Predicting what lies ahead is never an easy task. Particularly in an industry like eCommerce, where trends are influenced by both rapidly evolving technology and changes in consumer behavior. What we can do though is take a fairly well-educated guess based on emerging patterns and research. That’s exactly what we’ve done to bring you our top predictions for 2024.

Before we dive in here’s a bit of assurance - our predictions are realistic. 

They’re not crazy futuristic, budget-busting ideas that are out of reach for the everyday merchant. They’re all trends you can react to over the coming months to stay ahead of the curve and drive business growth. 

  1. A spotlight on brand ethics
  2. More UGC, less influencer content
  3. First and zero-party data collection
  4. AI-powered personalization
  5. AI-powered customer support
  6. More traction in social commerce
  7. Personalized loyalty programs
  8. A rise in replenishment subscriptions

1. A Spotlight on Brand Ethics

Conscious consumerism has been a big deal for some time now. Shoppers are increasingly picky about the products they buy and who they buy them from, opting for brands that align with their values.

Recent stats show that 64% of consumers actively seek out companies with a reputation for purpose as well as profit - a 10% increase from 2019. But despite the growing preference for purpose-driven brands, 71% of consumers say they have little faith that brands will actually deliver on their promises.

For 2024 it’s all about transparency. Customers will be scrutinizing any claims you make, and if you can’t back them up you’ll quickly lose their trust. 

Be it eco-friendly packaging, ethical sourcing or any other sustainable practice, if you adopt a new approach make sure it's more than just a marketing ploy - share the specifics and offer tangible evidence of your efforts.

They don’t have to be groundbreaking initiatives that cost heavily. There are ways to reduce environmental impact while increasing profit margins that will help you foster loyalty with conscious consumers.

2. More UGC, Less Influencer Content

Influencers can drive a lot of exposure for your brand but their credibility is waning - in large part because of inauthentic and sponsored content saturating social media platforms. Instead, consumers are now looking for relatable personalities and real experiences.

A 2023 survey found that just 12% of respondents would make a purchase based on influencer promotion, versus 86% who would be more likely to trust a brand that uses UGC.

That’s great news for smaller businesses because while influencer marketing can be both costly and challenging, UGC is widely accessible. 

In 2024, leverage UGC from satisfied customers to build trust, and consider partnerships with affiliates who genuinely align with your brand values. This approach provides an alternative to traditional influencer marketing while tapping into the authenticity consumers crave.

3. First and Zero-Party Data Collection

It feels like we’ve been talking about the death of third-party cookies for years, but 2024 is the year we’ll finally see Google's phased-out approach become a reality. That means merchants need to focus on more transparent ways to collect the data that is so key to customer experience.

Thankfully, there are plenty of these available.

You can collect zero-party data with Review Attributes or post-purchase surveys - giving you insight into things like physical characteristics, lifestyle preferences, and shopping behaviors - while recording user sessions gives you first-party data on how customers interact with your site.  

This is data you can use to improve and personalize the customer experience. And it’s data willingly given, with 65% of consumers happy to share personal information if it means more personalized products and services.

4. AI-Powered Personalization

On the subject of personalization, 2024 will see more merchants leveraging AI to tailor the onsite experience.

By analyzing user behavior, preferences, and historical data, AI algorithms can predict and present products and information that resonate with individual visitors. Landing pages, website banners, search results, and recommendations - it’s all about delivering hyper-personalized content and experiences for each customer. 

71% of businesses are already using this technology, and of those over 60% report an increase in click-through rates, time spent on site, and Net Promoter Scores. 

Check out our integrations with the likes of Nosto and BloomReach to see how you can follow suit.

5. AI-Powered Customer Support

It’s probably no surprise that AI features heavily in our predictions for 2024, and even if you’re skeptical about the technology, there’s no denying its ability to enhance certain business functions. 

When it comes to customer support, AI can provide responsive, round-the-clock assistance. Chatbots are getting smarter, offering instant solutions to common queries, while behind-the-scenes AI writing tools can generate automated responses and draft support content for agents.

Meanwhile, AI-powered sentiment analysis is being used to analyze customer reviews and identify common pain points.

With technology handling routine and labor-intensive tasks, your support teams are free to focus on more complex issues. It’s not about replacing the human touch, but improving efficiency and elevating the overall quality of customer service. 

6. More Traction in Social Commerce

Brands looking to reach consumers on their preferred channels will see a growing opportunity in social commerce in 2024 and beyond. In fact, it’s predicted to grow year on year at a rate of 24.4.%.

That’s because customers are now looking for a seamless shopping experience that allows them to discover new products and make purchases without ever leaving their favorite social platforms - or if they do, being instantly redirected to the relevant product page. 

By integrating shopping features directly into the likes of Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, merchants can connect with a vast pool of potential customers. And with 53% of consumers saying they intend to shop more through social platforms in the future, that’s a big market to tap into. 

For maximum engagement, publish UGC in shoppable galleries on Instagram, combining the power of authentic content with the convenience of direct purchasing. 

7. Personalized Loyalty Programs

While loyalty programs are nothing new, there’s a growing demand for more personalized initiatives that cater to individual preferences and behaviors. 

Instead of generic rewards, consumers now expect loyalty programs to offer tailored incentives, exclusive discounts, and personalized experiences based on their past interactions with a brand.

A recent survey by PwC revealed the top things customers now look for in a loyalty program:

  • Discounts/rebates on products I regularly use (52%)
  • Loyalty program that has flexibility in rewards (48%)
  • Easy or fast access to products/services (30%)
  • Special access to things I like (24%)

Going into 2024, try ditching the ‘one-size fits all’ approach, and instead use data-driven insights to create a more meaningful and personalized loyalty experience for each customer. 

8. A Rise in Replenishment Subscriptions

2023 has been a year of relatively slow growth for subscription commerce, with the rising cost of living forcing some consumers to cut back on non-essentials.

The good news is there’s still an appetite for convenience and growth rates are set to bounce back in 2024, largely driven by replenishment subscriptions for regular-use products. So if you fall into the household, food and beverage, personal care, or beauty category, this is a trend to consider. 

Customization will be key here, with subscribers wanting tailored options that align with their specific needs and usage patterns. By offering flexible plans, personalized product selections, and convenient delivery schedules, you can build a recurring revenue stream and enhance customer loyalty.

For more guidance, check out our post on how to attract and retain a repeat customer base.  

Get Ahead in 2024 with an Integrated Tech Stack

Like we said at the start, the insights we’ve offered here are actionable. They’re all trends you can adapt to using affordable eCommerce solutions - some of which are probably already in your tech stack. 

If you’re a REVIEWS.io customer you have tools for UGC, data collection, and AI sentiment analysis, and our advanced integrations with the likes of Klaviyo and Gorgias enable hyperpersonalization in both marketing and customer support. 

We also have powerful integrations with the likes of Nosto and Bloomreach for on-site personalization, Rebuy for subscriptions, and Greenspark for sustainability initiatives.

Finally, when it comes to rolling out a loyalty program, check out Influence.io - our growing loyalty solution. 

With the right tools in place, you can quickly adapt to the trends that will shape 2024, and put yourself ahead of the competition in the process.

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