There’s a lot of technology for online retailers to use, but only so much they can develop themselves. Luckily for the online retailers, there are ecommerce technology vendors that provide tools to improve their websites, customer experience, fulfillment methods, email marketing and more.
Artificial intelligence was already a key technology for retailers to implement going into 2023. And then generative AI boomed.
Retailers had to start exploring how they could integrate generative AI into their ecommerce sites while keeping up with all the technology they had planned to invest in for the year. And so, Digital Commerce 360 conducted its annual technology survey. It asked about what online retailers would invest in, how much, how that compares to the previous year, and more. Digital Commerce 360’s 2024 Leading Vendors to the Top 1000 Retailers Report details the survey’s findings.
The 2024 Leading Vendors report shows which ecommerce technologies online retailers have implemented — or abstained from — including:
- Artificial intelligence (with a subsection on generative AI)
- Ecommerce sites and platforms (with a subsection on fraud)
- Online marketplace management
- Email and digital marketing
- Fulfillment, with subsections on:
Key findings in the Leading Vendors 2024 report
According to Digital Commerce 360′ technology survey, well over half of retailers (62.8%) plan to increase their ecommerce technology and services spending next year. More than a fifth (22.9%) plan to spend the same amount on ecommerce technology next year. Meanwhile, just 14.3% plan to decrease their ecommerce technology spend next year.
Of those who said they planned to increase their ecommerce technology spending, not even a quarter (24%) said they would spend at least 15.1% more than in 2023. Just 3% of respondents said they would spend 50% more on ecommerce technology in 2024 compared with 2023.
Moreover, nearly a third (30.3%) said they would spend no greater than 5% more on ecommerce technology in 2024 compared with this year. A 15% increase in spending is the limit for about three-quarters of respondents.
What kinds of technology are online retailers investing in most?
Digital Commerce 360 asked retailers in the Leading Vendors 2024 report what they found most important to spend on in 2024 when it came to ecommerce technology. At the top of the list, retailers equally prioritized improving the customer experience and improving conversion rate — naturally, the two go hand in hand.
Meanwhile, there was another tie for the next most important reasons for increasing ecommerce technology spending in 2024. Retailers said they want to better attract customers, better personalize shopping experiences, and improve site performance (including speed and efficiency).
Although more than 40% of retailers said they want to increase their technology spend to attract new customers, not even a third (30%) said they’re increasing spending to retain customers. Just over a quarter (26.7%) said they want to increase spending so they can generate more sales from repeat customers. The same number, however, said they want to support more cross-channel shopping.
At the same time, mobile seems to be less of a priority. Less than a quarter of respondents (23.3%) said they want to use increased technology spending to improve their mobile shopping experience. And not even a fifth of respondents (16.6%) said they want to use their increase in tech spending to generate more traffic and sales through mobile commerce.
What are the biggest tech priorities for e-retailers?
The technology survey in the Leading Vendors 2024 report found that there’s a tie for the top priority when it comes to retailers’ 2024 tech budgets. Nearly a third (30% each) of retailers said their biggest technology priorities for 2024 are content management and their ecommerce platforms. Similarly, a pair of priorities tied for second. Just over a quarter (26.7%) want to prioritize product management and web analytics.
Search engine optimization (SEO) tied for third with website performance management and order management (23.3% each). Meanwhile, only a fifth of respondents included artificial intelligence in their top five ecommerce technology budget priorities for 2024. The same number selected affiliate marketing, omnichannel, online marketing, and customer relationship management technology as top-five priorities.
On the low-priority end of the spectrum, just 10% of retailers surveyed listed fulfillment services or payment (including security systems and fraud prevention) as a top-five priority.
Fewer than 10% of respondents said their priorities include customer ratings and reviews, customer service software, international ecommerce software, and sales tax management. And not even 5% of retailer respondents selected social media as a top-five priority, nor supply chain management.
When it comes to artificial intelligence, more than a quarter of respondents aren’t just interested, but they’re using it with good results (28.57%). And just under a quarter are using it but with limited results (23.81%). Meanwhile, not even 5% of surveyed retailers are using machine learning with good results. But a third are using it with limited results. For 2024, 42% of surveyed retailers are considering AI, and a third are considering machine learning. Just under 5% of respondents don’t plan to invest in AI. And over a quarter (28.57%) plan not to invest in machine learning.
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