Ecommerce Market Mood, Tech Updates & AI News – January 2024
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Ecommerce Market Mood, Tech Updates & AI News – January 2024

Your monthly ecommerce technology roundup from experienced ecommerce consultants James Gurd and Paul Rogers.

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The latest from our monthly ecommerce mini-series, where experienced ecommerce consultants James Gurd and Paul Rogers step back to summarise what’s been happening with ecommerce technology in January.

Ecommerce is a fast-paced industry, with constant change, new market entrants and incumbents updating their products with new features and fixes. James & Paul spend a lot of time looking at technology, talking to agencies and technology vendors, so this series is a digest of what they’ve found interesting, what is worth ecommerce teams thinking about, as well as highlighting interesting stories and cool tools they come across in their day-to-day work.

Discussion notes

    1. How has 2024 started: still nervousness around big investment, lots of discounting continuing for retail ecommerce. Statista reckon ecom revenue will grow by 9.8% this year but margins are tight
    2. December saw sharpest drop in retail sales since Covid (-3.2%) according to ONS (so much spend was front loaded into BFCM), quarterly sales down 0.9% in 3 months to December, annual sales fell for 2nd consecutive year
    3. Some big brands have bucked this trends e.g. Dunelm sales up 4.5% in 26 period ending 30th Dec, digital mix up 2 %pts to 37%
    4. From a revenue perspective, across Vervaunt’s core premium brand data-set, December was +13%, which is similar to other months in H1, but lower than November. Overall, many of our clients are happy with Q4 performance vs the prior quarters and are pretty optimistic going into this year. Traffic was also +13%.
    5. Going more specifically into channels, Meta spend was up 57.2% with revenue up 124%, delivering the bulk of the uplift for the month. CPMs have come down nicely from the November peak at -26.2% to an average of £6.15 across our client set. We are expecting to see these drop a further 25% moving into January.
    6. Google Ads saw spend up 19.9%, with revenue up 39.4% marking slower growth vs. Meta. It is important to note here however that Google still contributes to the majority of paid revenue across our client set, in December the split was 80.6% in favour of Google. CPCs for the channel were up 21.1% to an average of £0.59.
    7. Agencies we work with a lot are seeing more inbound leads for tech evaluation & replatforming, which is often the catalyst for review and investment in other tech as well e.g. product discovery
    • What  is built with showing from Q2 2023, in terms of UK number of installs (as a proxy for platform demand)?
    • Trending up: Commercelayer (off small base), Shopify, BigCommerce (B2B driven), Remarkable Commerce, Centra, Scayle
    • Trending down slightly: Salesforce, Commercetools, Magento (but a few agencies I’ve spoken to say interest is picking up driven by product catalogue management & international), Optimizely, Elastic Path
    • Challengers are starting to win some big deals – Centra has won Luca Faloni from Shopify. CommercLayer have won a couple of large ones that we can say yet. Equally, Shopify in the closing stages with some big brands
    • CommerceTools Frontier new to market – be interesting to see how this does + price point + eco-system
    • Distribution: Shopify 21%, Woo 16%, Magento 8%,
      1. Shopify segment count is interesting:
      2. Emerging (£1M – £10M) – 57% // 16 of 28
      3. Mid-Market (£10M – £20M) – 40% // 2 of 5
      4. Large (£20M – £125M) – 44% // 8 of 18
      5. Enterprise (£125M+) – 11% // 1 of 9
  3. AI roundup:
    1. Rabbit AI personal assistant powered by AI sold out > 50k devices in 10 days! It’s designed to save people time and make life easier e.g. book a flight. BUT do people really need another device in their pockets? Apple or Google to build or buy?
    2. AI generated content now affecting or infecting Google News
    3. Clutter: 25bn social media posts every day (across all platforms): how do you stand out? Big brands like Sketchers are now using AI to analyze content patterns, using

Want to suggest a topic or guest for a future episode? Contact us via the website or on LinkedIn.


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