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10 E-commerce trends to look out for in 2024

10 E-commerce trends to look out for in 2024

The digital media landscape changes daily and in the last twelve months advances have rocketed. Here the team from The Digital Media Collective (TDMC) share some of their insights and predictions in the e-commerce space and what to implement into your own business strategy. With their razor sharp e-commerce focus, TDMC has a unique agility in the marketplace, ensuring their hundred-plus clients reap the rewards. Their team includes Meta and Google paid media experts, Shopify gurus, social media platform specialists and content creator and digital strategy pros.

1. AI and AR as key tools in the customer journey

If you’re not already implementing some kind of AI + AR technology into your strategy, now is the time. These technologies are already proving to be highly effective in bridging the gap between online and physical shopping with a more personalised, interactive and engaging experience, including AI-powered chatbots, product recommendations and in situ product visualisations. Shopify has already launched several AR solutions for retailers that can significantly boost customer confidence and satisfaction, leading to higher conversion rates.

2. Video marketing dominance

Video has held fast as the most viewed and promoted form of media across all social media platforms and this shows no sign of slowing down. Short form videos are here to stay (for now) and it remains to be seen whether platforms will enhance ad capabilities for these. Long form videos are gaining popularity – there has been a rise in influencers creating up to 10-minute long vlogs. Likewise live streams remain a popular means of connecting authentically with audiences.

3. A focus on brand purpose, social responsibility and ethical e-commerce practice

Increasingly consumers are wanting to connect with what a brand stands for through authentic storytelling. There is an increase in expectations for brands to have clear messaging around their social practices, their sustainability commitments and methods and a transparent product journey.

4. Niche, nano and micro influencers

Influencers remain an excellent way to personalise a product for consumers and collaborations with niche, nano and even micro influencers look set to continue thanks to higher engagement rates, more targeted audiences and ultimately better ROIs. This will segue well into the new content creator management platform being rolled out by TDMC in the coming months.

5. Advances in personalisation and CX

Data use as a tool to hyper personalise and tailor consumer experiences on e-commerce platforms will continue to be a key focus and meeting customers where they are will be non-negotiable in 2024. Customers expect to be heard the moment they speak, they expect instant answers and they want to be addressed on the platform of their choosing about the products they are most interested in – retailers will have to adapt to this hyper gratification mode or risk falling behind. Advancements in dynamic ad formats with personalised and relevant ads will also continue to improve conversion rates.

6. Evolution of mobile commerce and payments

Mobile users dominate online shopping and a mobile-first approach has to be the focus for retailers in the e-commerce space. Increasingly shopping will be integrated into social media platforms while payment options like buy now pay later (BNPL) and cryptocurrency options will continue to grow in popularity.

7. First-party data as the new standard

Third-party cookies will soon be all but eliminated from platforms (Google will begin blocking cookies early in 2024, with plans to remove third-party cookies entirely by mid-2024). This means that building first-party databases for use in targeted marketing campaigns should be a priority for anybody operating in the e-commerce space.

8. The specific platform trend

Social media users move across a multitude of platforms, but it is up to brands to pinpoint where their customers are most active and to hone in on that space – being present and responsive where your customers are at is key to a robust sales strategy. And to that point, rather than spreading yourself thin across all platforms, choose those where your consumers are most active and do the job well.

9. Social media platforms as search engines

The trend for consumers using social media for discovery rather than Google is on the rise – this suggests that brands that are behind in their use of social channels may struggle to remain relevant and brands will need to optimise their social media profiles and content for searchability. Likewise it means that the relevance of influencers on these channels will continue to remain paramount. TikTok is a channel that is proving a significant platform for brand and product research, especially among younger users, but if you choose to play on TikTok, don’t do so to the detriment of channels that are already delivering positive ROAS.

10. Native advertising

Ad blockers are a reality in the online space. To challenge this, expect a rise in native advertising norms with the integration of adverts into the user experience. The result will be an advertising experience that is less intrusive and much more effective.

Optimising your brand to meet consumer demands and industry norms is a chess game, played at breakneck speed. TDMC harnesses their collective expertise to ensure their clients are able to survive and thrive in the ever competitive e-commerce arena.

This article was originally published on Business Tech Africa.

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