15 December 2023

E-Commerce 2024: Key Trends Shaping the Immediate Future

In an era where technology and society evolve at an unprecedented pace, the e-commerce landscape is undergoing transformative changes. We’re moving rapidly from one groundbreaking innovation to another, prompting e-commerce participants to ponder: Which trends have the staying power? Let’s delve into this intriguing subject. Enjoy the read!

E-Commerce Trends 2024


1 | Voice Commerce

2 | Spatial Commerce

3 | Subscription Commerce

4 | Sustainable Re-Commerce

5 | Headless Commerce

6 | Multichannel Commerce


1 | The Rise of Voice Commerce

The near future could see us handling a significant portion of our online shopping through voice assistants. Imagine making purchases in mere seconds, effortlessly, with commands like: “Hey Siri, order me a new pair of running shoes from Amazon!”. Voice Commerce, the term for this phenomenon, is gaining substantial momentum in the global market.

E-Commerce Trends 2024

Voice Assistants like Siri and Alexa: A Global Phenomenon

Voice assistants, though not a novel concept, have become integral to our daily lives. Siri, Alexa, and their counterparts have been our digital aides for years, managing tasks like setting alarms, searching for recipes, and updating us on weather conditions. They’ve even ventured into entertainment, telling jokes upon request. Now, we’re taking a significant leap in our relationship with them by entrusting them with our shopping tasks.

Recent studies by Statista highlight the escalating importance of digital assistants. From 3 billion users in 2019, the number is projected to soar above 8 billion next year. This means the voice assistant user base will soon eclipse the human population – a thought-provoking, if not slightly unsettling, prospect.

Convenience, Speed, and Personalization at the Forefront

Adapting to voice assistant technology has shown that once users get a taste of its convenience, they rarely turn back. The introduction of Voice Commerce is set to amplify this reliance. Key advantages include:

  • Convenience: Shopping has never been more effortless, particularly for repeat purchases or subscription-based products.
  • Speed: Voice assistants have quick access to necessary details like personal data, payment information, and addresses, streamlining the purchasing process.
  • Personalization: As these assistants learn user preferences over time, they can offer increasingly tailored recommendations.

The foundation of machine learning means the more data available, the more refined and enjoyable the user experience becomes. Each interaction with these voice assistants enhances their effectiveness and accuracy.

Voice Commerce: A Learning Curve with Immense Potential

For retailers, Voice Commerce presents substantial opportunities. Forecasts suggest that by 2024, global revenue from Voice Commerce could surpass 30 billion US dollars, and continue to grow. The promise of heightened personalization could lead to highly satisfied customers and a reduction in shopping cart abandonment due to the streamlined decision-making process.

Retailers looking to capitalize on this trend should adapt their strategies, focusing on “conversational keywords”. These are long-tail search terms that mirror everyday speech, for example, shifting from “most functional table lamps” to “Which table lamps are the most functional?”. This approach aligns with the natural, conversational style of voice searches, tapping into the evolving consumer behavior in the digital age.

2 | Spatial Commerce: Blurring the Digital and Physical Realms

In the evolving landscape of e-commerce, a groundbreaking shift is underway, marked by the fading boundaries between the physical and digital realms. This transformation is driven by cutting-edge technologies like Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), which are revolutionizing our online shopping experiences.

E-Commerce Trends 2024

The Power of a Word: Spatial

Sometimes, a single term can encapsulate more than the most vivid images. “Spatial,” meaning pertaining to space, accurately captures the essence of this contemporary concept.

Spatial Commerce is anchored in three pivotal technologies:

  • Augmented Reality (AR): This technology enhances our real-world environment by superimposing digital information such as images, videos, or data overlays. Achieved using devices like smartphones or AR glasses, this integration often occurs in real-time.
  • Virtual Reality (VR): VR takes a leap beyond AR by entirely replacing the real world with a computer-generated simulation, experienced through VR headsets.
  • 3D Modeling: Moving away from static 2D imagery, products are presented in interactive 3D models, allowing comprehensive views from multiple angles. Companies like Shopware are leading the way in this approach.

These technologies, individually or collectively, immerse users in experiences that feel as if they are physically present, often described as immersive shopping experiences. Snap Inc. reports that such immersive experiences can boost conversion rates by an impressive 94%.

Revolutionizing the Shopping Experience: Virtual Fitting Rooms and 3D Views

The familiar online shopping quandary – ordering that coveted item and oscillating between excitement and impatience, only to end up processing a return – is a narrative set to change with Spatial Commerce.

This approach drastically lowers the probability of returns. Customers can virtually try on their desired items without stepping outside their homes. According to ARTillery Intelligence, the implementation of 3D and AR tools could slash return rates by up to 40%.

This is particularly advantageous for bulky items, like furniture, where trial deliveries aren’t feasible. IKEA, for instance, has embraced this technology, allowing customers to virtually place furniture items in their homes before making a purchase.

