7 Trends in Digital Commerce to Watch in 2024

7 Trends in Digital Commerce to Watch in 2024

woman shopping in mall with a mobile phone

It only takes a single slow loading page or inaccurate stock information to lose the business of a modern customer. As a result, businesses are forced to embrace the latest technological innovations and shopper preferences to stay ahead of the competition. 

From the rise in composable architecture to the integration of AI and machine learning capabilities, I’m seeing several emerging trends that will enhance the customer experience and streamline operational efficiencies. 

Understanding how to leverage these trends will not only help businesses meet the demanding needs of customers but also set new standards for their industry. In this article, I’ve identified the top six trends in digital commerce to help you thrive in the ever-changing landscape. 

1. Shifting From Omnichannel to Unified Strategy

Omnichannel refers to how a company interacts with customers across channels and enabling transactions across those channels. But as consumers have become more digitally savvy, they no longer think of social media or a marketplace as individual channels. These channels are simply tools that allow them to interact with a brand. 

As shoppers move from one channel to another, they want a seamless, branded experience that delivers accurate and relevant information and easy transactions. As a result, companies are taking on a unified approach. With a unified approach, companies focus on the holistic customer experience powered by a hub. 

This often means back-end systems – order management, inventory data, customer management, etc. – seamlessly integrates with front-end capabilities, such as search, merchandising, promotions, and product information. 

When a business can unify data and manage back-end and front-end functions from a single hub, it’s much easier for a company to follow a customer across channels, understand their preferences, and present accurate, relevant experiences regardless of which channel they’re using. 

2. From All-In-One to Composable Architecture

Composable architecture is not just a buzzword; it’s about agility and innovation. This approach allows businesses to make rapid changes and integrate new technologies seamlessly. According to a recent study by the MACH Alliance, the adoption of composable architecture has surged in the US, with 74% of IT decision-makers emphasizing the urgency to innovate as a primary driver. 85% of IT decision-makers see clear evidence that they are achieving ROI on their MACH investment. 

By leveraging composable architecture, businesses gain the flexibility to choose and integrate different components such as pricing engines, promotion tools, and search capabilities. This modular approach fosters innovation from various sources, including partners and alliances, enhancing the overall ecosystem. 

3. Working Smarter, Not Harder with AI and ML

No conversation about digital commerce is complete without mentioning AI, or more specifically GenAI. According to Gartner, two-thirds of businesses are using GenAI across multiple business units. There are several use cases for GenAI in the commerce industry – from customer service improvements and demand forecasting to merchandising enhancements and predictive analytics. 

Over the last several years, Kibo has been making significant investments in AI and ML to enhance various aspects of the business. In 2023, we integrated large language models into our commerce platform’s search engine, improving search results through semantic and vector searches. 

This year, Kibo plans to continue its GenAI and machine learning investments in eCommerce, order management, and analytics capabilities to enable greater productivity, operational efficiencies, and business insights. 

4. Leveraging & Presenting Real-Time Inventory for Transparent Experiences

While it may seem like a basic requirement, real-time inventory visibility remains a challenge for many businesses. We’re seeing companies like Ace Hardware make strides in inventory management and set the standard by providing real-time inventory data on their websites, but there’s still a significant opportunity for improvement across the industry. 

Investments in inventory visibility will continue, enabling businesses to offer accurate stock information and future fulfillment dates. This transparency is crucial as shoppers are likely to abandon purchases if inventory details are unclear – IDC found that 48% of shoppers will likely select another retailer if they cannot see inventory availability before they buy. 

5. Fulfillment Optimization for Transparent Delivery Experiences

Efficient fulfillment processes are essential for modern ecommerce. Surprisingly, many brands and retailers still struggle to support multiple fulfillment types within a single checkout process – which could cost companies more than they realize. According to Forrester, consumers expect retailers to provide multiple fulfillment options, and they want to be able to track a purchase at every step. 

Tracking purchases at every step and offering self-service returns are also areas where significant improvements are needed. Many companies, including large retailers, still lack robust fulfillment optimization strategies, highlighting a critical area for investment and innovation. In 2024, Kibo aims to enhance these capabilities, allowing for seamless fulfillment optimization. 

6. Enabling Sales Reps to Adapt to B2B Ecommerce Growth

The adoption of B2B ecommerce has grown significantly, with a 17% increase in 2020 alone. As B2B buyers prefer the convenience of online purchasing, we see a growing demand for B2B ecommerce solutions that enable sales reps to adapt to their changing roles: 

  • Use data to enhance B2B sales processes, optimize performance, and streamline selling with insights. 
  • Offer seller-free options like bulk ordering, subscriptions, and automated replenishment for convenience. 
  • Provide value-added services such as consulting, training, and support to differentiate and increase loyalty. 
  • Align with marketing to create engaging content and showcase tailored solutions for qualified leads. 
  • Practice deep sales by building trust and value with customers through meaningful, tailored interactions. 

Combining B2B and B2C capabilities on a single platform offers substantial advantages. Our platform is designed to support both B2B and B2C use cases, including reordering and subscription models. 

7. Growing Revenue Streams and Customer Loyalty with Subscription Models

Subscription models are no longer exclusive to direct-to-consumer (D2C) businesses. Traditional brands and retailers are increasingly adopting subscription-based approaches. In fact, 79.4% of the growth in subscription businesses next year is expected to come from traditional brands, not just D2C ventures. 

This trend indicates a shift towards recurring revenue models, offering consumers convenience and businesses a steady income stream. As more traditional brands embrace subscriptions, this model will become a significant driver of growth in the digital commerce space. 

Looking Ahead

The digital commerce landscape is rapidly evolving, with composable architecture, AI, real-time inventory visibility, fulfillment optimization, B2B ecommerce growth, and subscription models leading the way. Staying ahead of these trends will be crucial for businesses aiming to innovate and thrive in 2024 and beyond. By embracing these trends, we can create more agile, customer-centric, and resilient ecommerce strategies that drive sustained growth and success.