E-commerce

B2C ecommerce site search trends 2024
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Every year Algolia sponsors a B2C ecommerce Site Search Trends report in partnership with Coleman Parkes that explores the why, what, and how of search, AI, and B2C online retail over the past year and into the future.

We took a deep dive into the pulse of the industry to find out how businesses are harnessing the power of search and AI to revolutionize the art and science of online retail. The B2C Ecommerce Site Search Trends Report for 2024 is based on a survey of 1,100 business leaders working in the retail ecommerce space in key markets around the world.

The report takes a detailed look at new consumer trends, revenue, and personalization strategies, as well as the increasingly central role of merchandising in the B2C online space.

Here are just a few of the many key findings from our respondents:

  • 61% are able to accomplish revenue goals with search
  • 46% foresee an increase in AI-driven customer engagement
  • 73% are planning to invest in teams committed to AI-powered merchandising
  • 28% offer conversational commerce to their customers while 69% plan to implement this functionality over the next year
  • 52% of B2C retailers plan to implement AI tools to aid merchandising teams

The report delves into some other key trends impacting the B2C ecommerce landscape. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continued to cast a shadow over search and discovery investment in 2023. Though 23% of businesses claimed to have invested ‘a lot more this year’ on site search, this is down from 33% in 2022. Although these levels of investment have been touched by the overall macroeconomic uncertainties, more moderate investment levels have remained broadly consistent and are expected to continue into 2024.

Although the effects of environmental variables such as supply chain shocks and the lingering pandemic continue to soften, prevailing global economic uncertainty will lead businesses to prioritize their bottom line and be conscious of ROI in technology-led investments. AI search will be no exception but will emerge as a competitive differentiator in the overall ecommerce landscape.

AI is in the midst of becoming a keystone technology in the search and discovery space. It is significantly improving both the search experience and the user journey for customers in the sales funnel. In addition, it is increasingly playing a role as a critical tool in improving the fundamentals of search and discovery technology. This opens a host of new possibilities for B2C companies.

Sixty percent of those surveyed believe AI has an important role to their business’s search strategy compared to the 4% saying that AI doesn’t feature as an important consideration. Thus, AI adoption looks set to offer businesses new opportunities in their search strategy development over the longer term.

With businesses looking to deliver value through improved customer experiences, being sensitive to each step of the sales funnel is key to generating the types of meaningful shopping journeys that turn an online search into a purchase and an online shopper into a loyal customer.

Find out how critical resources like powerful search, generative AI, and creative talent are being used to bring customers, products, and experiences together.

Discover what leaders in the B2C retail space are doing to maximize the power of new technology, generate innovative solutions to drive demand, and outmaneuver the competition.

Get the full report here.

About the authorTariq Khan

Tariq Khan

Director of Content Marketing

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