commercetools leaders share insights and predictions for 2023

commercetools Leaders Share Predictions for 2024

Anita Temple headshot
Anita Temple
Corporate Journalist, commercetools
Published 26 January 2024
Estimated reading time minutes

What trends should I focus on? What technology should I invest in? What’s important to my customers right now? What strategies should I employ to drive greater business success? These are questions business and tech leaders are continually seeking to answer — and there’s a plethora of content out there to help. You can explore predictions on the hot trends, the must-have technologies, the current needs of customers, etc. It’s not only a bit overwhelming, at times, but the information can be contradictory. commercetools knows there’s a lot of hype in the world of digital commerce, so our leaders wanted to share some realistic insights on what they see happening in the industry and how they see commerce evolving in 2024.

commercetools leaders share insights and predictions for 2023

CFOs are joining the tech discussion

Dirk Hoerig, co-founder and CEO of commercetools, sees more and more organizations leveraging the skills and experience of their chief financial officer (CFO) to help them meet the evolving needs of consumers while working within tight budgets. He said that despite the uncertainty of the economy, the digital commerce market is poised for continued growth in 2024. However, he feels this growth isn’t going to come without challenges — and this is one of the reasons he believes CFOs have to join tech investment conversations. 

As economists continue to predict possible recessions, businesses have to focus on what enables resilience and adjust their operations to be as efficient as possible. However, they need to be prepared to move quickly with market shifts and unexpected opportunities for revenue growth. To achieve that agility, CFOs and digital officers are increasingly investing in proven agile technologies instead of the new buzzy tech.
DIRK HOERIG

CO-FOUNDER & CEO, COMMERCETOOLS

Data, information and the interpretation of that data will become even more important in the role of the CFO as one of our key responsibilities is to look to the future and help the organization avoid pitfalls. Getting that data to our decision-makers as easily and as quickly as possible is important for fast and streamlined decision-making.
DAN MURPHY

CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER, COMMERCETOOLS

“Flexibility” will become business-critical

While it’s been considered a buzzword for years, our leaders have long understood that flexible technology is key to enabling businesses to respond to customers' ever-changing needs. We believe organizations launching digital transformation this year understand that flexibility is a business-critical capability and will put it at the top of their technology wish lists. As Ernst & Young stated, “It’s no longer just the responsibility or opportunity of small startups to work nimbly and build flexible applications that evolve and change alongside consumers’ changing habits. These days even large enterprise organizations need to create their digital services with flexibility in mind.”

In the face of a potential recession, retailers must prioritize consumers’ real needs, creating seamless purchasing experiences across all desired touchpoints. They must focus on innovation, scalability and flexibility yet be agile in their approach, as a great idea today may be irrelevant tomorrow.
BRUNO TEUBER

CHIEF REVENUE OFFICER, COMMERCETOOLS

With tighter budgets, retailers still have to meet the evolving needs of consumers while smartly responding to market influences. To address this, retailers must weave flexibility into their pricing models, and embrace loyalty and customer experience programs to effectively cater to customers' preferences and changing behaviors. We already see this with leading brands like Ulta Beauty and Express. On the backend, cost optimization across the tech stack and improved operational efficiency will be crucial. Retailers have to be prepared to move quickly when opportunities arise or the market shifts, and the best way they can do this is by investing in tech that enables them to be agile in their commerce operations.
DIRK HOERIG

CO-FOUNDER & CEO, COMMERCETOOLS

B2Bs will be razor-focused on increasing digital maturity

Pre-COVID-19, most B2B firms were hesitant to consider the idea of digital commerce — today Gartner predicts that a staggering 80% of sales interactions between suppliers and buyers will occur in digital channels as early as 2025. Bruno Teuber, Chief Revenue Officer of commercetools, believes that in 2024 increasing digital maturity will be a top priority for B2B firms. As they grow and gain a greater understanding of how to successfully navigate digital commerce, they’ll begin to embrace composable technology to deliver the B2C-like experiences buyers expect today.

More and more B2B companies are focusing on automating their eCommerce offerings and buyer preferences shift towards self-service. These wholesalers, manufacturers and distributors are looking for the same level of agility, flexibility, and scalability that’s become table-stakes in B2C retail — and in order to be competitive in 2024, they must implement the commerce solutions that enable them to create these experiences.
BRUNO TEUBER

CHIEF REVENUE OFFICER, COMMERCETOOLS

Recent years have triggered a significant shift in the B2B selling space, where buyers expect a more consumer-like experience and the ability to purchase online. However, the customer experience in these digital commerce interactions has felt like an afterthought. In 2024, we’ll see continued progression towards the consumerization of B2B shopping experiences, especially as more “digital natives” take on decision-making roles. Smart brands will be those paving the way, and they’ll reap the benefits financially for doing so.
JEN JONES

CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER, COMMERCETOOLS

AI will make a significant impact

While last year AI was just a buzzword,  Jen Jones, Chief Marketing Officer of commercetools, believes it’s evolving into an actionable strategy. She said that at NRF 2024 vendors and merchants were trying to figure out what it actually means and how to best utilize it. However, in a Commerce Tomorrow podcast, Dirk cautioned that we're still in the early stages of harnessing its full potential. "We're at the cusp of something big with AI — but we must remember that it's a journey. The real transformative power will reveal itself over time."

Generative AI in marketing is here to stay. 2023 was the year for teams to learn, adopt, and adapt. If you’re not prepared to hit the ground running, optimizing and operationalizing the use of this tech in 2024, you’re already behind. It's not just about content generation; it's also about idea generation. Creative inputs yield creative outputs, making it crucial for marketers to invest time in understanding how to leverage this tool to their advantage.
JEN JONES

CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER, COMMERCETOOLS

Since most searches begin with Google, that means that they largely influence, if not own, key parts of the customer journey. With Google’s release of its own AI model, I don’t anticipate that influence to waver. Right now, AI is not an equal playing field, and the biggest players are set to define the market. With that, we’re still too early to name a winner in this race, but 2024 will surely be a pivotal year for further development and adoption.
DIRK HOERIG

CO-FOUNDER & CEO, COMMERCETOOLS

These trends are just a few of the topics commercetools will be exploring at our first-ever event, Elevate - The Global Commerce Summit. Set for April 16-18 at the Miami Beach Convention Center. It’s a carefully curated experience offering learning experiences for both business and technical leaders.
Learn more about what we have planned for attendees. 

Anita Temple headshot
Anita Temple
Corporate Journalist, commercetools

Anita J. Temple is the Corporate Journalist at commercetools. She was a fashion editor at Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) and W Magazine before launching a career as a freelance writer and creative producer. She has written content and worked on a wide range of marketing projects for companies including Dreamworks, Walmart, Coca-Cola, Verizon, and Adidas.

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