What will 2021 bring for Retail? A look at experts' predictions

Bob Galinsky | February 11, 2021

2020 was a long year for most retailers.  The Covid pandemic closed stores and caused millions of people to stay home and shop online instead.  So what will 2021 look like? 

According to the National Retail Federation, we can expect direct-to-consumer brands to prosper, helped by the shift to online shopping.  In addition, they predict that malls will become smaller and more targeted; that livestreaming will be a growth area; and that social commerce and touch-free technology will become mainstream.

Over at Forbes, retail analyst Greg Petro foresees an increase in consumer-to-manufacturer retail, cutting out the retailer entirely.  As for retailers, he thinks that "Buy Online, Pickup in Store" (BOPIS) is here to stay, and notes that the consumer gets to experience the thrill of purchase twice, once when ordering and again when picking up.  

Peter Sheldon at Adobe Analytics notes that "delivery is the new normal", and is now expected from retailers.  In addition, he says the pandemic will affect store design, with more space devoted to experience and less to stocking items. 

Tinuiti, a digital marketing company, sees a rise in "social commerce", where consumers buy directly off social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat.  They also note that online retailers will continue to establish an offline/brick and mortar presence, such as stores and showrooms.  Finally, they emphasize the importance of same day delivery, a potential advantage for small and local retailers. 

Retail is a dynamic industry, and change is constant.  2020, while an incredibly difficult year for many retailers, forced changes in business practices that are not going away.  

Brick and mortar retailers, even smaller ones, need an online strategy these days as a matter of necessity.  In addition, their stores have to be welcoming, interesting, safe environments to coax consumers into visiting.  Here at FC Dadson, we can assist with your store design and buildout projects.  If you've been "on hold", no problem.  We are ready when you are! 

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