2024 DTC Ecommerce Trends to Watch

December 15, 2023

As we navigate into 2024, the Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) ecommerce sector stands at a transformative juncture, poised to redefine the dynamics of digital retail. This will be a critical period where businesses are leveraging a convergence of advanced technological tools, innovative marketing strategies, and evolving consumer preferences.

From the integration of automated marketing campaigns to the adoption of omni-channel approaches, and the growing emphasis on hyper-personalization and social commerce, DTC brands are sculpting a new era. Review the insights from industry leaders below where they uncover the key trends that are shaping the future of DTC ecommerce in 2024.

2024 DTC Ecommerce Trends: Insights and Forecasts

Triple Whale

TikTok spend (and revenue) was WAY up YoY. While TikTok remains platform number 3 when it comes to budget allocation across brands (behind Meta and Google), it saw a 17% YoY increase in % of budget allocated across platforms.

  • The real story: conversion rates EXPLODED. 156% growth in Conversion Value YoY. That’s a 7.27% conversion rate (vs 4.67% avg)
  • $42.99 AOV (Google/Meta = $92/$95) Champion of low AOV brands
  • TikTok is a potent driver of impulse purchases, particularly for lower-ticket items. We expect the platform to build on this momentum and further establish itself as a key platform for ecommerce in 2024.

Ethan Shust | Product Marketing Manager



ShipBob

1. Brands will expand to newer channels

Channels like TikTok Shop are taking over as the top sales channel for early-movers, and brands continue to aim to meet more customers where they are. ShipBob’s State of Fulfillment Report found that 62% of brands would add at least one new sales channel this year, which we expect to increase in 2024.

2. Brands will cater more to global audiences

Many brands are looking across borders for customers who are interested in their products. ShipBob’s State of Fulfillment Report also found that 22% of brands planned to start fulfilling orders in a new country this year, which we also expect to increase in 2024.

3. Brands will optimize inventory turnover rates

To run a capital-efficient business, brands need better demand forecasting to mitigate stagnant inventory. To improve inventory turnover rates in 2024, brands will improve their replenishment timing, retire poor-performing SKUs, and shift to product drops to test out demand for products before committing to always stocking them.

Kristina Lopienski | Sr. Director of Marketing Communications


Recharge

Going into 2024, sustainability initiatives are set to play a significant role in shaping the customer experience, with brands increasingly recognizing and rewarding consumers for adopting these values. For example, in response to rising shipping expenses, a brand may offer higher discounts or additional perks to customers who shift monthly subscriptions to quarterly in order to maintain product quality while also reducing shipments and minimizing packaging.

We also expect that a pivotal factor in brand differentiation will be on-site personalization; brands that create distinct, highly personalized shopping experiences for their customers will stand out. Lastly, as customer acquisition costs continue to rise, we will begin to see brands that do not fit into a typical “subscription” profile rolling out recurring revenue programs and consolidating their tech stacks to offset these costs. 

Abbie Yermus | Partner Growth Manager


Gorgias

As advertising costs rise and customer spending declines, brands will focus on enhancing customer experiences to boost repeat purchases next year. This shift will demand increased automation to enhance efficiency. Automation can also help in pre-sales nurturing, resulting in improved conversion rates and maximizing return on ad spend (ROAS).

Alexa Hertel | Senior Editor at Gorgias


Aftership

Embracing the Rise of Social Commerce in 2024

As we step into the new year, the landscape of eCommerce is witnessing a pivotal shift toward social commerce. This trend represents a convergence of eCommerce and social media, revolutionizing how businesses engage with their audience. TikTok Shop stands at the forefront of this movement, reshaping customer-brand interactions and redefining the retail experience.

This transformation encourages merchants to explore new strategies on platforms like TikTok Shop, where personal connections and community engagement shape sales channels. For those seeking innovative ways to stand out in the digital realm, Social Commerce is a trend not to be overlooked in 2024.

Chris Vigmond | Global Agency Partnerships


Rebuy

In 2024, expect DTC businesses to prioritize tech stack consolidation to streamline operations and enhance efficiency. The AI wave will continue to reshape the landscape, influencing personalized customer experiences and optimizing backend processes. Anticipate a shift towards more creative customer acquisition strategies, emphasizing ingenuity over traditional heavy discounting, as brands seek a more sustainable approach to building customer relationships.

Aaron Dungca | Director of Merchant Success

Okendo

A notable trend in e-commerce involves a growing emphasis on collecting zero-party data for personalized strategies, empowering businesses to forge more meaningful and personalized connections with their customers. Brands are looking to ensure a tailored and seamless online experience while also consolidating their tech stack.

