We’re only a few weeks into 2024 and it’s safe to say that we’re in for another watershed year. While consumers continue to grapple with economic uncertainty and security concerns, retailers will have to adapt their strategies in order to maintain customer loyalty and remain competitive.

And as AI continues to establish itself as the technology to watch, we’re merely scratching the surface when it comes to addressing its full impact on business.

As we move forward into the new year, we’re filled with anticipation for what’s to come. Here is a look at what I think lies ahead.

Consumer Behavior and an Economy in Flux

Brand loyalty will be the most important factor of consumer behavior in 2024. As a consumer, if I have fewer dollars to spend and I need to make choices on where to shop, I’m going to gravitate toward the brands I’ve purchased and was satisfied with in the past. People may also not be as willing to take a chance on new brands. Economic strains are really going to separate the great brands from the mediocre ones, so doubling down on efforts to build customer loyalty will be paramount for staying ahead.

We will see some erosion of consumer trust because consumer skepticism will be at an all-time high. Consumers won’t shy away from vocalizing a mismatch of brand values. Leaders will need to further define their strategy, and align internally on brand values.

Retail Security’s Day of Reckoning

We’ve seen security measures at retail stores continue to negatively impact consumers. Retailers can’t realistically expect people to continue to tolerate everyday items being locked up. This level of loss prevention makes for an awful customer experience.

Retailers are trying to strike a balance between convenience and security, but I’m inclined to say that customers are unwilling to tolerate a balance if that means everyday items are locked up. I don’t know what the solution will be, but I do think a major brand will figure it out. And the only way they’ll do it is by putting their customers at the center of the solution to determine what they want from their shopping experience. This is absolutely a priority for retailers, and one of them will emerge with a new approach. Whoever gets this right will stand to gain a massively disproportionate market share because consumers are not going to keep shopping in a vault.

AI From a CEO’s Perspective

I think the big thing about AI in 2024 will go beyond a mere technological fascination, but morph into a pivotal catalyst for professional growth and organizational productivity. Last year, AI was seen primarily as an intriguing technology concept. This year we will see a paradigm shift, placing the spotlight on AI’s profound influence on career dynamics and operational efficiencies.

We are certainly going to see AI as a skill set that employees will develop. As AI demonstrates its expertise in addressing a growing array of complex business challenges, astute leaders are increasingly seeking team members who can harness AI’s potential to its fullest. The ability to connect AI’s capabilities to business objectives isn’t just a competitive advantage – it’s rapidly becoming a professional imperative. Employees who can adeptly integrate AI into achieving strategic goals are set to be the trailblazers in this exciting era of technological empowerment.


Finally, in 2024, I expect to see what I would call “reluctant IPOs.” Perhaps an organization doesn’t have another funding source, and it’s probably a down round for their last two on the table, so going public is the only way to capitalize the company. We’ll have to see if that ends up being good or bad.