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Digital commerce trends 2024

19.01.2024 Pinja Blog Ecommerce

 A smiling woman looks at her computer surrounded by online shopping products, in the foreground are icons related to online shopping

2023 was a challenging year for digital commerce. According to the October 2023 digital commerce index, the drop has been around a historic 40%. Rising interest rates and inflation have had a significant impact on consumers’ purchasing power.

Online retailers are not living a time of scarce resources. While the increase in online sales during the Coronavirus pandemic led to higher budget for digital commerce development, the question now is how to convert the money invested into revenue in the best possible way.

In 2024, trends include ways to improve digital commerce and the customer experience in the most cost-effective way. In this article, we’ve put together what our experts think will be the most important digital commerce trends in 2024.

1. AI is one of the hottest trends in digital commerce – towards tangibility

Artificial intelligence is the hottest topic in many sectors at the moment. Social media, blogs, and news constantly tell the story of how AI changes the labor market by making everyday life easier and automating tasks.

The debate often remains very superficial and visionary. There are, of course, a steady stream of emerging and evolving AI tools on the market, but debates suggest that we are only taking the first steps into the AI era.

2024 will certainly see steps from visions to something concrete – how AI can help automate manual work in practice and make ever-decreasing resources more plentiful. 

2. Accessibility of online shops became a trend with the reform of the law

Online shops were added to the scope of the Digital Services Act in early 2023. This means that online shops must meet the requirements of the WCAG 2.2* AA standards and be accessible to all users from 28 June 2025. You can read more on the subject on our blog, which explains the main requirements of the Accessibility Directive.

Meeting accessibility requirements will require action from online retailers during 2024, which is why we will see a lot of auditing and development work around accessibility. An accessible digital commerce solution serves a wider range of buyers, such as the approximately one million Finns living with various levels of disability. In addition, older age classes are more likely to choose accessible and easy-to-use digital commerce services. Accessibility therefore increases the ability to serve an even larger customer base, which also means potentially higher turnover.

We at Pinja offer our clients a digital commerce Accessibility audit, which allows you to easily find out the level of accessibility of your store in relation to the requirements of the digital law.

3. The transformation of digital commerce towards a headless architecture

Headless has been discussed for years, and now we are on the verge of something tangible. The technology offers more flexibility, scalability and customization opportunities for businesses. We have written an article on headless technology, and how it differs from traditional digital commerce platforms. In the second article we compiled the main benefits of headless architecture for online retailers.

The boldest ones have already adopted headless technology in their digital commerce, but in 2024, it will become the architecture of choice for many others as well. So it’s worth exploring the possibilities offered by the architecture and considering whether the technology could benefit your business in the future.

4. Live shopping and video-assisted shopping are emerging as trends

For years, people have thought about how to bring the human-contact shopping experience from physical stores online. Personalized service helps customers find the product that best suits their needs, and this is something that has been absent from online shopping.

Consumers are now being offered more opportunities to participate in live shopping. The phenomenon has spread to Finland from Asia, with as much as 10% of China’s digital commerce turnover being generated through live shopping events (source). The new word “phygital” has emerged to describe the merging of the physical and digital worlds, for example in live shopping events (source). 

How do you think your customers’ shopping experience would be improved if you could live stream products to your customers, and they could shop and ask you questions at the same time? I believe that live shopping brings at least the following benefits:

  1. The barriers between buyers and products are reduced when you can ask experts the questions that are on your mind.
  2. The number of returns is reduced when consumers are able to buy the product that suits them best.
  3. The company gains trust as the live shopping event provides a face to the company.

For example, Ikea uses livestreamed shopping events, which you can watch live or recorded on the Ikea website. There are already several providers of live shopping services on the market.

5. Google Automated Discounts – a new feature for Google Shopping ads

According to a study by Svea, more than half of Finnish online shoppers would buy more if digital commerce pricing were more favorable. Retailers are therefore challenged to monitor competitors’ prices, and to constantly optimize theirs to levels that are attractive to consumers. Comparing prices online is extremely easy for the consumer, which is why pricing is one of the most important factors in the purchasing decision.

Google has now published a new feature that makes it possible to price products effectively in Shopping ads. The aim is a better conversion rate, and the possibility to offer personalized prices to customers, which contributes to saving resources (time, money). (source)

In practice, Google displays a customized price to the customer in its Shopping ads, based on the price at which Google expects the customer to buy the product. The estimate is based on numerous real-time signals in the market. When a customer clicks on any advertisement, they are normally redirected to the advertiser’s web shop, and can make a purchase at a customized price within a certain timeframe. (source) The feature is not yet the best solution for all online retailers, as the business must meet certain thresholds, such as a minimum of 1,000 clicks per week on products. (source)

In summary, the coming year will see the expansion of the customer base by improving digital commerce accessibility, optimizing conversions through customer-specific pricing in Google Shopping ads, bringing a “brick-and-mortar” shopping experience online, and minimizing manual work through AI tools. Are you going to be at the forefront of your industry in these areas, or will you stand by while your competitors are the first to take advantage?

Read more

Headless ecommerce – the key benefits for online retailers
Making digital commerce accessible by 2025 – what you need to know about the changes to the Digital Services Act
State-of-the art headless technology secures the future of your digital commerce

Annika Korkala

Annika Korkala

I work at Pinja as a client relationship manager in our online business unit. I’m responsible for designated digital commerce accounts, in addition to working in our unit’s management team, and I’m also a member of the entire social marketing and employer image teams of Pinja. I have extensive experience in customer service, marketing and business development. I spend my free time with my family, travelling, and with my horses.

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