5G: The Catalyst for Spatial Commerce’s Mainstream Adoption

Snap Inc. predicts that by 2025, around 75% of the global population will be regular users of AR features. Similarly, Statista anticipates nearly 6.9 billion AR/VR users by 2028, with the market reaching a staggering $58.1 billion. A key factor propelling this growth is 5G technology, enhancing internet speed, reducing latency, and facilitating the connectivity of various devices. This advancement is crucial for enabling real-time interactions and improved multi-user experiences.

Big Corporations Paving the Way

Spatial Commerce is swiftly moving from futuristic concept to present-day reality. Major corporations are leveraging these technologies to heighten sales, minimize returns, and enhance overall customer experiences.

Take Mister Spex, for instance, where customers can virtually try on glasses with confidence, or Sephora’s “Virtual Artist,” which allows users to apply makeup virtually after scanning their faces. Amazon, too, has joined this trend with its “AR View.”

But Spatial Commerce isn’t reserved for the industry giants alone. Webshop owners can now more easily integrate AR, VR, and 3D viewing functionalities into their platforms, thanks to advanced features and apps available for shop systems like Shopify, Shopware, or WooCommerce. This democratization of technology opens up new vistas for e-commerce, making cutting-edge shopping experiences accessible to a broader market.

3 | Subscription Commerce: A Game-Changer in Modern Retail

E-Commerce Trends 2024

The concept of subscriptions, once confined to digital services and newspapers, is now gaining widespread popularity in a broader range of markets. Subscription Commerce is revolutionizing how consumers shop, offering a model where products are automatically delivered at regular intervals, negating the need for repetitive ordering. This approach is as straightforward as it is efficient.

Optimizing Time in a Productivity-Focused World

In our efficiency-driven era, saving time is paramount. We’re constantly seeking ways to allocate time more effectively. Despite these efforts, Germans find themselves spending nearly three hours each week on online shopping.

While browsing for fashion or electronics might be a leisure activity, this isn’t the case for routine purchases like groceries or household items. Of course, there are exceptions, but the trend is clear.

Subscription models, similar to those popularized by giants like Amazon, are resonating with a wider audience. The global market for Subscription Commerce is poised to reach a staggering half a trillion US dollars by 2025, with robust double-digit growth.

The Triple Advantage: Convenience, Predictability, and Savings

The term “No-Brainer” could well describe the appeal of product subscriptions, which present clear benefits for both consumers and retailers. Customers relish the enhanced convenience, valuable time savings, and often enjoy attractive discounts.

Retailers, in turn, not only witness a sustainable increase in revenue but also enjoy more predictable financial planning and bolstered customer loyalty. The integration of subscription functionalities into shop systems has become increasingly user-friendly, often achievable through simple apps. This accessibility signals a bright future for Subscription Commerce, inviting businesses and consumers alike to embrace this efficient shopping paradigm.

4 | Sustainable Re-Commerce: The Green Evolution in E-Commerce

E-Commerce Trends 2024

Re-Commerce, shorthand for Reverse Commerce, emerges as a dynamic solution catering to the increasing desire for eco-friendly lifestyles. This trend poses challenges but also unlocks new opportunities for retailers.

Embracing the Green Wave in Online Retail

Previously, the allure of secondhand products was largely driven by price. Today, sustainability plays a pivotal role, often outweighing cost considerations. The rising environmental awareness, especially among younger demographics, has fueled substantial growth for platforms like Vinted and eBay.

This upward trajectory is expected to continue, with Statista projecting the Re-Commerce market to reach around 276 billion US dollars by 2028, marking a near 60% increase from previous years.

magnaExplained: Unpacking E-Commerce Emissions

The German Federal Environmental Agency (UBA) reports that product manufacturing contributes up to 75% of greenhouse gas emissions. In contrast, trade and transport combined account for up to 10% less. Consequently, prioritizing product longevity is a key strategy for environmental conservation. Vinted’s data illustrates this point: each secondhand clothing purchase saves approximately 1.8 kilograms of CO2 equivalents.

A Perspective Beyond Profits

A survey by Seven Senders and Appinio involving 3,500 European online shoppers revealed significant concerns about online trade’s impact on the environment.

This feedback underscores a crucial point: Re-Commerce transcends the realm of additional sales channels for retailers. It’s a matter of brand image and credibility. Achieving long-term success in today’s market necessitates a genuine commitment to sustainability.

Rethinking Retail Strategies for Sustainability

Re-Commerce is not just confined to the realms of fashion or furniture. The increasing popularity of pre-owned electronic devices like smartphones and laptops, as highlighted by a Bitkom survey, reflects this trend’s breadth.

On the topic of refurbishment: While not every retailer can establish a secondhand marketplace, adapting current business models to align with sustainable practices is vital. Options include trading B-grade goods or venturing into professional refurbishment, particularly in the electronics sector, where demand for such services is escalating. This approach not only contributes to environmental sustainability but also opens new avenues for business growth and consumer engagement in the realm of eco-conscious commerce.

