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Key Ecommerce Trends for 2024 and Beyond

The last 3 years inspired great change in Ecommerce, as a result of the pandemic and global crisis. Here are the 2024 trends with expert opinions to back them up and help you rock the year ahead.
The past 3 years have put Ecommerce under a massive spotlight, and 2024 will in many ways continue the digital transformation projects and trends already seen happening in the industry. With this in mind, it’s time to reflect and see what 2024 will bring. That is why we have reached out to a selected number of leaders in the industry and invited them to bring their input regarding the changes and trends that are expected in the year to come, with the aim to educate businesses on where things are headed and help them prepare for emerging challenges. – Alexander Graf, Co-Founder & Co-CEO at Spryker
Expert #1

Lennart A. Paul

Co-Founder & CEO at bex technologies GmbH

If you read about annual “trends” in B2B digital commerce, it’s usually only because consulting, software or service providers need something to write about at the end of the year.

I have met hundreds or even thousands of B2B distributors, manufacturers and others in the past ten years. The ones that I would presume as “successful” share one characteristic: they are not led by any “trends”. They have deep knowledge about their target groups, strong and compelling ideas, clear strategies and the ability to execute what they think is the right thing to do.

Am I only ranting? Hardly. B2B companies that want to positively participate in the digital commerce “megatrend” can do so by focusing on lots of things that are already around for a couple of years. Using data to drive sales, marketing or pricing, improving the user experience on every level in all channels, having logistics in order “B2B style” (1 package for 5 order lines): All of that “boring stuff” is worth so much more than any trend, because applied right it enables a lot of potential exploitation within existing customers.

So in fact, the old trends still abide. But of course, looking further ahead, B2B companies have to embrace tech as a driver of success. Tech knowledge and own capabilities are key to implement all the necessary basics that carry the digital strategy as the base for digital expansion and defense of the core business. And yes, there are companies that have built successful digital businesses on top of their legacy stack. But my best bet would be that a high degree of composability and agile development will win the race in the long run.

Expert #2

Boris Lokschin

Co-Founder & CEO at Spryker

In the last two years, we’ve witnessed unprecedented evolution in digital commerce. The pandemic forced businesses to leap ahead years in terms of digital development in a matter of weeks, and we’ll look back on 2021 and 2022 as a major turning point for digital commerce, especially in B2B. Looking ahead to 2024, businesses need to tap into users’ willingness to go digital-first if they want to succeed. B2C, D2C and most importantly, B2B businesses must focus on sophisticated transactional business model acceleration, such as launching niche B2B marketplaces, in order to go beyond the standard, and beat the competition.

2024 is going to be all about composability and modularity – facilitating new complex and sophisticated digital commerce needs. Gartner describes how and why digital commerce must be composable and built on modular architecture if businesses want to create a future-proof architecture. This means having the agility to implement changes quickly, in a matter of hours, not months and years, to stay ahead of the curve. The flexibility of composable commerce facilitates the orchestration and integration of commerce ecosystems – all while connecting to 3rd party services and vendors. Solving the challenges of composable enterprises while leveraging its upsides by bringing app orchestration to the enterprise world will be a game changer.

In order to go beyond as a business and differentiate in the market, consider how commerce technology can be utilized to create business models beyond traditional retail. For instance, consider B2B companies such as those in the pharmaceutical/medtech industry. They’re utilizing commerce technology to create Unified Commerce-style experiences for their users where online experiences mirror those of in-person consultations. Consider too all the out of-the-box capabilities of commerce technology, beyond traditional online shops. For example, take multi-brand enterprises – they can utilize marketplace technology to bring together all their brands under one single roof to create a winning one-stop-shop in its vertical. By dreaming big, you can create sophisticated transactional business models that ensure your business succeeds well in 2024, and beyond.

Expert #3

Elena Leonova

VP of Product at Spryker

The COVID-19 has dramatically changed consumer behavior shifting focus from physical stores to digital commerce. It accelerated growth in verticals, like groceries, beer, wine & liquor, DYI materials, and digital services, like exercising, learning & development, video conferencing, and many more. It also required merchants to introduce an omnichannel strategy for both digital commerce experience and fulfilment.

The same focus will remain in 2024. But additionally, we will see shoppers being more bargain-prone during this recovery phase, looking for more personalized recommendations based on their preferences and shopping patterns, and expecting a great customer experience pre- and post-purchase. There also will be a long-term impact on consumer behavior in ways that we can’t predict yet.

For businesses wanting to succeed in this dynamic environment, it’s essential to gain complete control of the consumer experience, access customer behavior data, and adapt quickly to these changing needs.

