As we enter the new year, the world of commerce continues to evolve at a rapid pace.
Ecommerce sales surpassed the remarkable milestone of $1 billion in 2023, and the market is expanding, driven by consumer spending that continues to outpace even the most optimistic pre-pandemic forecasts.
With tailwinds building, it is crucial for brands and retailers to stay ahead of the game and anticipate the trends and challenges that lie ahead to optimize their businesses for success in the new year.
Here are four predictions for 2024 that will shape the landscape of commerce, logistics, and supply chain management at large.
1. Outgrow becomes outlast – resilient brands survive the shakeout and gain market share
This year’s rocky economy presented numerous challenges for brands, leading to something of a shakeout in the market. Those resilient brands that successfully weathered the storm are now poised for growth and market share expansion.
In 2024, we can expect to see more digital-native brands following in the footsteps of brands like Glossier and Ritual Vitamins. Once known for their primarily direct-to-consumer approach, these brands have expanded into brick-and-mortar retail, expanding their reach and capturing a larger share of the market.
This convergence of online and offline realms will not only benefit merchants by increasing their visibility but also provide consumers with a wider range of options and a more cohesive shopping experience.
2️. Marketers become fulfillment evangelists – social commerce makes logistics crucial to demand gen
Social commerce has been steadily gaining momentum, and its rise will lead to increased collaboration between logistics and marketing teams.
As platforms like TikTok deliver viral moments for products, brand owners will soon recognize the potential of social platforms as a powerful channel for commerce, if they haven’t already. Insider Intelligence estimates that 4 in 10 US TikTok users will make a purchase on the platform this year.
By combining logistics expertise and fulfillment data with marketing strategies, brands can create a consistent and reliable customer experience across social commerce platforms, ultimately driving measurable transactions and enhancing customer satisfaction.
3. No data, no can do – interoperable supply chain systems become table stakes
The supply chain and its functions are a rich source of information and insight for organizations, and in the coming year, we’ll see supply chain data applied in new and novel ways.
Gaining access to this data will necessitate the use of open, independent platforms that integrate with various systems and softwares for information sharing.
As analyst firm Forrester predicts, companies will invest in modern, flexible commerce tech solutions designed to meet their modern needs. We will see brands and retailers seek platforms that centralize visibility into inventory, orders, and fulfillment activities across multiple channels and locations.
By harnessing the power of supply chain data and leveraging open platforms, companies can make more informed decisions, optimize operations, and drive value across their entire organization.
4️. The AI advantage is clear – generative AI makes smoother sailing for the supply chain
Generative AI is poised to revolutionize supply chain management by bringing unprecedented efficiency and groundbreaking insights to brands.
As supply chain strategies are increasingly recognized as a strategic advantage, brands and retailers will turn to generative AI to streamline processes. By analyzing vast amounts of data, AI algorithms can identify patterns, trends, and demand fluctuations, enabling businesses to make more informed decisions forecasting and inventory management decisions.
The Year Ahead
Make no mistake: 2024 will present both tremendous challenges and opportunities for brands and retailers alike.
When I was early in my career, one of the biggest obstacles I faced was finding partners who could scale with us.
As I look ahead, I can only hope that Flowspace will continue to solve this and more for our brand customers as we tackle interesting challenges our supply chain can present.
Cheers to a big 2024!