The rapid growth of ecommerce has led digital businesses to deal with consumer expectations for extraordinary shopping experiences. The primary challenge involves managing technology costs while satisfying customer expectations for innovative solutions. Digital leaders must embrace innovation and invest in rapidly evolving technologies such as generative AI, social commerce experiences, and augmented reality to stay ahead of the curve. At the same time, legacy technologies and services, which are becoming increasingly costly to maintain, will finally be phased out. Forrester predicts that 2024 will mark a turning point for businesses as they significantly reduce investments in outdated systems and make smaller, targeted investments in emerging technologies to drive growth. A closer look at ecommerce technology trends will help us understand what drives this change. 

The growth of retail e-commerce sales worldwide 2021-2026

6 technology trends shaping the future of ecommerce

Amidst the dynamic interplay of emerging digital innovations and an ever-growing digital consumer base, it is crucial to understand which ecommerce developments will last and how they will shape the e-commerce industry of tomorrow. Let's examine the technologies influencing ecommerce's trajectory in 2024.

Technologies transforming mobile shopping

Mobile shopping apps have become an indispensable tool for retailers, providing customers with a convenient, personalized, and information-rich shopping experience. With the widespread adoption of mobile devices (80.5% worldwide), the share of mobile commerce in all ecommerce is steadily increasing, from 58% in 2021 to an estimated 70% in 2024, accounting for $4.5T in sales.

With the emergence of six distinct online shopping generations by 2027, Gen Z has surpassed millennials as the largest group, comprising 2.5B people worldwide. This generation will become the primary force driving online spending. As digital natives, they have grown up with smartphones and tablets, devoting approximately three hours daily to their mobile devices and up to six hours to social media platforms. Consequently, a mobile-first approach is crucial. 

Mobile e-commerce growth 2021-2023

Retailers continue implementing technologies such as augmented reality, data-driven personalized communication, and voice shopping to enhance the user experience and capitalize on this trend, reports Forrester. Additionally, one-click ordering and progressive web apps (PWAs) are streamlining the customer journey, making it more seamless and effortless than ever before. In line with these ecommerce technology trends, the shift towards mobile commerce is further supported by data from Salesforce's shopping index, which reveals a steadily increasing percentage of orders completed from mobile devices. Mobile order growth has witnessed a steady 3% increase over the past three years.

Technologies driving ecommerce growth on social media 

Considering that 4.9B people (60.49% of the global population) actively utilize social media, it is evident that it should be an integral component of any ecommerce strategy. By 2025, the market for products sold directly through social media could reach $1.2T in total, reports Accenture. This accounts for 17% of the $7T ecommerce total spend. Social commerce holds immense promise, especially for younger demographics. Salesforce reports that half of shoppers have used social media to discover products, and even more have used it for purchases (59%) worldwide. Facebook remains the most popular social media platform for shopping, followed by Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.

Most popular platforms for social media shopping

In the coming year, we can anticipate a significant transformation in ecommerce on social media as advanced technology trends in ecommerce take center stage. Chatbots and Intelligent Virtual Assistants (IVAs) will become more integral, offering real-time customer support. Recommendation systems, driven by AI, will take personalization to new heights, enhancing the shopping journey. AI-driven price monitoring tools are poised to play a pivotal role in ensuring competitive pricing strategies. Web scraping APIs will empower retailers with valuable web data for market insights. Mobile apps will continue to be the go-to shopping platform for customers. Expect supply chain visibility software and warehouse automation technologies to reshape logistics. E-wallets and check-out free systems, employing computer vision, machine learning, and smart sensors, will streamline payments. Lastly, image search engines will empower consumers to find products visually. These upcoming technological advancements will reshape ecommerce on social media, offering an even more tailored, efficient, and accessible shopping experience in the year ahead.

Artificial Intelligence

AI enables businesses to personalize product recommendations, optimize pricing, enhance customer service, and improve logistics and demand forecasting. Recent advancements in language models, computer vision models, and Machine Learning are propelling the transformative impact of AI on the ecommerce market in 2024. 

AI-powered recommendation engines analyze customer data and past purchase history to suggest relevant products, increasing the likelihood of impulse purchases and fostering brand loyalty. Artificial Intelligence is also used to dynamically adjust product prices based on supply and demand, ensuring competitiveness and maximizing profit margins.