Adena Merabi | Partnerships Team Lead


Narvar

In 2024, DTC ecommerce will be significantly influenced by consumer expectations for efficient and flexible return processes. Narvar research shows that convenience in returns is becoming a decisive factor in purchase decisions. With the increasing cost and complexity of handling returns, retailers will need to innovate in streamlining this process, possibly by adopting advanced technologies and personalized return options.

Additionally, incentivizing exchanges over refunds will play a crucial role in enhancing customer loyalty and minimizing return costs. Understanding these evolving consumer preferences and adapting return strategies accordingly will be crucial for DTC retailers in maintaining a competitive edge, retaining customers, and maximizing their lifetime value.

Catherine Dummitt | VP, Marketing

adQuadrant 

As we step into 2024, the DTC eCommerce landscape is set to be revolutionized by three pivotal trends: hyper-personalization, seamless omnichannel experiences, and sustainability-driven branding. Hyper-personalization will go beyond just product recommendations, delving into customized user experiences powered by AI and data analytics. In tandem, seamless omnichannel strategies will become crucial, ensuring a consistent, engaging brand journey across all platforms, from social media to physical stores. Lastly, a surge in consumer consciousness will see sustainability not just as a trend, but as a core business ethos, influencing everything from product design to packaging and marketing narratives.

Warren Jolly | CEO


Prescient AI

DTC brands will enter 2024 with more tools than ever before to help counteract the haziness of the last four years driven by privacy & tracking changes, market uncertainty, and a myriad factors affecting consumers and brands. Automated campaigns like Advantage+ and PMax will increasingly play a pivotal role, while successful DTC brands have discovered a tailored mix of new and traditional media for their marketing strategies.

The focus now lies in measuring the overall impact and reallocating budgets through an omni-channel perspective, irrespective of brand size. Furthermore, DTC brands will encounter successes, and new challenges, in collaborations with marketplaces, wholesale partnerships, and e-commerce platforms like Amazon, Walmart and the “social shops.” These experiences will shape future paid marketing goals, necessitating a fresh perspective on budget allocation.

Michael True | Cofounder & CEO


Inveterate

High LTV customers are the ones you want to retain, but the challenge is offering new and original ways to engage with your brand. On average, merchants leveraging Inveterate to power paid membership programs, have found that members have a 15-20% higher AOV and a 2x repeat purchase rate vs. non-members — meaning your most devoted customers are paying to get perks and then they still spend more (and more frequently) than your average customer. They aren’t signing up for savings, they’re usually signing up to be able to get more from you in ways they normally wouldn’t (e.g. member-only products, sales, and access). We’ve seen this over and over with stores who use Inveterate to create customized membership offerings for their most valuable customers.

In 2024, premium membership programs are poised to redefine the landscape of ecommerce. Consumers are increasingly seeking personalized experiences and exclusive benefits, so these memberships will serve as a pivotal strategy for brands to enhance customer loyalty and drive sustainable growth. By offering a curated blend of convenience, perks, and tailored content, premium memberships will not only reshape the way consumers engage with brands but also set new standards for the future of DTC ecommerce.

Dylan Whitman | CEO and Co-Founder

Black Crow AI

“Marketing budgets will continue to be tight, so marketers are looking for incremental revenue lifts against their existing or decreasing spend. We’ll see less investment in riskier new channels and a focus on optimization that helps capture and convert brands’ audiences at a higher rate.

JoAnn Martin | VP Marketing


Friendbuy

In the 2023 holiday season we’ve seen that nearly half of all purchases came from repeat purchasers – showing just how valuable customer retention can be. In response to that, in 2024 I think we’ll see e-commerce brands finding even more ways to reward customers by integrating a tailored loyalty and rewards program to increase repeat purchase rates and customer retention.

Samantha Samuels | VP of Partnerships



adQuadrant

While Gen AI was a hot topic in 2023 for text generation, 2024 will be the year where AI generated images, video and audio help DTC companies enhance their creative efforts. The ability to effortlessly create endless variations of ads and landing pages will enable DTC companies to scale their campaigns while increasing CTRs and decreasing CPAs.

Scott Skurnick | VP, Integrated Media


Conclusion

The insights from industry leaders underscore a clear message: the DTC ecommerce landscape is rapidly evolving, driven by technological innovation, changing consumer behaviors, and a shift towards more personalized, efficient, and sustainable business practices. Brands that embrace these trends, from enhancing customer experience through AI and automation to prioritizing sustainability in their operations, are set to not only survive but thrive in this dynamic environment.

In this pivotal year, the ability to adapt, innovate, and connect with customers on a deeper level will be the hallmark of successful DTC businesses, paving the way for a new era in ecommerce that is more connected, customer-centric, and conscious than ever before.