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E-commerce trends for 2024 – what can we expect?

The e-commerce market abhors a vacuum – it is constantly evolving and offering new solutions for both sellers and buyers. All this to sell and buy faster and more. The end of the year brings the question: what will e-commerce live up to in the next twelve months? Which familiar elements will gain importance, and which will disappear or cease to be developed? What new elements will appear in 2024? Are we waiting for steady growth or a redefinition of what we know about e-commerce? Let’s find out!
Read our guide to find out:

Why is it important to know e-commerce trends for 2024?


If you’re running your own online store, you’re certainly constantly looking for ways to attract new customers, as well as maintain the interest of those who already know your brand. In order to successfully cope in a market filled with competition, you need to keep your hand on the pulse and be prepared for upcoming changes.

Effective operation of an e-store also means that a strategy must be prepared, even if only in outline. An excellent grasp of the next year’s predictions will translate directly into the effectiveness of the plan prepared based on them.

You’ll find a sea of inspiration among dozens of anticipated trends. You will discover channels to expand your audience, and the use of new technologies will help you increase engagement among your current customers and interest new people.

In this article, we will list some of the trends that we believe may prove to be the most relevant throughout 2024. Here they are!

1. the growing popularity of online B2B transactions


Internet sales to business customers is an area where there is still much room for improvement. Facilitating the shopping process, digitizing product and service catalogs, and making customer service more accessible are all elements in which, just a few years ago, there were massive shortcomings. The situation is improving, but it is still far from optimal.

The labor market is slowly filling up with younger generations whose digital competencies are already at a very high level – this means that over time, vendors who fail to adapt to the digitized market will begin to face serious problems. What’s more, representatives of Generation Z, as well as, albeit to a lesser extent, Millennials, are eager to make online purchases without contact – the simpler (shorter and containing fewer steps) the process, the greater the chance of finalizing the transaction.

“With the rapid growth of B2B E-Commerce, we see the growing importance of the so-called ‘B2B’. B2B consumerization. Entrepreneurs accustomed to the ease of in-person online shopping expect a similar customer experience in the realm of business relationships.

More and more processes are being automated, and ordering missing production components or bulk purchases are no longer more trouble than ordering a new pair of shoes. This trend also does not bypass customers’ delivery habits, where convenience and 24/7 availability very often win out.”

Tomasz Łaski

Customer Experience & Digital Director / InPost

Logo InPost

2. more emphasis on security (MFA, payment gateways, encryption)


Not a week goes by in which you don’t hear about another customer data leak, a DDoS attack that shut down a store’s website for several hours, or the disclosure of vital business data. The intensity of hacking attacks is on the rise, and companies that thought it didn’t affect them have already found out the wrongness of these assumptions in the worst possible way – by becoming one of the criminals’ targets.

However, hacking attacks are not an internal problem for companies – a non-functioning website is a financial loss, but also an image loss. Customers who encounter technical problems may simply look for a working store elsewhere, and the chance to win them over will be gone irretrievably. Repeated problems with an inaccessible store page or app can alienate even those who have previously been loyal to your brand. Customer data leaks are a separate issue – such situations severely strain the relationship between the consumer and the store.

So a positive trend (albeit due to unpleasant circumstances) will be the improvement of e-commerce security in 2024. Here are some ideas that can make shopping in the store much safer for customers and the company itself.

Introduction of two-stage or multi-stage verification (2FA, MFA)

Confirming the login via SMS or in an app on the phone is an additional security measure, so that it is not enough for fraudsters to simply obtain the user’s password. This is an important step for e-commerce security, especially considering that many consumers still use one or a rapturous number of passwords to log in across multiple sites.

Obtaining an SSL certificate

This proves that the data the customer leaves on the store’s website is encrypted. Importantly, thanks to the SSL protocol, the consumer’s information is still encrypted from the web browser – only the secured “packet” of data is forwarded. Having an up-to-date SSL certificate is a prerequisite for implementing a secure payment gateway in an e-store.

Secure, encrypted payment gateways

With the gateways, the customer’s purchasing data is encrypted at the time the order is placed. Sensitive information is passed to the payment gateway operator, from there to VISA or MasterCard, and finally goes to the buyer’s bank. Only at this stage, and after verifying that the necessary funds are in the customer’s account, the money is received by the seller.

