Running an ecommerce business is daunting work. Fulfilling orders, paying vendors, keeping up with customer service—it’s hard to imagine being able to do this all in a normal workweek. Add rising customer acquisition costs and supply chain issues into the mix, and it’s a wonder that retailers of any size are able to make it work at all.
Fortunately, for those worried about what the year ahead might bring, we have some good news:
You can’t predict the future—but you can plan for it.
And who better to predict what’s up ahead than the professionals who deal with these challenges every day? That’s why Searchspring recently surveyed ecommerce retailers and other industry experts to get their thoughts on how merchants can:
- Increase conversion and retention rates
- Improve shopper satisfaction
- And reduce overhead while maximizing revenue
Keep reading to see what trends to look for in 2024 and what your business can do to set yourself up for success.
Table of Contents
2024 ecommerce trend predictions—from retailers like you
#1: Customer acquisition costs will be this year’s biggest challenge.
Standing out in an increasingly crowded retail market is one of the biggest challenges facing today’s retailers. And unfortunately, the race to capture customers’ attention has resulted in skyrocketing acquisition costs industry-wide.
A recent study from SimplicityDX found that the average customer acquisition cost (CAC) for most merchants is $29, up from $9 in 2013. That’s a 222% increase in just over a decade—and it’s only getting more expensive as merchants deal with:
- Fierce keyword competition from large brands
- Rising marketplace fees
- Record-high social marketing costs
When you add all these bank-breaking changes together, it’s no wonder that 57% of our survey respondents pinpointed rising CAC as the #1 biggest challenge facing ecommerce retailers in 2024. However, while there’s reason for concern, it’s not time to throw the towel in just yet.
A little proactiveness can go a long way when it comes to minimizing these costs. Finding ways to reduce CAC through investments in customer referral and retention programs, optimizing owned channels with the customer journey in mind, and creating seamless integrations across digital touchpoints can all help make it easier to attract new buyers while safeguarding your bottom line.
#2: AI-enhanced personalization will be key to improving customer experience.
No one likes feeling invisible—especially modern consumers. Today’s buyers are increasingly turning to brands that not only align with their personal values, but treat them like people instead of statistics.
That extends to the shopping experience as well.
Personalization has quickly become one of the most effective ways ecommerce retailers can build loyalty and stand out from the competition. By providing individualized product recommendations, search results, and marketing communications, merchants can create the kind of experiences that keep customers coming back.
Unfortunately, this is a time-intensive process that can be a tall order for smaller merchants with limited resources…which is where AI comes in.
AI-powered technologies have the ability to take a large data set—in this instance, patterns in buyer behaviors and preferences—and distill it into actionable insights that retailers can use to personalize touchpoints across the entire buyer journey. Even better, they can do this without investing the time and resources to do it manually.
While AI has the potential to democratize personalization across ecommerce, it’s worth noting that many of these technologies are still in their infancy. We recommend keeping an eye on developments in this space—like Searchspring’s recent acquisition of Increasingly—before investing in an AI solution for your business.
#3: Extended shopping periods will be the most effective way to attract buyers during seasonal events.
Seasonal events are the lifeblood of the ecommerce economy. So, how can your site capitalize on these occasions to maximize revenue and customer satisfaction?
As we’ve witnessed during holiday events like Black Friday, customers have come to expect that promotional shopping periods extend outside of their traditional timelines—which is why 59% of our survey respondents believe that doubling down on these efforts through earlier sales and extended offers will be key to achieving seasonal success in 2024.
We’ve put together checklists to help retailers prepare for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Back-to-School shopping, but no matter what holiday you’re helping your shoppers celebrate, we recommend providing them with things like:
- Early and VIP access
- Online-only deals
- And strategic drops
In order to exceed their expectations and increase average order value (AOV). Remember, the earlier you’re able to attract buyers to your site, the more opportunities you have to turn these events into major successes for your business!
Download our full report and get instant access to more ecommerce trends and challenges!
2024 is shaping up to be a year of change for ecommerce. And while change can be good (even exciting!), it also brings with it a fair share of uncertainty.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the possibilities and obstacles the year ahead holds in store, you’re not alone. Our latest ebook, The State of Ecommerce in 2024: Trends and Challenges, provides collective insights and predictions to help you plan for success, including:
- Where retailers saw the most success in 2023
- What channels have had the greatest impact on their revenue
- Which marketing channels to prioritize in 2024
- What kind of zero and first-party data delivers the most value
- And more!
Don’t wait for success to happen—start planning for it today. Download this free resource and start the new year off on the right foot!