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Bill D'Alessandro

4 Ecommerce Predictions for 2024

Published 6 months ago • 3 min read

Did you really think I was going to let 2024 start without doing an ecom prediction email?

If you like this email, I did an hour-long episode of the EcommerceFuel podcast with Andrew Youderian where I expand on these predictions. Andrew also has five of his own in the episode that I didn’t include here.

But if you’re not a podcast person, here’s a rundown of 4 predictions for how I see ecommerce and the economy going in 2024.

1. Entry-level ecommerce jobs disappear due to outsourcing

I think outsourcing to offshore employees will (quickly) get to the point where there will be hardly any entry-level ecommerce jobs left in America.

I can’t tell you how many people I’ve met over the last year who are aggressively embracing outsourcing. What used to be just virtual assistants in the Philippines are now full-scale hires at analyst and management positions from places like Ecuador and Mexico.

By the end of 2024, I think we will see this phenomenon cross into the mainstream as more sectors embrace outsourcing — which in turn could cause a culture war between politicians or activists who fall on different sides of the argument. If we end up in any sort of recession or rising unemployment rates, outsourcing might be the first topic we point to.

2. Getting into and staying in brick-and-mortar retail becomes much harder

All of the digitally-native brands want to be in retail now — Target, Walmart, you name it. Some companies have succeeded, many have seen how difficult it is, and everyone realizes just how much different retail is from DTC.

Net 90, billbacks, merchandising issues, trade spend, RTVs, oh my.

In 2024 I think the transition from DTC to retail becomes significantly harder. If there’s a recession, the retailers are going to feel it early — and when times get tough, they tend to look at every inch on the shelf to see where they’re selling the most.

I know how it works: retailers feel the pressure and go SKU by SKU with you, putting your brand under the microscope to justify why it should stay on the shelf.

Typical DTC brands are higher-priced, luxury goods. They differentiate with a premium on quality, brand, and margins. They’re also discretionary. When times are tough, it’s not like you’re going to buy fancy laundry detergent from a DTC brand with pretty packaging. You’re going back to Gain.

So when the going gets tough, who stays on the shelf? Companies like Procter & Gamble who are bigger, better, and willing to take a loss to stay there. Retailers take a last-in, first-out mentality. Olipop is getting kicked off the shelf before Pepsi.

DTC brands that are already in retail are going to have a hard time growing or even staying in as the focus intensifies and brands crash headfirst into all the landmines of retail that don’t exist in DTC - working capital issues, on-shelf merchandising, and so much more. And if you’re not already in retail, you might need some luck to get in during 2024.

3. Another war or major global event

Over the past several years we’ve had global events each year that loom over the economy — COVID-19, the war in Ukraine, Hamas’s ghastly attack on Israel.

I don’t love making this prediction, but our society feels too unstable to predict that 2024 will go by without any sort of significant war or major global event. Not to mention, we have another U.S. election coming up. Can’t wait for that to drive CPMs (and everyone’s blood pressure) through the roof this fall…

4. Multichannel ad strategies win

The 2024 election is going to cause Facebook CPMs to skyrocket. A staggering amount of political advertising money will flow into ads on your Facebook and Instagram feeds.

As they do every election cycle, brands will see their CPMs go through the roof, and everyone is going to be talking about pivoting towards other advertising channels to acquire customers.

These are the channels I think will continue to see growth in 2024:

  1. OTT (over-the-top) streaming TV ads: putting ads on Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, etc and buying them programmatically — meaning you don’t have to call a salesperson, you can just click a button.
  2. TikTok Shop: I think TikTok is going to spend a lot of money to support their selling platform and it will continue to become a more and more important channel - unless it gets banned after the election 🙃
  3. Direct mail: I’ve seen enough positive results on our own direct mail efforts to make this prediction. Every time we do it, we see really great ROIs, and more brands are catching on. If you want to try it yourself - I’ve had awesome results with PostPilot (disclosure, I’m an investor). It’s basically Klaviyo, but for postcards.

Listen to the Full Episode

If you want more detail on the above predictions (and to hear Andrew Youderian’s 5 predictions for 2024) you can listen to the full episode on the eCommerceFuel Podcast here.

What do you think will happen in ecommerce in 2024? Reply and let me know. I’ll share a few of my favorites in an upcoming newsletter!

If you liked this newsletter, I have 4 places where I share more like it:

  1. 👔 The 1-1 coaching that I do with CEOs (I currently have ONE slot open).
  2. 🐦 I tweet (a lot) - follow me @BillDA.
  3. 🎙️ My podcast, Acquisitions Anonymous, where we break down real businesses that are for sale.
  4. 📬 This weekly newsletter! Click here to subscribe and read past issues.

Until next time,
Bill D'Alessandro

Bill D'Alessandro

I've been an entrepreneur my whole life - now I coach others.

Join my newsletter and I'll send you non-public stories, tales from the ecommerce trenches, and even opportunities to invest in private deals with me.

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