7 Hottest Retail Trends for 2020

7 Hottest Retail Trends for 2020

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What is retail marketing? It’s an industry that’s growing by leaps and bounds.

According to Statista, global retail sales amounted to nearly $23 trillion in 2017. This number is anticipated to reach approximately $30 trillion by 2023.

In the United States alone, total retail sales are anticipated to increase 2% to more than $5.5 trillion in 2020 compared to 2019 according to the Future of Retail 2020 report by eMarketer. 

Along with rapid growth, the industry is experiencing big transformations. Because of technological advancement, people expect shopping to be more convenient than ever.

Retail trends 2020 — the convenience triangle

In the 2020 Retail Industry Outlook by Deloitte, more than two-thirds of US adults named convenience (along with fair price and quality and variety of products) as a major reason for becoming a customer of a retail business, whether physical or online.

The Hottest Retail Trends for 2020

Clearly, retailers not only in the United States but all around the world should get themselves ready for a technological revolution. Let’s explore the hottest retail trends for 2020 and beyond.

Trend 1. Social Media Shopping

According to Statista, most people spend more than two hours a day on social media. 

Clearly, social media networks are one of the best ways to promote a retail business. And if you successfully use this advertising method to drive people to your brick-and-mortar or online store, keep in mind that social media itself has entered a new shopping era.

With the advent of Facebook and Instagram Shops, you can not only launch Instagram and Facebook retail ads but sell your products directly through these platforms for free. 

Trend 2. Omnichannel Marketing

Today, you have a lot of advertising opportunities to boost your sales. The question is how you can take advantage of them effectively. In fact, you have two strategies to do that. 

The first strategy is to focus on your brand, blindly deliver ads through the marketing channels where your target audience hangs out, and hope that somehow people will notice your business and buy what you offer. This is called multichannel marketing.

The second strategy is to focus on your customers and attentively monitor their journey through your sales funnel to build strong relationships with them. This is called omnichannel marketing. 

One of the hottest retail marketing trends in 2020, omnichannel marketing helps you create personalized, integrated shopping experiences that allow your business to create a personal connection with every customer who’s interested in your products. 

According to the winter 2020 Future of retail operations: Winning in a digital era

compendium by McKinsey & Company: 

  • 83% of customers claim they want their shopping experience to be personalized in some way
  • effective personalization can boost store revenues by 20% to 30%

Say you have a customer who has registered an account to buy a product on your online store, added the product to the shopping cart, and abandoned the cart without making a purchase. With omnichannel marketing, you have several options to encourage the customer to complete the purchase. 

For example, you can find the customer on Facebook and send a targeted ad that promotes the product they desire. Or you can go deeper using one of the top retail advertising trends — find out why the customer hasn’t bought the product and send a personalized offer that will definitely attract their attention.

Trend 3. Mobile and Responsive

Statista reports nearly 73% of all retail e-commerce sales will be generated via mobile by 2021.

Nielsen reports that 57% of consumers are using or are willing to use a mobile app for in-store navigation to find new products, deals, and promotions.

When it comes to retail, digital marketing must be mobile-first. 

If you sell products via an online store, make sure it has a responsive mobile website or mobile app. If you have a physical store, don’t hesitate to create a mobile app or online store. It will make shopping more convenient for your customers, and you’ll get more ways to advertise your business.

Trend 4. Online Presence for Offline Consumers

One of the greatest retail marketing opportunities so far is to connect physical with digital.

According to Think with Google, more than 70% of in-store shoppers who take advantage of smartphones for online research claim their devices have become more important to their in-store shopping experiences.

Retail trends 2020 — in-store shoppers

Additionally, three in four shoppers are more likely to visit physical stores if they find the following information in search results:

  • the price of an item at a nearby store — 75%
  • item availability at a nearby store — 74%
  • the location of the closest store with an item in stock — 66%
  • details about local stores (hours, phone numbers) — 63%
  • a map showing which stores carry the item searched for — 59%
  • information about what else is available at the store that carries the item searched for — 56%

The same study by Google also showed that 42% of shoppers continue to conduct online research while they’re in a store.

Retail trends 2020 — consumers using smartphones

In-store consumers use their smartphones to find more information on:

  • search engines — 64%
  • the retailer’s website or mobile app — 46%
  • a different retailer’s website or mobile app — 30%
  • another type of website or mobile app — 26%

As one of the most popular consumer trends in retail marketing, the combination of in-store and online shopping can give not only good profits but provide retailers with key insights for future development.

Trend 5. Messaging and Chatbots

Have you already sent or received a message via a messaging app today? 

The number of people taking advantage of mobile messaging is projected to increase to 3 billion by 2023. That’s a good reason to use this marketing channel for your retail business.

Chatbots are one of the hottest online retail trends for 2020 because they’re the only way to simultaneously personalize and automate communication with customers through messaging.

According to Business Insider, the global chatbot market is anticipated to increase from more than $2.5 billion in 2019 to $9.4 billion by 2024.

Retailers are developing chatbots to provide 24/7 customer service, show product recommendations, and sell products without relying on human employees.

Trend 6. Data-driven R&D

Research and development (R&D) based on insights from consumer feedback, product behavior, and other crucial data is one of the latest trends in retail marketing.

In the Retail Trends Playbook 2020 by Microsoft, 62% of retailers report that the use of big data and other analytics creates an advantage over their competitors. 

For instance, Adidas designed a collection of running shoes for the specific needs of local runners using information collected in London, New York, Paris, and other cities. And Alibaba in cooperation with Mars created a spicy Snickers bar after they received data on a growing consumer preference for spicy food.

Trend 7. Video Ads Made with Artificial Intelligence

Video content is on the rise. Cisco reports that video will account for 82% of all internet traffic by 2022. For this reason, video ads are going to become one of the hottest future trends in retail marketing.

What’s more, artificial intelligence platforms like Softcube made it easier, faster, and cheaper to make video ads. That’s one more reason to test this ad format for your retail business.