4 E-commerce trends to watch in 2024
Marketing an e-commerce brand can feel like constantly walking through a revolving door. As soon as you think you’ve arrived at one solution, you’re being pushed onto the next one. Two years ago, the thought of average marketers using generative AI at their desks every day was practically unheard of. Five years ago the thought of spending mega ad dollars on TikTok ads sounded obscene. Influencer marketing? Unheard of. Brand ambassadors? Only in very specific industries. Times have changed — a lot. And new technologies are evolving rather quickly. Public relations work is very e-commerce adjacent, so we stay up to speed on the latest marketing methods and have identified four e-commerce trends to watch in 2024.
Today’s brands have a plethora of customer information at their fingertips. Hyper-personalization is when marketers use that customer data to provide a highly tailored experience. For example, your favorite restaurant sends you a free dessert on your birthday, or an online boutique lets you know they finally got that shirt you’ve been eyeing restocked in your size. The goal with hyper-personalization is for the customer to feel cared for rather than sold to.
It’s a modern version of your grandpa going to the small-town hardware store and the clerk asking him about his wife and kids and whether or not he liked the church’s spaghetti potluck last Sunday before helping him find the right kind of screw to fix his shower door. The store clerk knows those things about your grandpa because they observed him in the store and while he was out in the community. E-commerce brands are also observing their customer behaviors and they can use the knowledge gained to market to customers in a way that builds brand loyalty.
Instead of typing “best skin cream” into Google or Amazon search engines and then clicking on multiple store websites, more consumers are discovering products on social media. Influencer marketing plays a big role in that discovery process. Today’s social media platforms recognize that and are becoming shopping platforms on their own. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok all offer social commerce tools that allow e-commerce stores to sell directly through their platforms. For example, Instagram allows sellers to use product tags on shoppable items. TikTok only recently launched its TikTok Shop program, which allows sellers to create shoppable videos and even make purchases during LIVE broadcasts. These programs are proving to be another sales channel for D2C e-commerce brands.
Today’s consumers are environmentally conscious. Many prefer to purchase from companies engaging in sustainable business practices. Numerous recent studies have found that GenZ cares more about sustainability than brand name when purchasing products. The idea of sustainable shopping goes further than the products themselves. In addition to renewable materials and sustainably sourced ingredients, consumers also want transparency on backend efforts such as transportation, climate impact, and packaging. Compostable, plant-based, and paper are all alternatives to standard plastic packaging. Brands that are Carbon and/or Climate Neutral, land-fill free, and donate to environmental causes also impress consumers.
Public relations is an old workhorse that always works incredibly well at building a brand’s credibility and reputation with consumers. That’s why we’re excited to see digital PR as one of the top e-commerce trends to watch in 2024. Brands can use digital PR to build backlinks to high-authority websites. That 3rd party endorsement not only tells search algorithms that you are a credible source worth pushing up to the search results, but it also tells your current and potential customers that you’re an exciting brand/product worth purchasing.
You can also use digital PR and earned media to share company insights. They can back up any claims on your website about company social and environmental initiatives. You can bet that journalists will do their research if they want to write about your company! Journalistic product reviews also go a long way in creating and improving consumer sentiment. Consumers know when they’re being sold to. The value in PR is that it is earned and not paid!
Orca Communications offers multiple tiers of PR services ranging from product-focused campaigns aimed at building digital press mentions to full-service strategic PR campaigns and influencer marketing. Schedule a free consultation to get started on a campaign.