5 | Headless Commerce: Revolutionizing Online Retail

E-Commerce Trends 2024

Dispelling any misconceptions, Headless Commerce is far from being an ill-conceived sales strategy. It’s a groundbreaking approach that separates the front-end user interface from the back-end data functionality, offering unparalleled freedom and advantages to both retailers and customers.

Strategic Separation of Front-End and Back-End

Headless Commerce, a concept embraced by forward-thinking entities like Shopware, involves a clear and purposeful division between the front-end and back-end. This division is managed through Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), ensuring that both sections interact exclusively through these channels. Such architecture allows for independent development and customization of each side.

This strategy yields several benefits: enhanced flexibility, streamlined scalability, and reduced performance losses. Personalizing the customer-facing front-end becomes simpler and more effective, without necessitating complex changes to the back-end systems. Crucially, Headless Commerce is a cornerstone for successful omnichannel marketing.

The Magic of Multiple Touchpoints in Omnichannel Strategies

In the realm of omnichannel retailing, the goal is to create a cohesive user experience across diverse platforms, including websites, mobile apps, and social media.
Headless Commerce excels in this area by facilitating the creation of distinct, channel-specific front-ends that maintain consistent and efficient communication with the central back-end.

Driving the Evolution of E-Commerce

For a long time, online retailers grappled with the challenge of meeting evolving customer expectations in a rapidly changing market landscape. Striking a balance between enhancing customer experience and adapting to market dynamics was often complex.

Headless Commerce addresses this challenge by effectively marrying flexibility with performance. Its rising popularity is evidenced by a recent Statista survey, where 22% of respondents had already adopted this technology. More tellingly, 63% planned its implementation within the next two years, indicating a significant shift towards this more agile, responsive e-commerce model. This trend marks a pivotal step in the evolution of online retail, signaling a move towards more adaptable, customer-centric shopping experiences.

6 | Navigating the Future with Multi-Channel and Omni-Channel Commerce

E-Commerce Trends 2024

Multi-Channel and Omni-Channel commerce, while distinct, share a foundational goal crucial for modern retail success: diversifying and reducing reliance on limited sales channels.

Distinguishing Multi-Channel from Omni-Channel

The essence of these strategies lies in their names. “Multi” signifies numerous, while “omni” encompasses all. Beyond the mere count of sales channels, the key lies in how these channels are integrated.

Multi-Channel commerce involves operating across various platforms to enhance visibility, boost sales, and importantly, to decrease reliance on single sources of revenue. This strategy focuses on individual channel performance rather than the collective impact.

In contrast, Omni-Channel commerce is driven by a comprehensive strategy to provide a seamless, integrated user experience across all touchpoints. From online stores and email marketing to brick-and-mortar outlets, it’s about crafting a unified and consistent customer journey.

Moving Beyond Single-Channel Retail

The days when single-channel retail sufficed are waning. A Harvard Business Review study involving 46,000 participants in 2017 revealed that over two-thirds of online shoppers engaged with multiple sales channels.

Notably, Omni-Channel consumers tended to spend about 10% more online than those shopping via a single platform. A curious finding was that the greater the number of channels used, the higher the expenditure in physical stores.

Streamlining Multi-Channel Operations with magnalister

Recognizing the advantages of both Multi-Channel and Omni-Channel approaches is straightforward, yet implementing them can be complex, especially when integrating third-party platforms like eBay and Amazon, which offer vast sales opportunities.

Here, magnalister, our innovative webshop plugin, bridges the gap. It seamlessly integrates popular shop systems like WooCommerce or Shopify with leading global marketplaces, centralizing control and expanding reach.

With magnalister, managing various channels becomes efficient and intuitive, offering features such as:

  • Centralized product uploads
  • Dynamic price synchronization
  • Real-time inventory management
  • Automated order processing
  • And much more

The impact of magnalister is substantial: users have listed around 150 million products, generating over 6 billion euros in revenue. This showcases the immense potential and scalability offered by embracing advanced multi-channel and omni-channel strategies.

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Conclusion: Embracing the Present Future of E-Commerce

The term “trend” is frequently misconstrued as synonymous with ephemeral fashion phenomena, quickly fading as swiftly as they appear. However, this article delves into trends that defy this transient nature, spotlighting developments poised to play a pivotal role in the e-commerce landscape well beyond the immediate future.

At the heart of these evolutions are two interwoven themes: enhancing user experience and championing sustainability. These pivotal elements are intricately woven into nearly all significant e-commerce advancements, charting a path that centers on the user while aptly responding to the evolving ethos of our society.

A striking realization emerged during this exploration: many of these trends and developments have already woven themselves into the fabric of our current e-commerce reality, more integral and ubiquitous than often perceived. For retailers and key players in the e-commerce arena, the message is clear: the future isn’t a distant horizon to reach; it’s a dynamic present to actively shape and engage with.


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