“Online payments in an online store are a must. Supplier selection should be preceded by analysis. The key is that the gate should provide a high level of security, but also inspire confidence. This is usually interrelated, so it is worth betting on solutions that have high recognition. Otherwise, you may run the risk of an abandoned shopping cart.

The next issues are naturally the range of services available to buyers. should be as broad as possible, i.e. in the Polish market, buyers must be able to choose BLIKA, instant transfer, pay by card or Apple Pay, Google Pay, and have access to deferred payment and installment solutions. These methods should be visible in the checkout step so that the buyer can be sure to pay the way he or she likes before proceeding to finalize the purchase.

When running a store on the Shoper platform, we can count on advice on the choice of payment methods. Experts will help us with the selection of optimal solutions for the assortment being sold or the target group based on various parameters.”

Lukasz Piechowiak

Head of Financial Services / Shoper

3. using social media as a sales platform


Although many Internet users still prefer to shop at online stores and more popular marketplaces such as eBay, Amazon or – in Poland – Allegro, the growing popularity of social media buying cannot be underestimated.

A set of tools for sellers has also recently been introduced by TikTok, which is currently the most popular platform for the youngest Internet users (aged 10-19). However, this does not mean that the elderly do not benefit from it. Among those aged 18 and older:

  • 38.5% of active TikTok users are between the ages of 18 and 24,
  • As many as 32.5% are adults aged 25-34,
  • 15.6% are people aged 35-44,
  • 8.0% belong to the 45-54 age group of users,
  • 5.5% of users are 55 and older.

4. further development of consumer and business loyalty programs


The idea of loyalty programs has solidified, but because of this it has ceased to be exciting in many cases. Among the criticisms leveled against loyalty programs are repetition (many e-shops offer twin solutions) and lack of real value.

In 2024, it may be a good idea to personalize a store’s loyalty program by introducing solutions suitable for different customer groups. These can be separate benefits and/or activities for different age groups or even product categories.

Example:

A sports store can offer its customers tasks that promote differentiated physical activity depending on the sport – for example, in a mobile app. In this way, you not only take care of the brand image, but also create a consistent vision – a store that not only wants to sell products, but sincerely encourages sports.

It’s not just sales that strengthen loyalty

Offering points in a loyalty program for activities not directly related to buying builds a bond between the consumer and the brand. In this way, the company shows that it is not just about sales, but about establishing relationships.

This is not the only way to improve your loyalty program. You can enter a ranking of the most active customers, accessible from the app. This is a gamification element that will further motivate customers to actively participate in the program. Additional rewards for participating in events your company hosts, as well as exclusive benefits available only to club members – these are not new techniques, but there is still room to realize their full potential.

It’s been several years since the e-commerce industry took a stronger turn toward customer retention. It has become the main focus of changes made to online store websites, at the expense of conversion and acquiring new consumers.

5. artificial intelligence, or AI in the online store


With the consumer stagnation we will face in the coming year, I expect the pressure in the sector to increase. This means that in order to win, companies will have to acquire customers more efficiently, and on top of that, do it more cost-effectively than before.

It looks like the dominant theme of 2024 will be the use of AI technology, which will become not only a condition for success, but also a critical condition for survival for many companies.

Karol Dziarnowski

Managing Director / Thesaurus Antiquarian and Bookstore

Tezeusz - księgarnia i antykwariat

This topic simply could not be missed. Artificial intelligence, or more broadly, machine learning, is on an upward wave, and there are many indications that we are in for a real tsunami in the coming years.

Already today, automation is found almost everywhere – algorithms learn consumer behavior and based on it “suggest” recommended products, movies to watch or music to listen to. Online stores have chatbots waiting for customers that can do much more than answer questions with predefined formulas.

AI is also responsible for Natural Language Processing (NLP), which is making voice search increasingly useful. Search engines are understanding customers better and better and are able to extract what is most relevant from the commands. Over time, the technology will only become more precise.

6. q-commerce (quick commerce) – shopping with instant delivery


The trend, which emerged in Poland a few years ago and began to grow seriously this year, has as many supporters as opponents. The idea behind q-commerce is to deliver purchases to customers instantly. Following in the footsteps of the increasing pace of life and decreasing patience, many companies have decided to launch a service in which they offer delivery of purchases in an extremely short time. In October of this year, the Carrefour chain partnered with Glovo – from now on, through the app, customers can shop (not only for groceries) in Carrefour stores and expect delivery of products in less than an hour. The service is not available nationwide, but only in selected locations – including. In Warsaw, Poznan, Tomaszow Mazowiecki, Zgorzelec or Pszczyna.

