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Top Retail Trends Merchants Can’t Ignore in 2024 & Beyond

Boaz Gam

Boaz Gam


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Article content
  1. Looking Back at the 2023 Retail Landscape
  2. 5 Key Retail Trends to Watch Out for in 2024
  3. The Future of Retail: Long-Term Forecasts to Keep in Mind

Unlocking the Future of Retail: Key Trends & Considerations for 2024

The retail sphere has been experiencing drastic changes over the past years, following the global pandemic. What’s more, this sector is generally never stagnant, as it evolves alongside technological progress and consumer needs. Thus, for merchants to ensure their business remains successful in the long run, it is crucial to keep up with the latest trends and continuously adapt their operations.

With this in mind, as 2023 is coming to an end, it is the perfect time to reflect on the past year and set expectations for the upcoming months. In this guide, you will find the insights you need to put together a picture of the current state of global retail, the key forces behind its evolution, and the future prospects for the industry. Keep reading for all the details!

Looking Back at the 2023 Retail Landscape

Unlocking the Future of Retail: Key Trends & Considerations for 2024

The year 2023 was marked by the continuation of shopping digitalization that has been previously accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this doesn’t mean that consumers do not wish to shop offline anymore. In fact, US offline retail sales are expected to reach an impressive $4.2 trillion by 2028, with many other countries witnessing a similar uptrend.

Due to this, many modern retailers seem to have set their course on creating a balanced mix of offline and online experiences. This tactic enables businesses to cater to wider audiences while making each individual customer feel like their unique needs and preferences are understood.

Here are some of the most prominent retail trends that have been reflecting this major tendency throughout 2023:

  • Meeting shoppers where they are. According to a 2023 Customer Experience Trends report, 64% of shoppers spend more if their issues get resolved via their preferred channel. Many retailers respond to this tendency by leveraging various offline and online platforms to engage with clients and ensuring the convenience and accessibility of shopping experiences.
  • Phygital retail. This current trend is all about blending the physical and digital shopping experiences. Retailers are integrating new-gen technology into offline stores, enhancing the customer journey with AR, interactive displays, and seamless omnichannel shopping.
  • Metaverse shopping. In 2023, we saw the metaverse grow into a more feasible frontier for retail as more merchants explored immersive virtual environments to engage with customers and offer unique shopping experiences. For instance, Tommy Hilfiger hosted an offline fashion show that was also broadcast to Roblox users in real time.
  • Streamlined return process. Retailers are placing increased emphasis on optimizing the return process. This year, an increasing number of stores introduced automated return kiosks, enhanced online return procedures, and introduced sustainable initiatives to reduce waste.
  • Personalization of the shopping experience. Nowadays, retailers are actively leveraging data and advanced analytics to provide highly personalized shopping experiences. This trend involves tailoring product recommendations, marketing, and in-store interactions to match individual preferences better than ever before.

Given the effectiveness of these initiatives, it is safe to assume that they are here to stay for 2024. But will there be any new trends taking center stage? Keep reading to find out!

5 Key Retail Trends to Watch Out for in 2024

Here are the top factors that are likely to be the retail industry’s main driving forces in 2024:

1. Shifting Consumer Preferences

Unlocking the Future of Retail: Key Trends & Considerations for 2024

eCommerce is set to continue expanding its presence, with the revenue from it expected to top $1 trillion in 2024 and account for nearly 20% of all retail sales in the US alone. However, the categories of goods that people are buying online seem to be changing.

For instance, essential products like groceries and personal care products are predicted to attract a higher number of Internet shoppers. On the other hand, the online sales of home improvement goods and large appliances are forecast to either decline or see minimal growth.

However, experts agree that retailers will have to put additional effort into attracting consumers to physical stores in the coming year. This involves providing unique offerings, such as exclusive products, special deals, or enjoyable and distinctive in-store experiences that can’t be replicated online.

2. Personalized Deals

Unlocking the Future of Retail: Key Trends & Considerations for 2024

In 2024, providing deals and discounts will continue to be important for attracting new customers and retaining the old ones, particularly when it comes to digital advertising.

What’s more, these offers need to be personalized for the best results. A great rule of thumb here is to focus on delivering the right product to the right consumer at the right price.

3. Data-Driven Approach to Omnichannel Retail

Unlocking the Future of Retail: Key Trends & Considerations for 2024

As you know, modern shopping has evolved beyond traditional in-store and online experiences. Instead, it is now a flexible process throughout which a person might initiate their customer journey in an offline location and finalize their purchase online, and vice versa.

However, as we approach 2024, it is becoming more and more critical for retailers to understand that not every channel serves as a direct sales driver.

Thus, merchants need to analyze where their audience discovers products, gathers information about them, and ultimately makes purchases. These valuable insights will enable them to distribute their resources effectively and unlock the full potential of the omnichannel approach.

4. Social Commerce

Unlocking the Future of Retail: Key Trends & Considerations for 2024

Based on the latest forecasts, US retail social commerce sales are projected to reach $82.82 billion next year, demonstrating impressive 23.5% year-over-year growth. While Gen Z is expected to be the primary driver of this increase, Generation Alpha is closely following suit.

Despite their young age, the latter are already rapidly discovering brands via social media and paving the way for even higher sales in the future. Interestingly, this Gen Alpha is distinct from the previous ones in that they mainly discover brands through video-dominated platforms like YouTube and TikTok.

Interestingly, Gen Alpha is drawn to creator-generated content, such as unboxing videos and gaming streams. They also value the autonomy they have in curating their content experiences. This emphasizes the need for retailers to turn to social media and the creation of exciting content to raise brand awareness and engage with younger consumers.

5. Advertising Cooperation

Unlocking the Future of Retail: Key Trends & Considerations for 2024

Ad spend in the retail sphere is expected to keep growing in 2024, increasing by 22.5% to reach $55.31 billion. However, for this trend to continue, both retailers and advertisers need to take some important steps.

For instance, retail media networks (RMNs) should start adopting common methods to measure how well ads are performing across different platforms. It is also advisable to try out new advertising opportunities in areas like connected TV, social media, and the open web. Advertisers, on the other hand, need to make sure their goals and budgets match up to get the most out of their investments.

The Future of Retail: Long-Term Forecasts to Keep in Mind

Unlocking the Future of Retail: Key Trends & Considerations for 2024

As you can see, retailers have a lot on their plates for the upcoming year. However, while keeping up with the trends mentioned above is essential, it is also crucial to keep long-term industry shifts in mind.

One of such standout tendencies is the continued ascent of eCommerce as the primary driver of retail sales growth, with experts projecting double-digit growth through 2027. Due to this, retailers must invest in robust online platforms, optimized customer experiences, and efficient supply chain management.

Moreover, retailers should not underestimate the importance of integrating state-of-the-art technology and advanced data analytics into their operations. For instance, the use of smart tech, such as AI-driven chatbots and augmented reality, is already expected by some customer groups across various retail subsectors.

Finally, sustainability and ethical considerations are gaining prominence in the long-term outlook for retail. As consumers are becoming more concerned about the environmental impact of their shopping choices, retailers that embrace sustainable practices and transparent practices are likely to gain a significant competitive edge in 2024 and beyond.

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