Blue hand surrounded by colourful neon shapes

The trends that will shape tomorrow’s commerce

WPP’s VML has published the 2024 edition of ‘Tomorrow’s Commerce’. It's a long-term, unfiltered view of the leading trends set to reshape commerce in the years to come

Based on an amalgamation of research, conversations with clients, general future-gazing, and inputs from across the new VML organisation, ‘Tomorrow’s Commerce’ points out that we are approaching an exciting and broad-ranging omni-channel future for commerce. It spans the physical and the digital, and accommodates an increasingly demanding set of consumers and customers who dictate the rules of engagement for brands, retailers and marketplaces alike.

Here are some of the key takeaways: 

1. A new brand order with less brand equity

Disruptor brands have always existed. But 2023 showed us that the right mix of personalities, products, promotions and distribution can supercharge brands in the 2020s. Established brands must consider what they offer that is different, purposeful or better, rather than what is new or an update. 

2. Altruistic data redistribution

This is the practice of voluntarily sharing data to benefit others, for example individuals sharing private medical information to aid research. After all, it’s in the interests of retailers and brands to help consumers make better use of their data. And data collection and distribution are increasingly lucrative activities in their own right.

3. The power of social conversion 

Brands and retailers globally are realising the power of ‘social conversion’. It's about much more than ‘brand love’; it’s about encouraging ‘brand buy’. That is why brands should map out the social commerce purchase journey to make it as smooth possible; and they should also consider all available channels, reframing where conversion may occur, online or offline.

4. The age of experimentation and search 

Consumers are starting to view ‘novelty’ in their shopping journeys as a virtue. As consumers hop from channel to channel, dabbling here and there to test the waters, serendipity has become a sought-after part of the shopping experience. Brands should embrace ‘Creative Commerce’, leveraging data analytics to gain insights into customer behaviour and investing in innovative tech to enhance the shopping experience.

5. The QR revolution continues 

In the post-pandemic world, QR codes have evolved, emerging as a key component in a technologically advanced ecosystem. Harnessing the synergy between QR codes and emerging technologies will become imperative, offering innovative ways for brands to connect with consumers, predict preferences and streamline interactions.

To read about all the angles on ‘tomorrow’s commerce’, please down your copy of the full report here.



published on

23 February 2024



Related Topics

Consumer behaviour CPG Data

More in Commerce

Purple perspex panels growing in size from small to large, with a sunset in the background and water reflection in the foreground

Media in India: the future is now

Brands pursuing the Indian market must focus on personalised experiences and data-driven strategies

Corridor curving off into background with blue neon lights

Multinational companies must have an India strategy

The Indian market is hugely attractive to brands, but multinational companies must have a bespoke India strategy

Sun setting into a lake with a pink sky in the background and orange and yellow flowers in the foreground

Where there’s women’s health, there’s wealth

There’s huge economic advantage in closing the women’s health gap, and yet still this gap is still formidable