shopify.com/enterprise/augmented-reality-ecommerce-shopping (and there is https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/retail/our-insights/probing-reality-and-myth-in-the-metaverse

6.

Transparency, Composable commerce and Phigital in 2024

by Kamil NIEDZIEWICZ, Partnership Development Manager, Ergonode

Two major trends dominating in 2023: AI and Cross-border.
There was also more and more talk of digital transformation in the B2B sector, which is a very positive sign. Especially as there are a lot of “cool” companies out there that are not yet realizing their full potential, but are starting to take the first steps in the right direction.

It’s a tough question. Trends are often set by industry leaders who have the resources to innovate. Once something becomes a trend, smaller players adapt to keep up. I prefer to observe what’s gaining popularity instead of making predictions. AI will likely continue to dominate, but I’m interested in the following topics.

Increasingly, there is a move away from building large homogeneous open-source architectures (Monoliths) to easily “replaceable” building blocks that companies can tailor perfectly to their needs (SaaS/Composable Commerce).

A cool trend, which just happened to come first with smaller companies, is transparency.
Some smaller companies openly share the information on the production costs or the carbon footprint left behind. Looking to future EU restrictions on Digital Product Passports (DPPs), the big players will also be obliged to follow. As a result, product information management and Product Information Management (PIM) systems will also gain significant attention.

Further evolution of the Omnichannel approach as ‘phygital’. It is a pleasure to see how companies are trying to combine ‘analogue’ sales with the modern digital world. A range of mobile apps, special 3D creators, self-service shops, etc.

7.

Technology – universal language of global Commerce

by Jakub CZERWIŃSKI, VP CEE, Adyen

In 2023, the evident trends included the blurring lines between online and offline channels, a heightened emphasis on meeting customer expectations, and a pivot towards ethical business practices within the eCommerce landscape.

Customer experience remains the linchpin of eCommerce success, traversing every facet of the consumer journey. The emphasis on customer-centricity extends from product research processes to the integration of adaptable delivery and return options. The Payment landscape also continues to evolve, gravitating towards the realm of seamless experiences. Payments are becoming more and more blended within the user journey, both online (e.g., the latest solution like one-click or Click to Pay) and offline (e.g., Tap to Pay or other soft POS solutions). According to Adyen data, 80% of customers* perceive one-click payments as a convenience that streamlines their shopping experience.

Personalization – the future is about being one step ahead and not only meeting customer expectations but surprising them with products or services they never imagined they wanted. This requires an investment in localized customization. While tailoring checkouts to local preferences and offering multiple payment options is a must, the real potential lies in leveraging payment data. Customizing offers and creating tailored experiences based on payment data present opportunities that businesses will heavily explore.

Technology is the cornerstone of global commerce, serving as its universal language. Leveraging AI-driven algorithms, augmented reality for immersive shopping experiences, and smarter mobile shopping tools constitutes a collective effort aimed at fostering a safe and seamless user experience. Data from the Adyen Retail Report shows that a quarter of shoppers acknowledge technology’s role in fortifying their loyalty and influencing their future shopping decisions.

*Source: “Lost in transaction. Dlaczego Polacy porzucają koszyki zakupowe.”

8.

Personalization, m-commerce, voice commerce and sustainability

by Aneta GOLIS, Owner, Ad Green Social Media Marketing

The year 2023 was a breakthrough moment in e-commerce, marking the year of mobile sales development and personalization, as well as the start of a revolution in artificial intelligence (AI) utilization. Here are the 3 main trends:

Online Shopping Personalization: a growing number of online stores employed advanced algorithms for personalizing shopping experiences. As a result, customers received product recommendations tailored to their individual preferences and purchase history.

Application of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: AI changed the game, being implemented in numerous applications. It significantly influenced eCommerce, facilitating the analysis of large data sets, optimizing logistics, and automating customer service.

Development of Mobile Commerce (m-commerce): in 2023, we saw even more people making purchases via mobile devices. It appears that this trend has become the norm and will stay with us for a longer time.

2024 is still a mystery, but I predict that some of these trends will be particularly prevalent:

Development of Voice e-commerce: likely, more consumers will use voice assistants for online shopping, making it a significant sales channel.

Sustainable and Eco-conscious e-commerce: this trend includes increased emphasis on sustainable practices, such as eco-friendly packaging or ethical product sourcing, responding to the growing environmental awareness of consumers.

Dynamic Development of AI and Use of Machine Learning in e-commerce: Artificial Intelligence (AI) is transforming customer service in e-commerce, enabling interactions with customers at an almost human level. AI not only responds to basic questions but also serves as a personal online assistant, helping customers in product selection.

An example is Zalando, which uses ChatGPT for product recommendations and sizing. NLP (Natural Language Processing) plays a key role, allowing AI to understand and respond to customer language, increasing accuracy and personalization of interactions.

