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#BizTrends2020: Faster and smarter - 8 retail trends for 2020

For the retail sector as a whole - and for physical stores in particular - 2020 will be a year of reinvention where retail will get faster and smarter.
Dov Girnun
The result will be a global retail sector that is stronger and better equipped to serve rising consumer expectations.

Based on our 2019 Men’s and Women’s Retail Sector Outlook report, here are the top 8 retail trends that you can use to grow and maintain a loyal customer base:

1. Next-gen flagships


Cities will see more spectacular retail from a new generation of flagship stores. We expect a new wave of investment in physical stores to be core to the reinvention of retail.

2. Fast retail


‘Fast retail’ will have shorter leases, more shared spaces and more short-term stores. This trend will also inspire new collaborations between retailers to boost store traffic and large-store retailers to seek cotenants to fill extra space.

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3. Frictionless physical retail


Technology will strip friction from brick-and-mortar retail. At the forefront of this tech-forward shift to address traditional pain points will be automated, checkout-free convenience stores.

4. Artificial intelligence


Artificial intelligence will become retailers’ go-to technology. Areas of opportunity for retailers to utilise are AI, communication/personalisation, pricing optimisation, inventory, and discovering new ways to engage with consumers.

5. Borrowing from ‘new retail’


Western retailers will borrow from ‘new retail’ with data-driven online-to-offline ventures. This will be seen in online retailers offering more physical experiences around calendar events and moves into permanent retail formats, with online data influencing decisions on everything from format to product range and location.

6. Conscious consumption


Consumers will look for environmentally and socially engaged brands and retailers. The conscious consumption trend will continue to expand into new retail sectors, the report states, and will push shoppers toward alternative acquisition models (such as resale and rental). This gradual shift will fuel further collaboration between retailers and brands in search of fresh ideas, endorsement from influencers, and being viewed as responsive to consumers’ concerns.

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7. Smart retail


More consumers will expect ‘smart retail’ interactions. Retailers will need to meet this desire with a holistic approach that integrates AI automation, human intervention, and data sharing to provide personalised and predictive interactions across multiple channels

8. Inclusivity


Shoppers will seek more inclusive offerings, impacting the apparel and luxury markets. Brands and retailers will increasingly target traditionally marginalised fashion consumers, according to the report, such as plus-size shoppers and consumers with disabilities seeking adaptive clothing. Midmarket retailers will add more niche sizing and adaptive ranges, and aspirational brands will look to partner with “body-positive” influencers and celebrities.
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