It will become more critical than ever to ensure that your digital commerce platform enables you to experiment with different business models, make decisions based on data, quickly launch new experiences, and pivot when needed. Composability in commerce platforms is the enabler of future commerce growth in any business model.

Expert #4

Benedikt Wolters

Principal Sales Manager at T-Systems Multimedia Solutions

Many of last year’s trends will remain exciting in the future, and one of the most important topics for me is optimizing coverage through B2B marketplaces. These offer companies great growth potential due to the fact that it is much easier to add new suppliers to a Marketplace platform than to carry out lengthy and complex product development or negotiate complex supply chains. In addition, this strategy is also suitable for increasing the agility of assortment development.

Newly emerging requirements and trends can be reacted to rapidly. New divisions and entire product categories can be integrated by thirdparty suppliers in the shortest possible time without having a greater impact on the company’s own value chain.

Coverage often increases automatically as customer attractiveness is improved, thanks to the wide range of products from a single source on the one hand and the reduced complexity of orders and deliveries on the other. In line with the theme of efficiency, PWAs also remain very popular and will continue to be so in the future. The particular advantage that these are optimized for both desktop and mobile devices thanks to their design allows companies to limit the focus of development to an app. At the same time, users do not have to take a roundabout route via an app store to download the app. More and more customers, also in B2B, expect a uniform customer experience across all platforms, and this is precisely where PWAs can be a good solution. Artificial intelligence also remains a hot topic, especially in combination with recommendation engines. Even though many still associates AI mainly with chatbots, the scope of application is much wider. Thanks to real-time data analysis, AI-supported recommendation engines can not only increase the average purchase value in online stores but also have a positive effect on the user experience through product recommendations and offers that are perfectly tailored to the customer.

A final trend for 2024 is of course the increasing sense of responsibility of companies with regard to sustainability. Such a development can also be clearly identified in the B2B sector. Many companies are aiming for a neutral CO2 balance in the medium term. Exciting tools and new software solutions are currently growing around this goal, enabling companies to make progress in this area. For example, by being able to track and evaluate all emissions, the company is able to make targeted savings or offsets.

Based on these trends, 2024 will also be an exciting year for the e-commerce world. It remains to be seen whether technologies that have so far only been used on a small scale, such as voice commerce or VR, will continue to establish themselves. Personally, I am following further development with the utmost interest.

Expert #5

Mark Blockhuys

Managing Director at SQLI Netherlands

In ecommerce, we clearly see a number of trends ready to either increase their foothold in ecommerce, or to make their first mark. The digital transformation won’t be slowing down for anyone. This means a continued increase in B2B purchasing online, further ecommerce automation and virtual assistant adoption, as well as a focus on smarter fulfilment processes to guarantee fast shipping.

Companies will have to continue to expand their offerings across borders, shift towards sustainable products, and rely on effective content marketing. We see the growth online continue to outpace the growth of physical stores, with the latter shifting their focus towards providing unique experiences. This further increases the influence mobile has on ecommerce, with more and more purchases made through mobile.

Over the past years, in particular due to the effect COVID-19 has had on the way we do business, agility and adaptability have become key deciding factors for ecommerce success. A trend that will only continue to pick up speed. Other factors that greatly impact ecommerce, both existing and new – such as availability of resources, data, sustainability, rules, and privacy – all require agility. Additionally, due to the time-to-market constraint, composability should also be an essential ingredient of any ecommerce strategy.

To truly differentiate, you continuously need to adapt and evolve on the axis of technology, business, and customer experience.

  • Technology: Implement an evolutionary architecture instead of replatforming every couple of years. Facilitate improvement of your time to market.
  • Business: Ensure it’s fast and easy for your customers to do business with you, even when you are selling them complex products or services, and reassess yourassortment and offering.
  • Customer experience: Measure and act towards your KPI’s on customer satisfaction and usability
Expert #6

Yara Molthan

Director Business Consulting at Spryker

We observed that especially in B2B digital transformation projects long focused on lowering the cost to serve or to enable careful testing of E-Commerce as a seperate channel. Covid has changed this and forced companies of all sizes to accelerate their digital transformation. As a consequence, I am expecting a more holistic view on digital – initiatives will aim to build integral digital journeys. This means that every aspect of the route to market is subject to digitization. Digital tools will potentially facilitate every dimension of an organization’s operating model.

Feasibility to execute proof of concepts and time to market will be the two key differentiators. Going forward there will be no more one-fits-all-solutions. Those who master composability, will be able to put their eggs in all baskets, instead of just one.

Be bold. Most companies start too slow and lose valuable time and experience. In this context it is important not to try to digitize the offline business model. Instead, I recommend to consider new ways to deliver value to customers like our customer Wrist or 1.FC Köln did.