9.

Composable, AI-powered, built on microservices eCommerce, and a subscription-based business model

by Bartosz Górski, Senior Commerce Technical Architect,  Adobe

The biggest trend I noticed in 2023 in eCommerce is the rise of AI. This is a hot topic in a lot of industries and the first AI and Generative AI applications for Commerce solutions have already started to drive value with customers. The next biggest trend has been an increased interest in Composable applications as customers are waking up to the flexibility and ease of integrations when you take a composable approach. Third and finally I would say that subscription-based business models are increasing as customers find new ways of going to market with their products. 

In 2024 the biggest trends I expect are: 

Increased development and engagement with AI Services – with a more mature way of working with them, and more creative ways to drive results. Models trained specifically for a single purpose will appear and will shape data on stores and analyze customer behavior. While I don’t expect holistic suites that could run your store semi-automatically to appear in 2024, the contribution of AI to eCommerce content and selling strategies will already be considerable. 

Composable Commerce – the term is not new and this API-driven approach is already getting a lot of attention, but I expect it to become a standard in 2024. Which means that eCommerce solutions will consist of multiple applications, all coming together in a portfolio of capabilities, each solving separate business requirements. 

Microservices – complementary to Composable Commerce, but a separate topic. I expect them not only to gain in popularity, but also businesses to be more conscious of what parts of their eCommerce architecture they want to separate as a microservice knowing all the pros and cons.

10.

eCommerce automation and business optimization driven by technical knowledge

by Krzysztof RATAJCZYK, CTO, Panda Group

2023 was very much focused on cost optimization and process automation. The eCommerce sector wanted to use more advanced technology to automate processes and reduce costs.

AI became the solution to support many functions at scale. Site search, FAQs, shopping assistants were previously supported by AI, but in 2023 ChatGPT became a breakthrough. Content creation and translation have made huge progress, enabling increasingly valuable results.

As a consequence of cost optimisation, we see eCommerce moving from cloud hosting to in-house hosting or hosting companies with their own infrastructure. In the long term, this approach generates lower budgets. However, in the eCommerce area, it is necessary to carefully evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of each solution, as usual.

The upcoming year 2024 will further bolster the 2023 momentum towards technology in eCommerce. Artificial Intelligence (AI) will enhance results and enable the introduction of new features beyond what we currently observe. The advancement of technology will lead to improved quality and availability. With the support of AI, user experience (UX) analysis will become more dependable and reliable.

Customization of eCommerce will increase as user expectations for unique experiences increase. As a result, greater access to code will be required, allowing technology to be customized for individual stores. Open source platforms will perform increasingly well, providing out-of-the-box solutions comparable to SaaS and at the same time allowing budgets to be optimized. Migration from SaaS to Open Source may become more common.

eCommerce managers must strive to increase their technological knowledge and gain valuable insight into existing solutions, including their advantages and disadvantages. This knowledge will be crucial in navigating the ever-changing eCommerce landscape. One notable example in Magento World is the Hyvä Themes, which has been steadily gaining popularity among developers. In the upcoming year, it is expected to gain even more recognition from merchants.

11.

eComemrce Operational Excellence supported by technology

by Szymon NIEDZIELA, CEO, Panda Group

In 2023, Operational Excellence in eCommerce was prominent. The economic slowdown shifted e-commerce managers’ focus to budget optimization and automation. Investing is less flexible now, with ROI gaining importance. This approach leads to more prudent spending and informed decision-making.

This prompted the initiation of operational audits and evaluations of processes, with a focus on automation and technology integration to achieve optimization.

AI technology has emerged as a remedy, offering game-changing optimization solutions. In 2022, AI has primarily focused on personalization, which has now become a standard. Additionally, ChatGPT provides robust support for content creation, translations, chatbots, and product information management.

By 2024, the visibility of this trend will be significantly enhanced as AI technology becomes more widespread and professional. The economic situation is expected to show signs of improvement, with a decrease in the inflation rate contributing to a better overall situation.

When it comes to technology, we can witness the evolution of:

  • Visual Content Management. Solutions like those built by Builder.io and Figma allow for creating components from Figma designs without requiring development involvement. This significantly improves time to market.
  • Product Information Management (PIM) and content creation enhancement (descriptions, translations) facilitate e-commerce cross-border strategies, supporting businesses in expanding their reach globally at a very fast pace.
  • Chatbots, which have been trained on previous inquiries, are progressively becoming more fluent in providing Shopping Assistance. They are increasingly supporting Customer Service by assisting in various stages of online communication. This eliminates the problem of service availability and improves CX.

Thank you everyone for sharing your insights on the e-commerce trends in 2023 and the ones expected in 2024! Your valuable opinions are greatly appreciated and we are more than excited to share it!

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