April 13, 2024

Exploring the Next Wave: 4 Business-Centric Retail Trends Anticipated in 2024

As we navigate the bustling year-end retail extravaganza, where nearly 30% of annual sales unfold, businesses find themselves at the forefront of a dynamic market. Amidst the post-holiday haze, let’s delve into the anticipated retail landscape for 2024, spotlighting trends that will shape the business-retail dynamic.


1. Engaging Loyalty Programs: A Gamified Approach

In the ever-evolving realm of customer loyalty, innovative programs are stealing the spotlight. Beyond traditional stamp cards, contemporary success stories showcase a fusion of gamification and inventiveness. Take Good Pair Days, a wine subscription service, for instance. Each order accumulates points, redeemable for items ranging from corkscrews to a special mystery bottle of ‘Crowd Pleaser Red’. Meanwhile, BookBar pioneers a unique twist, linking purchases to a stamp card that contributes to book donations for local schools.

While traditional loyalty methods persist, the shift towards digital wallets is palpable among younger demographics. The global loyalty management market, predicted to grow at a compound annual rate of 12.2% from 2021 to 2026, is fuelled by the rise of apps like Magic Stamp, creating ‘digital loyalty cards’ for businesses. As businesses adapt, embracing the digital wave becomes imperative for sustained customer engagement.


2. AI Integration for Small-Scale Retailers

While ChatGPT made waves in 2023, the integration of AI in retail technology is reshaping the shopping experience and store management. High-profile cases, such as Sephora’s colour-matching technology and Amazon Fresh’s checkout-free stores, illustrate the power of AI in the retail sphere. Yet, the impact is not confined to big brands alone.

Ashley Horn, co-founder of Creoate, urges smaller retailers to leverage AI for efficiency gains. From optimizing team schedules to inventory management and creative tasks like ideating shop window displays, the applications of AI are vast. Horn emphasizes the transformative potential of AI tools in simplifying day-to-day operations for independent business owners, debunking the notion that advanced technology is exclusive to larger players.


3. Ascension of Arts and Crafts in Gifting

With a consistent year-on-year growth of approximately 5%, the arts and crafts industry, ignited by a lockdown-induced surge in April 2020, continues to captivate consumers. Craft kits, spanning traditional embroidery to contemporary resin earring moulds, are becoming go-to choices for thoughtful gifts. Craft workshops, offering experiences ranging from life drawing to flower crown making, are gaining popularity not only as gifted experiences but also as options for corporate events and alternative social gatherings.

For retailers, this trend provides an opportunity to diversify their product offerings and generate revenue beyond regular business hours. As businesses pivot away from conventional alcohol-centric socials, craft workshops present a fresh and engaging alternative for community building and revenue generation.


4. TikTok Shop’s Ascent as a Retail Powerhouse

In the digital commerce landscape, TikTok Shop emerges as a formidable force, driven by the platform’s engaged user base spending an average of 95 minutes per day on the app. The combination of exposure and convenience has captivated younger audiences, positioning TikTok Shop as a rapidly growing player in social ecommerce. While TikTok currently trails Instagram in terms of ‘social buyers,’ it’s accelerated growth suggests a competitive challenge in the near future.

With 33.3 million social buyers on TikTok compared to Instagram’s 43 million, the gap is narrowing, making it clear that TikTok Shop is on a trajectory to challenge Instagram’s dominance in the social ecommerce sphere. As businesses look to expand their digital presence, TikTok Shop’s growth offers an enticing avenue for tapping into the evolving landscape of online retail.


In summary, the retail landscape of 2024 is poised for transformation, with gamified loyalty programs, AI integration, the arts and crafts resurgence, and the rise of TikTok Shop steering the course. Adapting to these trends will not only define success for retailers but also set the stage for an exciting and dynamic future in the world of business-centric retail.