In customer service, AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants provide 24/7 support, answering common inquiries, resolving issues, and processing orders. AI also enables more accurate customer segmentation, allowing businesses to tailor marketing campaigns and product offerings to specific customer groups. Additionally, AI optimizes logistics and supply chain management by predicting transit times, demand levels, and shipment delays, ensuring timely deliveries and reducing costs. AI revolutionizes ecommerce by providing businesses with powerful tools to deliver personalized experiences, optimize operations, and drive sales. According to a report by Precedence Research, the global AI in the ecommerce market is expected to reach a value of over $17B by 2030.

 Artificial Intelligence in ecommerce market size 2022 to 2032 (USD billion)

Read more: A fresh look at Machine Learning in retail: Top 10 applications 

Voice shopping

A market study conducted by Meticulous Market Research predicts that the worldwide voice recognition market will surge to a staggering $26.8B by 2025. More than one in four individuals regularly utilize voice search on their mobile devices. By 2024, experts forecast that the number of digital voice assistants (including Amazon's Alexa, Apple's Siri, and Microsoft's Cortana) will reach an astounding 8.4B, exceeding the global human population. A whopping 400% increase over 2021 is expected for voice commerce by the end of 2023, with ecommerce transactions valued at $19.4B worldwide, reports Statista.

E commerce transactions value via voice assistants worldwide in 2021 and 2023

To capitalize on the exponential growth of this ecommerce technology trend and position themselves for success in this emerging market, ecommerce retailers should strategically invest in technologies that enable speech recognition and natural language processing for improved voice search accuracy. To optimize customer service, retailers should implement conversational AI platforms that provide individualized product recommendations, answer customer questions comprehensively, and resolve issues quickly. Additionally, they should prioritize the development of voice-activated shopping assistants powered by AI and machine learning, allowing customers to receive personalized product recommendations and complete transactions effortlessly. Moreover, investing in secure voice payment solutions and integrating them with popular voice platforms will be essential to ensure a frictionless and secure shopping experience for users. 

Buy now, pay later

BNPL (buy now, pay later), another significant ecommerce technology trend, is experiencing a rise in popularity as economic pressures mount on both B2C and B2B consumers. A staggering 67% of consumers now utilize BNPL for at least half of their online purchases, with 35% indicating they use it for most online transactions. BNPL is projected to account for $680B in global transactions by 2025, reports eMarketer. BNPL is implemented in ecommerce using several technologies, including payment gateways, credit scoring, fraud detection, risk management, and customer relationship management (CRM) systems. Additionally, application programming interfaces (APIs), mobile optimization, data analytics, machine learning, and AI enhance the BNPL experience for merchants and customers. Moreover, the ability to collect and analyze customer data through payment functions is a key trend in the growing field of personalization at scale. 

BNPL global market share in 2021, with a forecast for 2026

Generative AI

The latest research on generative AI and productivity from the McKinsey Global Institute finds that generative AI has the potential to generate value equivalent to $2.6T to $4.4T in global corporate profits annually. A study by Gartner suggests that AI will produce 10% of all data by 2025, up from 1% in 2021. This transformative potential is driven by the convergence of massively pre-trained models, cloud computing, and open-source software, which democratizes GenAI and makes it accessible to a broader range of users.

According to Forrester, GenAI is a top emerging technology to invest in, and most enterprises will begin reaping the benefits of generative AI within two to four years. Conversational AI, fueled by generative AI's capabilities, has the potential to transform ecommerce as well. Ecommerce and customer service will see the most considerable benefits from conversational AI. 

Generative AI transforms ecommerce by enhancing customer experiences, streamlining operations, and boosting business growth. Key applications include personalized product recommendations, dynamic pricing optimization, conversational chatbots, fraud detection, visual search, virtual try-ons, and AI-powered inventory management.

Generative AI in ecommerce


Leverage Generative AI in retail – discover top use cases in the ebook!

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The majority of innovations in the industry keep circling back to personalization. This is no surprise; when done well, it can increase sales and reduce customer churn. According to a recent BCG study, customers are 110% more likely to add purchases to their baskets, and 40% spend more than planned when the shopping experience is highly personalized.

The opportunity from personalization on scale

Ecommerce technology trends are driven by technological advancements that enhance customer experiences, streamline operations, and boost business growth. Businesses that can embrace these trends and invest in emerging technologies will be well-positioned to succeed in the future of ecommerce, where personalization reigns supreme and technological advancements continue to redefine the shopping experience. 

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Maria Karandin
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