When looking at eCommerce trends in 2024, it’s essential to understand the economic context that influences consumer buying behavior. Current challenges, such as the rising cost of living, stimulate reflection on how businesses and customers interact with each other. Experts predict that real spending will increase by 2.0% in the last quarter of 2023, but will slow sharply to 1.2% in 2024 (1).
Businesses need to be agile and resilient to adapt to these economic changes by offering appropriate eCommerce strategies. Find out more about the essential KPIs for eCommerce businesses to monitor during an economic recession.
Impact of economic factors on purchasing behavior
The rising cost of living is significantly shaping the habits of Canadians. Nearly half (47%) express concern about their personal finances. In response, they are adopting more cautious purchasing behaviors, favoring offers and promotions. 68% of Canadians look for essential items on sale, while 66% look for bargains (3).
Some industries will be more affected than others. Consumer spending is expected to fall less significantly on purchases related to health and wellness, education, sports and fitness, DIY and home furnishings, and groceries (4).
The importance of promotional strategies
At the same time, eCommerce promotions will gain in importance. Whether during Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Amazon Prime Day or Boxing Day, these occasions offer consumers unique opportunities to obtain attractive offers. Beyond the financial benefits, promotions strengthen the emotional connection with customers, creating a positive dynamic and influencing brand perception. By offering enriching shopping experiences, well-communicated promotions help build lasting relationships with consumers.
Customers will be looking for bargains more than ever. This is an excellent opportunity for end-of-inventory liquidations, sample sales, sales of slightly damaged products and more.
Why should you continue to invest in marketing during an economic recession?
Investing in marketing during an economic downturn is more than just an expense; it’s an informed strategy that can determine your company’s long-term trajectory. Contrary to common intuition, maintaining or increasing marketing investment during difficult economic times can offer significant benefits. First, it allows you to maintain a continuous presence in the market, reinforcing brand awareness and customer loyalty. By remaining visible, your company is more likely to be the first consideration when consumers are ready to make a purchase.
In addition, maintaining an active marketing strategy offers an opportunity to respond to changing customer needs and adapt quickly to market developments. In times of recession, competitors who cut back on their marketing spend offer valuable space for those who choose to persevere, enabling them to gain market share. As a result, CPCs or CPMs may fall in digital marketing, boosting the performance of bid-based campaigns.
Finally, consumers often turn to brands they know and trust in times of uncertainty. By investing in marketing during a recession, you create a lasting connection with your audience, laying a solid foundation for future growth when the economy regains momentum. Rather than an expense to be avoided, ongoing marketing investment becomes an engine of resilience and favorable strategic positioning in an unstable economic landscape.
Strategies for difficult economic times
- Platforms that offer repair services, spare parts or replacement will generally be appreciated by consumers;
- The user industry will gain in popularity, and companies offering second-hand marketplaces or re-commerce platforms could stand out. Second-hand platforms also provide interesting insights into post-sale customer behavior. They enable brands to make strategic decisions in both the resale and new-build markets;
- Platforms offering competitive prices, such as Amazon or Walmart, are becoming preferred destinations. You can therefore gain visibility and competitiveness if you list your products on these marketplaces;
- Flexible payment methods, such as BNPL with services like Sezzle, are also gaining in popularity;
- It’s important to present a variety of payment options in the checkout. This way, customers can choose the payment method that best suits their situation;
- Companies that offer attractive promotions and stand out during promotional periods such as Crazy Friday, Cyber Monday or Boxing Day will do well.
To help you compare your results and make the best decisions for 2024, take a look at Novatize’s report on eCommerce insight in 2023.
Finally, successfully navigating the eCommerce landscape of 2024 requires a deep understanding of consumer behavior. It’s essential to adapt to changing economic realities by offering solutions that meet emerging needs. By investing wisely in strategic promotions and delivering ongoing value, companies can not only thrive in uncertain times, but also strengthen their position in the hearts of consumers.
Want to discuss it or need more help? Contact a specialist today!