web iconshouse solid32   web iconsphone solid32    Login Button   Join for Free

Retail Trend Update: Mid-Year 2021

As the pandemic continues to chart its unpredictable path, and the retail sector is left wondering if things will stay the same, get better, or soften. So the VDB News Crew decided to take a look at the "state of retail" at the mid-point of 2021.

We start with an overview of what's happened so far in 2020, then we'll dive into some key trends that are shaping how retailers think about their business going forward. We'll also discuss where they're seeing opportunities for growth, as well as challenges facing them now and in the future. Finally, we'll share our thoughts on whether this year has been good or bad for the industry overall.

So let’s jump right in!

Storytelling Continues to Matter

The first thing you need to know about the state of retail today is that storytelling matters more than ever before. It used to be that consumers would go shopping because it was time to buy something new; but these days, people shop when they want to connect with others. They do it online, through social media, and even by visiting brick-and-mortar stores.

Physical Experiences Are Important - But Will Share with Digital Going Forward

Retailers have always had to balance physical experiences against digital ones. Now, however, there seems to be no middle ground: either your customers prefer one over the other, or both equally. And while many companies are still struggling to figure out which way to lean, most agree that the two worlds can coexist quite nicely together.

The Future Is About Being More Than Just A Retailer

In recent years, the term “retailer” has become synonymous with any company selling products directly to end users. This definition may seem limiting, but it doesn't mean that all businesses should stop being retailers. In fact, the opposite might actually be true. As technology advances, the lines between different types of businesses continue to blur. The world needs more than just retailers – it needs innovators who create value for society.

Personalization is Only Getting Hotter

It wasn't long ago that personalization meant sending targeted emails based on customer preferences. Today, though, it means much more than that. Personalized marketing includes everything from product recommendations to customized pricing strategies. Companies like Amazon and Google are already using AI to make personalized suggestions to shoppers, and those technologies are only getting smarter every day.

Consumers Want To Be Heard

Customers don't care about brands anymore. Instead, they want to hear from real people who understand their problems and concerns.

New Ideas Are Emerging from Retail Partnerships

Companies across industries are partnering up to solve big issues such as climate change, healthcare costs, and education funding. These partnerships aren't limited to traditional competitors, either. For example, Walmart recently partnered with Lyft to help its employees get home safely after work hours. Small retailers serving cities and regions should be thinking the same way - looking for opportunities to collaborate and contribute to community life and wellbeing.

Social Media Continues to be Important for Retailers

As a result of this shift in consumer behavior, social media continues to play an important role in how we interact with each other. According to Nielsen's Social Commerce Index 2018 report, nearly half of U.S. adults use at least one form of social commerce, including Facebook Marketplace, Instagram Shopping, Pinterest Deals, Twitter Promotions, YouTube Coupons, and Snapchat Ads.

In summary, the retail trend of 2021 is simply an expansion - and an acceleration - of trends that were in place before 2020. It seems to not matter whether the economy goes up, down, or stays the same - consumers want connection, and they will favor the retailers that know how to deliver it.