- Twice as many worldwide consumers are now online and spend double the amount on goods and services compared with 10 years ago. Businesses must prepare for digitally savvy shoppers
- Sophisticated consumers are increasing expecting online browsing to feel like an in-person shopping experience
- Saving money is paramount for consumers and they are looking to outsmart brands online and find the best deals
- Consumers want more power in their relationship with brands and are using social media to give them a greater voice
Global market research company Euromonitor International has released the Top Five Digital Consumer Trends in 2024 report today.
The annual report reveals emerging trends that provide insights into digital consumers’ evolving values and explores how their behaviour is redefining their shopping motivations and needs. It also examines the technological advances in the year ahead that will continue to reshape consumer behaviour.
Euromonitor’s Top Five Digital Consumer Trends in 2024 are:
- Intuitive E-Commerce: The rising influence of digital channels among consumers is putting pressure on companies to improve the online experience. This is possible due to evolving data-gathering strategies and emerging technologies, from AR to IoT to Gen AI. These advances have the potential to transform the online shopping experience, leading to one that is more intuitive.
- TikTok Economy: Digital consumers are flocking to TikTok and Douyin, twin social media platforms that have embraced short-form video content. Brands are striving to promote their products and services on these platforms but some of the viral trends that are doing the most to boost brand sales are emerging organically from users on those platforms, without any direct brand involvement.
- Outsmart Online: Against a backdrop of mounting macroeconomic uncertainty and increasing digitalisation, consumers are seeking out online platforms dedicated to rooting out the best deals. More and more consumers are using these platforms in ways that brands do not intend – and disapprove of.
- Recommerce 2.0: Recommerce is surging and evolving globally, driven by environmentally conscious, thrifty and tech-savvy younger consumers. Brands and retailers recognise the potential of the market and are actively adopting various strategies to enter it, mirroring the convenience of e-commerce, and making recommerce more widely accessible across product categories.
- Revamped Returns: Consumers have long wanted hassle-free returns, but delivering on that expectation has not been without challenges. Converging trends like the rise of e-commerce, store closures and more sustainable strategies is moving returns up the agenda. New technologies and partnerships are paving the way to a happier return experience for shoppers.
Michelle Evans, Global Lead of Retail and Digital Insights at Euromonitor International, said that three key themes had emerged from the 2024 report:
“The online shopping experience continues to mature. Euromonitor saw this theme play a prominent role in three of our 2023 trends, and we see it again this year. The use of emerging technologies like generative AI will make online shopping feel more like the in-person shopping experience as explored in Intuitive E-Commerce. The evolution of recommerce, and the borrowing of wider e-commerce strategies, as explored in Recommerce 2.0 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. This is prevalent in both the TikTok Economy and Outsmart Online trends, which at their roots are about how consumers are using social media to give them a greater voice in the consumer-brand relationship. The benefit of hearing from consumers over the brands is that it leads to more authentic interactions, which is valued by younger consumers like Gen Z.
“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,” said Evans.
For more information see about Euromonitor’s Top Five Global Digital Consumer Trends 2024 join our free webinar on February 8, 2024. Sign up for the webinar here.
- Many companies are turning to generative AI to take advantage of the tech’s capabilities to unlock troves of data to create a more intuitive shopping experience online. The pioneers who can create this next-generation shopping experience using this technology will inspire a new shopping behaviour, ushering in the next so-called ‘Uber moment’.
- As the user bases of TikTok and Douyin continue to expand, these platforms will become even more important to brands’ digital marketing strategies. Although brand-led social media campaigns can be effective, the most successful marketing strategies will be those that can effectively harness the power of authentic, organically created viral trends.
- Ongoing macroeconomic uncertainty ensures that budget hacks will remain popular. Brands must navigate the new digital landscape in ways that do not alienate their customers. While leaning into viral hacks may sometimes be a good option, the best strategy for brands is to offer consistent, clear messages regarding the value provided by their goods.
- As consumers become increasingly climate-conscious and mindful of their spending, recommerce will continue expanding into new categories and adding more value-driven services. More companies will realise the potential of recommerce for sustainability and new revenues, driving increased innovation and investment in the field.
- Retailers looking for long-term success will need to take a holistic view of the customer experience from discovery to purchase to return. These retailers will invest in creating systems and tools that help customers obtain the products they wish to buy at the outset, thus reducing the need for a return. Most importantly, they will not punish customers who may still need to return products.