2020 was a very interesting year for the retail industry, with both its challenges and opportunities. Companies were drawn to focus on eCommerce, and they had to adapt quickly to new technologies and processes due to the global pandemic. Since the economic effects of these events will keep showing during 2021, I want to discuss my predictions on how retailers will have to evolve and some of the trends that will dominate.
The health issues derived from the Covid-19 pandemic have forced retailers to revisit their processes and strategies. Many companies have incorporated contactless payments and deliveries to their day to day operations, and things like “virtual” fitting rooms and foot-operated vending machines have become a reality. This trend will keep going stronger and become a mainstream practice during 2021, so retailers that would like to stay competitive will need to invest to upgrade their current methods to this new touch-less technologies.
With so many temporary trade restrictions, and materials/product shortages our worldwide supply chain processes were exposed and demanded immediate disruption. Substantial investments were made during 2020 to accelerate and revamp logistics. During 2021 the acceleration will remain constant and experimental projects like dark stores, ghost kitchens, micro-fulfillment centers and malls masquerading as distribution centers will be just a part of the innovations that this will bring.
Social media use increased by 72% during 2020, and it’s not stopping. Retailers will need to couple with trends that were already in the market (like shopping via social media or directly from influencers and YouTubers) but that not only turning mainstream but dominating the market. It’s important to note that with the death of third-party cookies, other sources of traffic like livestreaming and organic social media growth will gain strength.
Founder and CEO of The Revenue Optimization Companies (T-ROC), Brett is a retail expert, serial entrepreneur and ForbesBooks author. He is a results-driven executive with decades of experience and success in the retail and technology industries. The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and Gold Stevie Award winner thrives on building businesses from the ground up and prides himself on being at the forefront of technology. Brett has been directly involved with the development, opening, and operating 1,000’s of retail communications stores nationwide, as well as the management of large-scale, high-performance field sales teams. Brett has hands-on experience and a track record of success with start-ups, profit turnarounds, mergers & acquisitions, IPOs, and fundraising. His companies have assisted Fortune 500 companies such as Apple, Samsung, T-Mobile, AT&T, Walmart, Comcast, and many more. Companies Brett has founded have been listed on the Inc. 500|5000 more than 15 times as well as regularly appearing on the fastest growing company lists of The Deloitte Technology Fast 500 and many others. Brett believes in combining people and technology to help companies reduce costs and increase sales while always exceeding customers’ expectations. To learn more about Brett and his companies, visit www.trocglobal.com, or www.brettbeveridge.com.