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Five ways ‘digital’ consumers are reshaping retail in 2024

Five ways ‘digital’ consumers are reshaping retail in 2024

Against a backdrop of mounting macroeconomic uncertainty and increasing digitalisation, consumers are seeking out online platforms dedicated to securing the best deals

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Picture this: An online store that anticipates your needs before you even search, or viral trends launching brands to stardom without their involvement. This could well be the future of shopping, as revealed by Euromonitor International’s Top Five Digital Consumer Trends in 2024 report.

Here’s what the report’s top predictions:

1. Intuitive e-commerce

The days of clunky online shopping experiences are numbered. Driven by AI and data insights, e-commerce is getting smarter and more seamless. Imagine AR mirrors showing how clothes look on you virtually, or chatbots recommending the perfect gift based on your past purchases. This personalised and intuitive approach will reshape online shopping.

2. The TikTok Economy

Move over influencers, short-form video platforms such as TikTok and Douyin are taking center stage.

Consumers are flocking to these platforms, and brands are struggling to keep up. The twist? Viral trends boosting brand sales often emerge organically, with users driving the hype, not marketing campaigns.

3. The rise of deal-savvy consumers

With economic uncertainty looming, consumers are becoming digital detectives.

Platforms dedicated to finding the best deals are booming, and some consumers are even using them in ways brands never intended (and often disapprove of). Expect a game of cat and mouse as brands try to stay ahead of these savvy shoppers.

4. Recommerce 2.0

Sustainability meets convenience in the booming recommerce market. Eco-conscious and budget-savvy consumers are driving the demand for pre-owned goods, and brands are taking notice.

Expect easier access to a wider variety of secondhand items, mirroring the seamless experience of traditional e-commerce.

5. Revamped returns

The struggle for hassle-free returns is finally getting addressed. New technologies and partnerships are streamlining the process, making returns smoother for both businesses and consumers.

This shift reflects the growing demand for a positive post-purchase experience.

Key themes observed among consumers

Euromonitor International‘s global lead of Retail and Digital Insights Michelle Evans said that three key themes had emerged from the report. “The online shopping experience continues to mature. The use of emerging technologies like generative AI will make online shopping feel more like the in-person shopping experience. The evolution of recommerce, and the borrowing of wider e-commerce strategies also speaks to this greater sophistication. Cautious and conscious consumption is growing. The cost of a purchase whether that cost is monetary or environmental was top of mind for digital consumers in 2023 and will continue to be in 2024. Saving money is playing out in how consumers are seeking to outsmart brands online or joining the resale movement. Consumers are also seeking more power in their relationships with brands.

“With twice as many digital consumers in the world as compared with a decade ago and the spend for goods and services online more than doubling in that timeframe, it is important to prepare strategies with these digitally savvy shoppers in mind.”

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