With the end of 2023 the realm of retail has traversed yet another eventful year – so what does 2024 hold?

Peering into the future, Matt Hildon, Retail Portfolio Director at global digital transformation consultancy Kin + Carta, shares insights into what 2024 might unravel for the sector.

Loyalty Takes Centre Stage

Loyalty schemes will spearhead the differentiation strategy for retailers in 2024. Businesses are likely to channel their budgets towards nurturing loyalty ecosystems. Anticipate brands focusing their expenditure on customer retention through tailor-made offers, shifting away from high-cost advertising campaigns often resulting in a steep cost per acquisition.

Conversational Commerce Ascends

AI technology is revolutionising how customers engage with retailers online. In 2024, brands must elevate their use of conversational commerce strategies.

Customers will shift towards natural, conversational language when seeking information online. This shift will be evident in various sectors, such as the DIY space, where customers will move from simple keywords to descriptive challenges when searching for solutions or products.

GenAI Drives Personalisation

The emergence of GenAI has unlocked a new realm of personalisation for retailers. Features like ‘Shop the look,’ virtual try-ons, and bespoke recommendations blend physical and digital experiences, enhancing the shopper’s journey.

The market buzz surrounding GenAI’s potential is leading brands to explore its capabilities. Retailer demands will shape the supply landscape, pushing for bespoke use cases and tailored solutions to align technology with business needs.

Embracing Sustainability through Technology

Retailers are evolving their sustainability strategies to align with consumer values. Shoppers are increasingly prioritising retailers that integrate sustainability into their operations, extending from supply chains to product lifecycles.

In 2024, technology will play a pivotal role as retailers leverage data to drive efficiency and reduce waste. Embracing technology as an enabler, retailers will endeavour to implement sustainability innovation throughout their processes.