Carrefour is not the only chain that has decided to launch such a service, but the idea has not been successful everywhere.

The Jush solution, branded by the Żabka chain, was initially launched in seven Polish cities, only to be extinguished shortly thereafter in five of them. Ironically, in October Żabka Jush received an award for the best e-commerce solution. It was about the first drone delivery on the Polish market. Less than a month later, in early November, the pilot program was withdrawn from Poznan, Gdansk, Sopot, Katowice and Piaseczno. At the moment, only residents of Warsaw and Krakow can use the Jush service.

Paradoxically, this does not necessarily imply general problems in the quick commerce market. An example is Lisek.App. Its creators first capitalized on Jush’s troubles by offering a special discount code – it only worked in cities from which Żabka withdrew its service. What’s more, Lisek has partnered with the Wolt brand, so customers can also add a hot meal to their Lisek purchases, available on the Wolt app. The combined services of Volta and Liska have been operating for the time being only in Warsaw, but company representatives promise to launch the service in other cities soon.

Regardless of how the situation develops, it is worth following the q-commerce market. What was almost a necessity during the coronavirus pandemic is likely to stick in the minds of consumers. However, there is no doubt that it is riskier now than it was just a few years ago – the target group that cares about instant deliveries may not be as large as assumed.

7. support for voice search while shopping


The times when the voice assistant on the phone was just an interesting but not particularly functional addition are gone forever. Technologically advanced smart home systems such as Google Home, Siri and Amazon Alexa have influenced the popularity of such solutions. It didn’t take long for the e-commerce market to see the potential as well.

Customers can already voice search stores for special offers, promotions and specific products… provided the e-commerce in question is optimized for voice search. A well-designed store page should include long-tail phrases – for example, in product descriptions. Voice search is significantly different from text search, and you should realize this difference even before optimization.

Users who search for information while sitting at the computer are more likely to type short, unnatural-sounding phrases (oled tv 65, city bike store) and similar). In a “conversation” with a voice assistant, there are definitely more frequent sentences that are close to natural dialogue.

Example:

A customer searching for a TV by voice will not say “oled tv 65” into the phone, but rather use the command “find promotions on oled TVs 65 inches.” It’s a very different approach to phrases from text. The advantage of voice search is that it allows you to say an entire sentence in less time than typing a few words into a phone or computer search engine.

However, there is another way to make sure that voice search directs users to your site more often – it’s called “voice search. “position 0” in search engines. Both Google and Bing single out content that is, to the algorithm’s knowledge, the precise answer to the search engine’s question. Such content goes into an “answer snippet,” a special box that displays at the very top of search results. The box usually contains a snippet of text, which can help the user find the answer to the question he or she is looking for even faster, without unnecessary clicking.

Why is this so important in the context of voice search? It is estimated that as many as 40% of voice search results come from just the answer passages. This means that the more your pages, products or landing pages are in “position 0,” the greater the chance that a user who searches with the help of voice will find your company.

The potential of voice search in e-commerce

One of the most serious problems for e-commerce stores is abandoned shopping carts. Voice search, often used by busy consumers while driving, cooking or… doing other shopping, is characterized by the fact that the results come instantly and offer no alternative.

Why can this have a positive effect? Shopping at the computer can take hours by giving the consumer dozens of alternatives right off the bat. In voice search, he gets a single piece of feedback and – if he decides to take advantage of the offer presented – the chances of an instant transaction increase significantly.

Local search

But before you drop everything to start optimizing your online store for voice search, you need to know that users still use this functionality most often to find something in their area – a barber store, bakery or vehicle charging station, or to check the weather in the location they are going to.

Summary – e-commerce trends for 2024


The year 2024 in the e-commerce industry will be as interesting as any previous year. Continuous development of technology, changing customer preferences, dynamic economic situation. What may be a growing trend today will become irrelevant or, on the contrary, a turning point twelve months from now.

Running an online store in 2024 will therefore be an interesting adventure, in which – like never before – you will need an excellent grasp of the changing realities.

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