Shaping tomorrow's shopping experience: e-commerce trends for 2024

For e-commerce business owners, staying ahead of the curve isn’t just an option – it's a must. With the landscape constantly shifting due to economic ups and downs, tech advancements, and changing consumer habits, being adaptable is key.

Looking back, 2023 was quite a ride for business owners. From economic uncertainties to global unrest and the rise of AI, it definitely kept everyone on their toes. Setting aside the good and the bad, 2023 made clear how crucial a customer-centric strategy is to long-term e-commerce success.

So, how will this year build on the findings from the last one? From AI and personalisation to transparency and customer-centricity, these are the themes that characterise the e-commerce trends for the upcoming year. Together, they provide insight into the state of e-commerce in 2024.

AI and personalisation

Yes, businesses can now use AI to analyse enormous amounts of data, but 2024 will be the year that we go beyond just utilising these insights and connect them to create next-generation solutions. This approach extends to automating carrier selection, going beyond just the consideration of the best rates. Product dimensions, location, and seasonal variations are examples of personal preferences that can be combined with factors like delivery times, real-time carrier performance, shipping, and CS costs. This all-inclusive method improves the overall shipping experience for clients and enables automated decision-making.

Then, this year, personalisation will be taken to the next level due to more advanced AI algorithms. From chatbots offering improved customer service to immersive AI-driven buying journeys, personalisation will go beyond product recommendations, boosting customer engagement and driving retention. When it comes to product recommendations, however, online shoppers won't be stuck with generic categories anymore. Instead, advances in AI will enable users to receive precise product recommendations based on criteria like ‘my size’ or ‘my style’.

Giving customers a more precise way to select the ideal items not only improves their shopping experience but also significantly reduces the number of returns. And in 2024, when e-commerce shifts to a more customer-focused model, this decrease in returns will be critical.


An ongoing priority will remain enhancing the customer experience. In 2023, we learned that building emotional connections is key to customer loyalty. Be it offering immersive experiences or focusing more on how you tailor your messaging, a human-centric approach to business will be a must-have, not just a nice-to-have.

As customers' expectations for fast and convenient shopping experiences grow, so will the requirements for out-of-home delivery. By offering customers the option to select different delivery locations and times that better fit their schedules, this delivery method gives them more flexibility and convenience. In the UK, for example, more than 76% of consumers express the desire to select the exact time frame for their delivery. This demonstrates a growing trend in which customers want more control over the delivery process – that is, the freedom to choose how, when, and where they receive their orders.


Despite convenience becoming a more significant factor, it’s safe to say that sustainable and transparent practices are increasingly important. For example, 74% of UK online shoppers believe that the packaging material of products ordered online should be fully recyclable. With consumers becoming aware of greenwashing practices, it is expected that they will demand to be able to see the actions that retailers take towards sustainability. This is best demonstrated by the growth in recommerce, which shows that people are becoming more interested in repurposing used goods with plenty of life left beyond their initial use.

The increased importance of sustainability also extends to paid returns, with four in five UK retailers now charging for returns. Despite the appeal of free returns, it's essential to recognise that they come with a hidden environmental cost. In addition to travelling longer distances both inbound and outbound, return items undergo at least two repackaging processes, which increase environmental effects. While paid returns were first introduced by Zara and H&M in 2022, the rise in sustainable commerce will force retailers and customers to reconsider their return practices more thoughtfully in 2024.

With the European Accessibility Act coming into force as of June 28th, 2025, inclusive e-commerce will become a legal imperative. Consequently, European e-commerce businesses will need to ensure that their goods and services are accessible to individuals with disabilities. Then, websites must provide information about the accessibility features of services in accordance with the Act.

As the e-commerce landscape continues to change, staying adaptable is key for businesses aiming to stay ahead in 2024. Without a doubt, it's essential to acknowledge that regardless of your focus – whether it's on integrating AI tools, improving customer experiences, or enhancing sustainability practices – aligning with the trends that resonate with your brand is critical. Ultimately, these trends are more than just fleeting fads; they function as a compass for navigating the e-commerce landscape.