The Top eCommerce Trends in 2024

The Top eCommerce Trends in 2024
eCommerce is changing every aspect of how people sell, shop, dine, and redeem services. So what do you need to know as a business owner? Here are the top eCommerce trends for 2024.
by Mackenzie Born Feb 13, 2024 — 4 min read
The Top eCommerce Trends in 2024

Customers may have fully returned to in-store shopping, but eCommerce hasn’t stopped influencing the way businesses and consumers interact across the globe. While online sales have dropped slightly from 2023, businesses still rely heavily on their online channels to reach customers, and consumers are all in on the ease and convenience that online shopping and ordering provide.

To better understand where online commerce is headed, Square surveyed business owners and consumers in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Here’s what to know about eCommerce trends in 2024.

An online presence is a make-or-break for customers.

Customers rely on online sites to discover new businesses, learn about products and services, and do their research. Fifty-four percent of customers say that a website or social media presence is a deciding factor when considering a new retailer, and an even higher 67% say online reviews (along with recommendations from family or friends) are important in their decision.

Online options matter for beauty businesses, too: 19% of customers would avoid a beauty business with no online booking options, and 26% of customers would avoid a beauty business that didn’t offer a website to view services, pricing, and photos. This number jumps drastically for Gen Z customers in particular, with 31% citing a lack of online booking options and 41% citing a lack of website viewing options as reasons they’d avoid a beauty business altogether. 

Business spotlight: The Laya Center

This wellness center has mastered using their online channels to reach a wide range of customers, tap into their preferences, and keep them coming back. Learn more.

Customers prefer online over in-store shopping for availability, convenience, and research. 

Customer appetite for in-store shopping has returned, but the convenience and perks of online shopping remain critical, especially for younger shoppers. Seventy-four percent of consumers prefer online shopping for its convenience, ease of research, and 24/7 availability, while 59% prefer online shopping for its lack of travel and quicker purchase experience.

Gen Z and millennial consumers are more likely to prefer online shopping overall, citing their top reasons as 24/7 availability, options to save money with online discounts, easier time researching and reading online reviews, and a quicker purchase experience. The bottom line? Customers love eCommerce sites for convenience, so the easier you can make discovering, browsing, and buying your products online, the better.

Offering a more personalized digital shopping experience is essential for staying competitive.

As social platforms become the go-to place for discovering and purchasing products and services, it’s more important than ever for eCommerce sites to also offer a more personalized experience to cater to new and returning consumers. Whether that’s allowing customers to track orders, save payment information, or see personalized recommendations based on purchase history, shoppers expect a customized experience that makes shopping and ordering seamless.

Thirty-seven percent of retailers recognize the need to offer a more personalized digital shopping experience to stay competitive in 2024, and 49% will be focused on adding more online options in the coming year.

Pro Tip

Square Online offers customers an app-like experience as they navigate your online store, where they can see personalized recommendations based on purchase history, access product drops and sales, and save their payment information for a quick and secure checkout.

Online platforms are an opportunity for additional revenue streams.

Online channels can do more than just bolster a business’s omnichannel commerce strategy; they can also provide opportunities for additional revenue streams. To stay competitive in 2024 and cater to a wider base of customers, retail businesses are pivoting and looking into new opportunities for growth.

Sixty percent of retailers are interested in offering paid advertising space to other companies on their digital and physical channels. Whether that means new partnerships or room for collaboration, retailers will be looking at what their online platforms can do for them in a new way in the coming year.

ECommerce options can help attract Gen Z customers.

Gen Z’s purchasing power is growing quickly, and as the generation most accustomed to social media and the internet, they’re the most interested in shopping, ordering, and booking through online channels. Twenty-three percent of retailers already use a different marketing and sales approach for Gen Z customers, and 34% of retailers are planning to.

A business’s online presence (an online site, online reviews, and its social media) is the most important to Gen Z compared to older generations (with millennials a close second), and Gen Z and millennials report doing the highest percentage of their shopping online, at 42% and 47%, respectively. 

Gen Z consumers also have the highest expectations for small to mid-sized local businesses to provide a technology-driven experience compared to their older counterparts, who expect a more technology-driven experience from big-box retailers and larger businesses. ECommerce and online platforms can play a key role in a smaller business’s appeal to younger consumers, helping to offer a convenient, personalized, and seamless purchase experience. 

An online presence is essential for business survival and growth. 

Online channels will remain a key part of business growth in 2024. About half (49%) of retailers plan to add more online options in the coming year to increase revenue. Another 49% of restaurant owners said that engaging with customers through a website or social media is essential for any restaurant looking to survive and grow. 

Business spotlight: Choc·O·Pain

This cafe and bakery leveraged their online website to expand to five locations and bring in $3.6 million in annual revenue. Learn how.

As businesses continue to find innovative ways to expand their customer base and influence their bottom line, many will be relying on their eCommerce platforms and online sites to adapt and grow with them in 2024. For more on what the retail, restaurant, and beauty industries can expect in the evolving commerce landscape in 2024, read our full 2024 Future of Commerce report.


Mackenzie Born
Mackenzie Born is an editor at Square covering all things commerce, from starting and running a business to leveraging technology that helps it grow.


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