Handel 2024

On the rise: the new trends in retail in 2024   

2024 will bring some exciting trends in retail. The latest EHI study shows that artificial intelligence, for example, will continue to gain in importance in order to personalize customer experiences and enable more efficient operations. Sustainability will also be at the forefront, as more and more consumers want to shop in an environmentally conscious way. Finally, the importance of data analytics will continue to grow in order to better understand customer behavior and adapt sales strategies.  

So what trends do retail companies need to prepare for in the coming year in order not to lose touch with a constantly evolving retail industry?   

 Artificial intelligence and automation in retail 

Lebensmittel Zeitung advises companies to act early in terms of artificial intelligence (AI) in order to be successful in 2024. There is great potential in marketing in particular, which is already being used by major brands. A McKinsey study puts the potential global increase in production from generative artificial intelligence alone at 2.6 to 4.4 trillion US dollars. 

The ongoing development of AI and automation will play an increasingly important role in retail. Personalized customer experiences based on individual preferences and shopping habits will be further optimized by AI. Automation will become more efficient, especially in areas such as warehousing and supply chain management. Self-service checkouts and digital payment systems will become the norm. AI-driven chatbots that are available around the clock and provide instant answers are revolutionizing customer service. These developments are helping to provide customers with a seamless and convenient shopping experience. It is clear that AI and automation will shape the future of wholesale and retail. 


Seamless checkout

A seamless checkout process allows customers to complete purchases quickly and without interruption. With technologies such as mobile payment and self-checkout systems, it is possible to make the purchasing process seamless. This not only increases customer satisfaction, but also business efficiency. It is therefore important that retailers invest in technologies that enable seamless payment in order to remain competitive.  

According to an EHI study on technology trends in retail in 2023, seamless payment will be one of the most important technological developments in the next three years. Major changes are expected in this sector, particularly due to staff shortages. 


Customer centricity 

In 2024, the trend towards customer centricity in retail will become even stronger. Companies will focus more on individual customer needs in order to better customize their products and services. They will use advanced technologies such as AI and big data to gain deeper insights into customer behavior. Personalization is becoming the key to success – from tailored offers to personalized communication strategies. Customers expect a seamless shopping experience that is consistent across every channel. Omnichannel marketing is therefore becoming increasingly important. Digitization of processes as well as optimized data analytics are at the heart of every marketing and promotional activity. The customer is at the center of all retail activities and companies that recognize and implement this trend will be successful in a competitive environment. 


Sustainability as a driving force 

Sustainability will play a dominant role in the retail sector in 2024. Customers are increasingly demanding environmentally friendly products and services. Retailers who focus their business models on sustainability can gain a competitive advantage. The use of recyclable materials and the reduction of waste are just some of the aspects that need to be taken into account. In addition, the trend towards localization could continue to grow, with retailers increasingly focusing on local products and services. This is not only to reduce the ecological footprint, but also to support the local economy. 


Focus on customization and customer experience 

Retailers are using advanced technologies to create personalized shopping experiences. They integrate artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze customer data and create tailored offers. The customer experience is also becoming increasingly important. It is no longer just about buying a product, but about the entire shopping experience. Retailers are creating unique and unforgettable experiences to promote customer loyalty. Virtual and augmented reality, as well as interactive technologies, are being used to enhance the shopping experience. These trends can revolutionize retail and launch a new era of shopping. 


Omnichannel strategies as the standard 

This year, omnichannel approaches will reach standard status in the retail sector. These techniques ensure seamless customer service through multiple sales platforms. For example, customers can order online and pick up in-store or see an item in-store and buy it online later. This strategy enables wholesalers and retailers to better understand their customers and offer personalized shopping experiences. It also allows efficient use of sales channels and thus increases profitability. It is therefore important that companies constantly develop and optimize their omnichannel strategies. 


Integration of virtual and augmented reality 

The integration of virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) enables an immersive shopping experience by creating a virtual environment in which you can view products in 3D and even “try them on”. AR applications could also be useful to provide additional information about products directly on your smartphone. Some companies are already experimenting with these technologies to provide a unique customer experience. It is expected that these technologies will gain importance in the coming years and revolutionize the wholesale and retail industry.  


In an article on Internet Trends in 2024, Forbes also refers to the term “immersive Internet”, which will be the next step in the development of the online environment. Captivating experiences and interaction should revolutionize how people experience the internet on a personal level. 


Voice assistants as new sales channels 

More and more people are using voice commands for everyday tasks, including shopping. As voice recognition technology continues to improve, these sales channels will become even more important. You can offer your customers a seamless, fast and convenient shopping experience. It is expected that many retailers will integrate this technology into their sales strategies in order to remain competitive. Therefore, it is important that you familiarize yourself with the possibilities of voice commerce and voice assistants and prepare for their use. 


Social media as sales platforms 

Platforms such as Instagram and Facebook are no longer only used for branding, but also as sales platforms. So-called “social commerce” enables companies to sell directly via social media. This trend is being reinforced by the introduction of new functions such as Instagram Shopping and Facebook Marketplace. It is no longer just about sharing content, but also about shopping. In addition, the personalization of advertising on these platforms is becoming more sophisticated, allowing companies to advertise in a more targeted way.  


Conclusion and outlook  

In summary, the retail sector will be characterized by several key trends in 2024. Artificial intelligence and automation will continue to play a central role and pave the way for personalized customer experiences. Sustainability will also be in focus as consumers increasingly prefer products that are produced in an environmentally friendly and ethical way. The importance of e-commerce will continue to grow, but physical retail will not disappear but will have to reinvent itself. Finally, the use of data and analytics will play a crucial role in remaining competitive. Retail in 2024 promises to be exciting and dynamic. Stay up to date and adapt to succeed in this ever-changing landscape. 

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