As retailers kick off 2024, many are looking to new ways that technology can help them be more efficient, profitable, and reduce environmental impact. Today, Coresight Research and Rithum, one of the world’s leading commerce companies, released a new report sharing the top 10 trends and predictions in e-commerce technology this year. 

“In 2024, we’ll see significant technological advancements disrupting the retail and e-commerce sectors. From AI powering more personalization to leveraging AR and VR to improve shopping experiences—it’s an exciting time for brands and retailers to adopt these new opportunities and seek transformation to remain competitive,” said Deborah Weinswig, CEO and founder of Coresight Research. 

“Building on the advent of technologies like generative AI and the explosion of retail media that we saw in 2023, we see a wealth of opportunities for retailers and brands alike to tap into this year. We’re excited about the opportunity to help companies take advantage of these new technologies to drive positive business outcomes, including benefits like reduced operating costs, scaled personalization, and increased speed to site for products,” said Pete Elmgren, Chief Revenue Officer of Rithum. 

Here are the top 10 trends and predictions in e-commerce for 2024 from the report: 

Retail Companies to Increasingly use Customer Data Platforms to Gain Shopper Visibility

Retailers will increasingly adopt customer data platforms (CDPs) to gain a comprehensive understanding of both known and unknown shoppers. In the evolving data landscape, brands and retailers should integrate CDPs into their data management strategies to access customer data and construct comprehensive customer profiles to deepen personalization capabilities. 

Immersive Tech (AR/VR) to Improve the Shopping Experience

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies are set to further elevate the shopping experience, ushering in a new era of consumer engagement. Outside of implementing current use cases, we advise companies to stay abreast of these technologies’ latest developments and explore new solutions and collaborations that enhance their conventional applications. 

GenAI-Powered Personalization to Revolutionize Customer Experiences and Drive Sales Growth

Generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) will revolutionize customer experiences by enhancing personalization and driving sales growth. Embracing GenAI requires a proactive approach. Brands and retailers can foster deeper customer connections by providing engaging, customized experiences that deliver high consumer satisfaction and build loyalty. 

GenAI-Created Product Descriptions and Imagery to Enhance Customer Engagement

GenAI will be adopted more widely to create product descriptions and imagery, streamlining content creation and enhancing the efficiency of marketing strategies. Retailers and marketers should seize the opportunities presented by GenAI to quickly create content that aligns with a brand’s voice and identity, while also maximizing shopper engagement. 

Retail Media Expansion to Provide Additional Revenue Opportunity

The retail media market is poised for substantial growth and transformation as more advertisers recognize the benefits of this channel and more retailers enter the market. To capitalize on the continued growth of retail media, retailers need to effectively differentiate their offerings through unique features and data insights. 

AI-Powered Automation to Drive Retail Pricing and Promotions

We expect brands and retailers to use AI to increase efficiency and adaptability, allowing them to align their pricing strategies more closely with dynamic market conditions and consumer preferences. Retailers can adopt AI to optimize their pricing strategies, fostering brand loyalty and driving personalization in promotions and sales. 

Evolving Checkout and Payment Systems to Reduce Friction Across the Shopping Journey

The checkout and payment landscape will likely continue to evolve due to the increased adoption of technologies such as computer vision and RFID (radio-frequency identification), which will address historical frictions and meet customer expectations for convenience, speed and security. Retailers should strategically assess the adoption and readiness of alternative payment/checkout technologies. Afterward, they should continue to focus on refining and optimizing existing implementations. 

Refined Last-Mile Delivery to Drive Retail Excellence

New advances in last-mile delivery are expected to play a pivotal role in superior customer service and propel business growth for those that effectively meet the demand for fast, convenient delivery. Retailers can leverage innovative technologies—such as route-optimization algorithms, automated delivery scheduling software and smart logistics platforms—to improve their last-mile and demand forecasting capabilities. 

Online Marketplaces to Continue Evolving

The rise of online marketplaces and dropshipping will reshape retail operations, enabling retailers to expand their reach, reduce costs and enhance the customer experience. Retailers should invest in unified solutions that encompass both marketplace integration and dropshipping process, enhancing operational efficiency, increasing flexibility and enabling them to respond swiftly to market shifts and consumer demand. 

Sustainable Returns and Reverse Logistics Platforms to Gain Traction

The integration of technology that supports sustainable returns and reverse logistics is set to witness a substantial upsurge as emphasis on environmental sustainability and efficient supply chain management grows. Retailers can adopt these platforms to efficiently manage the returns process, keep a strong emphasis on sustainability, reduce costs and improve customer satisfaction. 

Download the full report here.