May 6, 2024

Ecommerce Fastlane Hot Take: Top Trends for Shopify Brands This Summer

Steve Hutt

Studies suggest retail sales fluctuate by 23-40% depending on the weather, which can sometimes mean sluggish summer sales. However, this is not always true for when the market is online. Ecommerce has made up a seasonally consistent portion of retail volume for the last 4 years. So although customer behavior in general tends to shift with the seasons, warm-weather shoppers are just as eager to spend money online as they are during the rest of the year. 

All of this means Shopify brands have plenty to be excited about in 2024. Summer is almost here, and mobile commerce volume is expected to hit $710.4 billion by 2025. This new growth can help ecommerce vendors find consistent revenue, even while customers spend more time outdoors.

Mobile purchases, last minute orders, or timed discounts can all take a potential buyer from beach to ‘buy’, which is why staying on top of trends is important to ensure your ecommerce brand stays relevant all year long. Here are some of the top trends for Shopify brands this summer.

Shopify Brand Trends in Summer 2024 

Brick And Mortar Experiences, Featuring Digital Ads

According to Insider Intelligence, digital ad spending is expected to spike in 2024. Modest levels of ad spending in 2022 and 2023 have given way to a digital ad boom expected to reach $870 billion by 2027.  

Alongside the extra spend on digital advertising, Shopify brands are also buying up brick and mortar space. Shopify itself is reminding ecommerce retailers that more digital brands are seeking a physical presence in retail, although some of the brick and mortar experience will be via showrooms, pop ups, or virtual tours. 

While ecommerce brands won’t necessarily find a permanent ‘home’ in brick and mortar retail, summer 2024 could see more digitally native brands enter the physical shopping space. To get in on the trend, try hosting a popup at a trade show or local festival; over 50% of Shopify brands surveyed by Ecommerce Fastlane said ecommerce popups were their preferred tool for customer engagement.

Throwback Fashion & Beauty Debates

Shoppers continue to prioritize skincare and well-being, and Shopify stores and influencers alike have responded with products related to fashion, wellness, and self-care. From k-beauty trends (like Korean skincare, ‘glass skin’ and the 2024 resurgence of products containing ‘snail mucin’) to yoga gear, summer 2024 is expected to bring plenty of fit fun - and a few new throwback fashion trends to shop. 

Skinny jeans are back and the 2000s are in. However, TikTok isn’t sure about lashes. A recent flurry over the “death” of the eyelash extension industry has sparked debate, as DIY lash extensions, which can be purchased on ecommerce sites like Amazon or from Shopify brands, are quickly replacing expensive professional sets according to industry pros. At the same time, other influencers are avoiding lashes entirely  or switching to UV lash extensions – which was a breakout trend on Google heading into Q2 of 2024. 

Shopify cosmetics or beauty brands should keep on top of the situation as summer starts, in the event of any ‘lash’-ting change. With the rise of social commerce, it might be a perfect time for beauty brands to court new devotees. 

Social Commerce & FOMO Flash Sales

Mobile commerce is rising, and social commerce (sales on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, or Tiktok) is taking off. Gen Z buyers are more likely to shop and browse on mobile devices than any other generation, with 47% of them choosing to shop mostly online. 

Whether it’s sharing your take on eyelashes or hosting a ‘live shopping’ flash sale, summer 2024 promises to bring social media and shopping together. Now that commerce is seamlessly integrated into social media platforms, brands can harness buyers without leaving the app – and tap into a potential new marketplaces for ecommerce sales. To get in on the trend, use social media to do what it does best and leverage some just-for-fun FOMO (fear of missing out) to capture customers with flash discounts and speedy sales

For Shopify brands looking to make the most of summer trends, responsiveness is key. Engaging with customers, both digitally and in person, is especially important for ecommerce brands looking to keep up with shoppers in 2024. Whether it’s through live shopping experiences or social media flash sales, joining in on trends promises to bring a ton of fun. 

Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Products Gain Momentum

Consumers are increasingly prioritizing sustainability when making purchasing decisions. A 2024 Global Consumer Trends study found that over 60% of consumers are willing to pay more for products from brands they perceive as environmentally responsible]. Shopify merchants offering sustainable and eco-friendly products are well-positioned to capture this growing market segment. Popular categories include organic skincare, recycled fashion, and zero-waste household goods.

Influencer Marketing Continues to Drive Sales

Influencer partnerships remain a powerful tool for Shopify brands looking to expand their reach and drive conversions. A 2024 luxury marketing report revealed that athlete influencers, mainly, deliver impressive results for fashion and beauty brands. For example, tennis star Emma Raducanu's Instagram posts for Christian Dior generated over 40 million impressions and 1.1 million engagements in 2023 alone. Shopify's built-in Collabs tool makes it easy for merchants to find and partner with relevant creators.

AI-Powered Features Enhance the Shopping Experience 

Artificial intelligence is transforming ecommerce, and Shopify is at the forefront with its suite of AI-powered tools called Shopify Magic. These features, including product recommendations, email marketing assistance, and the AI assistant Sidekick, help merchants save time and provide personalized experiences for customers. As AI advances, expect to see even more innovative applications for Shopify stores this summer and beyond.

Dropshipping and Product Sourcing Simplified

Shopify's new Collective offering streamlines the process of sourcing products from other merchants, making it easier for brands to expand their inventory without the hassles of traditional dropshipping. This feature and the Marketplace Connect app for managing sales across multiple channels empower Shopify merchants to diversify their product offerings and reach new customers during the busy summer shopping season.

By staying attuned to these trends and leveraging Shopify's latest features, ecommerce brands can make the most of the exciting opportunities that summer 2024 has in store. Whether through eco-friendly product lines, strategic influencer partnerships, AI-enhanced shopping experiences, or expanded product sourcing options, Shopify merchants have the tools they need to thrive in the dynamic world of online retail.

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Steve Hutt
Founder and Podcast Host, Ecommerce Fastlane.

Steve Hutt is the Founder and Podcast Host at Ecommerce Fastlane. In the ever-evolving world of commerce, the only constant is change. To remain competitive, companies must stay current and strive to be industry leaders. Steve Hutt, a seasoned entrepreneur with multiple successful ventures, has been at the forefront of this change since founding eCommerce Fastlane in 2016.

With a vision to create a comprehensive resource and thriving community in the fast-paced world of e-commerce, retail, marketing, and entrepreneurship, Steve has established himself as a valuable source of knowledge, insight, and strategy for Shopify-powered brands. Through his popular Commerce Insights Blog and Top-Rated eCommerce Fastlane Podcast, he brings together expert insights, dissects proven strategies, and highlights essential tools that empower businesses to improve efficiencies and profitably grow and scale.