As we enter the new year, we take a look at what we can expect from the e-commerce space, with some expert insights from Bambuser’s Head of Americas, Sophie Abrahamsson. Read on to discover the top 3 trends that will shape e-commerce in 2024 and beyond.
Prediction #1: The Shift to Video Commerce Is No Longer an IF but a WHEN
“In today’s volatile market, brands face competition from every angle. Consumers can buy anything, from anywhere, at any time. To succeed, in 2024 and beyond, brands and retailers must figure out the formula to create long lasting customer relationships. Video will continue to grow as the primary platform for engaging consumers, making up 65% of all consumer traffic last year. Brands that aren’t constantly focused on creating interactive, customer-centric content will undoubtedly fall behind.
The concept that a loyal customer is worth 20 times the value of a new customer is as true now as it has ever been. As consumers grow more digitally savvy, they’re becoming less patient, and have even higher expectations. When it comes to video in particular, they no longer have patience for content that doesn’t suit their needs. If a brand’s website and content don’t make consumers feel like they’re appreciated and receiving a personalized experience, they’ll have little reason to come back. Equally, if they can’t buy the products directly from video or social media, they will jump ship. In 2024, businesses will either succeed in creating content that meets their customers’ online and omnichannel experience standards, or lose market share to those that do.”
Prediction #2: 2024 will be a make or break year for CMOs and their digital tools
“Contrary to popular belief, today’s CMOs aren’t focused on adding the latest fun features to their tech stack, but rather on finding ways to do more with less. With higher and higher expectations, coupled with tighter budgets in an unstable economy, CMOs across the board are eager to find ways to add value and create loyalty with smaller teams and fewer resources. Vendors who can provide digital tools that help them achieve that, at the right price and with a proven rapid ROI, will win the day.
One of the primary battlegrounds will be customer data and deciding who owns it. Some businesses will attempt to own the entirety of the customer journey and all their touchpoints. These companies will undoubtedly benefit from first-hand access to all of their customer data and the ability to finely control the customer journey. However, they risk over-extending their internal resources, providing a sub-par experience, and alienating their customers. Gen Z, in particular, is acutely aware of inauthentic initiatives and has high demands for a seamless customer experience.
Other businesses will lean heavily on third-party platforms to interact with customers and facilitate purchases. These businesses will benefit from a wider reach across a variety of platforms and pre-built commerce tools to streamline the purchase process. On the flipside, they face a significant risk in removing themselves from the decision making process and losing access to their customer data. Relying on social media to connect with customers and platforms like Amazon for checkout certainly reduces the assets a company must create, but it also reduces their access to vital customer data and presents a long-term risk of losing access to them entirely. While a social media presence is clearly a must-have for most brands, it’s crucial to strike a balance with both third-party applications and direct-to-consumer options to avoid overdependence and maintain ownership of their customer interactions.”
We can expect retailers to expand experiments with hybrid digital and in-store initiatives with digital tools such as immersive video commerce experiences.
— Sophie Abrahamsson, Head of Americas, Bambuser
Prediction #3: 2024 Will Be a Year of Innovation and Experimentation in Physical and Digital Commerce
“The pandemic has undeniably given a massive boost to ecommerce and seriously impacted physical retail. Many brands are still grappling with the aftermath. Digital fatigue and the transformation of in-store expectations are forcing retailers to find new ways to maximize online engagement and drive customers into their stores. A smooth, engaging in-store shopping experience is more important than ever, but must fit into a broader brand omnichannel strategy.
This blending of physical and digital spaces is a growing trend in retail around the world. In the constant push to do more with less, we can expect retailers to expand experiments with hybrid digital and in-store initiatives with digital tools such as immersive video commerce experiences: 1) using digital screens to broadcast live shows from different locations allowing by-passers to enter and participate 2) having video commerce events that aim to incentivize actual store foot traffic by leveraging promotions or in-store activations.
Many brands we work with are leveraging video commerce to drive innovation in this space - Parfums Christian Dior are using augmented reality to provide remote consultations and virtual try-on experiences for cosmetics. Printemps quickly embedded Video Commerce into their omnichannel strategy, launching a Live Shopping channel with a considered, flexible strategy to ensure success. En Mode Printemps, Printemps’ Live Shopping channel offers customers a fun and engaging way to shop the latest beauty and fashion. Meanwhile, Le Studio, a studio in the heart of the Paris flagship store dedicated to recording Live Shopping content, enables Printemps to achieve +88% growth in engagement rate and +50% growth in add-to-cart clicks live viewers.
From mobile applications and digital billboards to augmented reality, we’re on the cusp of a hybrid retail revolution and I’m excited to see the new ways brands expand in-store successes to ecommerce via their digital channels.”