Expert #7

Jane Magoffin

Ecommerce Strategic Lead at Reload Media

Looking back at the wider Ecommerce & Retail landscape over the past 2 years, we’ve seen a dramatic shift in businesses adapting and improving their user experience through all forms of digital transformation. This has been accelerated massively because of the COVID pressures; but more than anything, the last few years have shined a huge light on the gaps in current systems and potential opportunities for improvements for retailers. User Experience and User Behaviour is a trend we expect to see continue and reach new heights in 2024. With the pandemic lockdowns pushing the world into economic contractions followed closely by large booms, we’ve seen record sales figures in the last two years. This tells us we can expect different impacts for retailers in various industries’ leading into 2024 which puts a bigger emphasis on user experience and why it’s more important than ever to be putting user experience at the forefront of all retailers 2024 initiatives.

The brands in the market we see smashing results year after year are always the merchants putting their customer at the forefront of everything they do. From operations, logistics, product R&D all the way to service, marketing materials and ad copy; those who know and continually keep in touch with their customer’s journey are where we continuously see the margins being made.

With common initiatives of the past year having a focus on website accessibility, buy now pay later, and ecommerce logistics such as click-and-collect, we’re expecting this trend to continue and evolve into 2024. Over the next few years, we’re expecting to see merchants employ tactics into their tech stacks to be able to facilitate more of an agile approach to their ecommerce sites user experience offering.

With the ever-evolving consumer expectations it’s essential that businesses have the necessary foundations and strategy in place to adapt to these changing demands. A large portion of these tactics we see cantered around an online stores ability to take an omnichannel approach to retail, working across D2C Ecommerce, Marketplaces and physical Retail locations.

Tactics and strategies such as headless or compostable commerce is something that’s bringing this to the forefront of conversations with merchants and allowing a seamless integration of multiple ecommerce technologies to provide a seamless purchase experience for customers.

Expert #8

Jeroen Bos

Founder & CEO at Ecommerce Result

Depending on the maturity phase and type of company (B2B or B2C), we’re seeing different IT strategies heading into 2024: headless for best of breed strategy and more development freedom at the front-end, but also more companies, especially in wholesale, opting for integrated solutions such as NetSuite and DynamicWeb.

Then you’ve got user experience – B2C companies especially are focusing heavily on user experiences and customer journeys. B2B companies, however, still don’t realize that their users are “consumers” too, which is why it’s vital that B2B companies focus on the user experience as much as B2C companies do.

Speaking of users, we see them growing increasingly critical, especially when it comes to searching for and finding products. Too little attention is paid to the search bar and filters. Used effectively, the search bar can not only significantly increase conversions, but also provides a wealth of information, for example about missing products.

In 2024, own data will become increasingly important if cookies are blocked. For this, most companies are looking for a user-friendly CDP solution that can build 360-degree customer images, as well as AI predictions about visitors with similar behavior. Marketing campaigns can then be set up accordingly.

Last-mile logistics are becoming very important as more and more cities want to contain the increasing freight traffic. Electric transport bicycles and later drones will change the street scene more and more in the coming years.

Then you’ve got dynamic pricing, where we’re currently helping many of our customers. Parameters include (recurring) behavior, previous purchases, (logistical) availability, and competitive prices that are monitored in realtime.

Finally, for our customers, there must be a balance between costs and speed of delivery of functionalities or adjustments. Composability is certainly part of decisions but is seen as important especially by “mature” companies.

The bottom line: to go beyond as a business in order to meet these upcoming challenges, you need to be agile and flexible. Don’t get too hung up on ideas, but implement them, even if they often go wrong. Provide a “mistakes/learning budget”. Bring in small specialized advice clubs instead of large bulky ones. Create speed and fun. “Innovate or die!”

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About Spryker

Spryker is the leading composable commerce platform for enterprises with sophisticated business models to enable growth, innovation, and differentiation. Designed specifically for sophisticated transactional business, Spryker’s easy-to-use, headless, API-first model offers a best-of-breed approach that provides businesses the flexibility to adapt, scale, and quickly go to market while facilitating faster time-to-value throughout their digital transformation journey. As a global platform leader for B2B and B2C Enterprise Marketplaces, Thing Commerce, and Unified Commerce, Spryker has empowered 150+ global enterprise customers worldwide and is trusted by brands such as ALDI, Siemens, Hilti, and Ricoh. Spryker was recognized by Gartner® as a Visionary in the 2023 Magic Quadrant™ for Digital Commerce and was also ranked as a Strong Performer in The Forrester Wave™: B2B Commerce Solutions, Q2 2022. Spryker is a privately held technology company headquartered in Berlin and New York. Find out more at spryker.com

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