Trends in Retail

How to participate in the 'experience economy' in 2020

Elisabeth Zornes, chief customer officer at Zendesk, explains why competing on price alone will not work anymore for the retailer. You've got to design the conditions for brand loyalty and companies are rising to the top by differentiating with customer experience.

How would your CFO measure customer engagement and experience?

Jean Belanger, co-founder and CEO of Cerebri AI, zeroes in on how artificial intelligence and a data-driven approach can help brands understand customer engagement and, at the same time, optimize financial success.

Top 9 Statistics That Show the Value of Online Reviews

Online reviews are an unavoidable part of doing business online. Here are 15 stats that prove the importance of online reviews today.

How to create a customer experience strategy: A tactical guide

81% of companies expect to focus more on CX, but half say they aren't sure where to start. Learn how to create a customer experience strategy in three phases.

2020 tech trends

2020 technology trends to watch: cryptocurrencies, edge computing, brain-to-computer interfaces, AI-driven development, and autonomous delivery.

Greater Acceptance of Contactless Cards Has Led to Mobile Payment Growth in the US

The US has been relatively late in introducing contactless cards, which are credit or debit cards that include a near field communication (NFC) chip that can complete a transaction simply by tapping on a reader. But those cards are starting to arrive in the US now that most point-of-sale (POS) systems have the NFC capabilities to accept them.

How Are Consumers Spending Some of Their Time? Reading Reviews. Lots of Reviews.

Reviews play a central role in the path to purchase, and many consumers don?t just skim them before purchasing?or passing on?a product. Some will spend anywhere from a few minutes to more than an hour to make sure they?re making the right choice.

Amazon Continues to Entice Consumers with Free Shipping, Even for Simple Toiletries

Most consumers want a product delivered the second they order it, and Amazon is betting on that behavior to drive more sales by offering free one-day shipping on Prime-eligible products. An October 2019 CivicScience survey found that a plurality of US internet users would rather order a low-cost item (less than $5) via Amazon than buy it in-store.

"Retailers protect consumers' purchasing power" (Christian Verschueren, EuroCommerce)

What will 2020 bring for the retail sector? Growing tensions between retailers and their suppliers, fears EuroCommerce director-general Christian Verschueren. He hopes that the new European Commission will put a strong stop to increasing protectionism.

Ikea takes stake in start-up to optimise returns

Ikea has taken a minority stake in Optoro, an American start-up that develops software aimed at making returns more efficient. The investment fits in with the objective of the Swedish retailer to be a circular company by 2030.

After Black Friday follows 'Make up your mind Monday'

Black Friday has a new spin-off: ?Make up your mind Monday', the day which sees the most returns from bargain hunters who regret their decisions. It signals a major problem, as returns in the holiday season cost retailers several billions.

7 ways to improve your omnichannel customer experience

Winning in retail used to be about offering the right product at the right price. But now it?s more complex ? with features like whether you offer easy returns and free and fast shipping . This article explores the new demands facing retailers; how you can respond; and if your own site measures up.

Top 10 Digital Transformation Trends For 2020

Exploring the most significant digital transformation trends that will impact business and our lives in 2020

Daily Forecast: Click-and-Collect Paying Off for Traditional Retailers in the US

eMarketer senior forecasting analyst Cindy Liu explores our latest US retail ecommerce figures and the winning impact of click-and-collect for brick-and-mortars.

Influencers Could Help Drive Social Commerce

Social networks like Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok have ramped up their social commerce efforts in the past year, shifting toward an ecosystem where users can discover, shop and purchase products one place. Initially, these social commerce features were only offered to brands, but now social networks are experimenting by bringing the same tools to influencers.

Can Black Friday survive in the age of ethical consumerism?

It's hard to imagine the flogging of cut-price merch paving the way to a happy future for retailers.

Retailers: Make Your Website Accessible Or Leave Money On The Table

Just 2 percent of websites are designed for accessibility. Learn how to incorporate inclusive design principles for a more accessible shopping experience.

19 Marketing Challenges Brands Face in 2020

We asked marketing professionals to tell us the top marketing challenges they expect to face in 2020. This is what they said...

Female Shoppers Are Getting More Comfortable with Secondhand Fashion

More women are turning to resale sites, including The RealReal and Poshmark, as they continue to compare deals and make more of an effort to spend less.

Where Cash is Still King

This chart shows cash payments as a share of all payments in selected countries (2018).

Digital Wallet Users Could Double by 2020

This chart shows the estimated number of digital wallet users worldwide (in millions).

China Is Moving Toward a Cashless Society

In 2019, we estimate that 577.4 million people in China made a purchase via proximity mobile payment within a six-month period. Those users account for 49.6% of the country?s population. Next year, more than half of the population will utilize this payment method, with that figure rising to 60.5% in 2023.


In the future, will your wearable device recommend what to add to your grocery list? Will you be able to order a new chair from a mobile 3D printer that can deliver it to you in the next hour? When you reach for your favorite brand on the shelf, will it automatically communicate to the manufacturer...

Retailers and Shoppers Are All About BOPIS and BORIS

Retailers are understanding the importance of enabling these fulfillment options to eliminate the pains of shipping and processing, but how can a sound BOPIS and BORIS strategy ensure that they deliver a seamless purchase and return experience that actually drives customer loyalty and improves the bottom line?

FutureBrand Podcast: What does the future hold for the beauty?

Following the launch of our Future of Beauty report, we brought together a global panel of industry experts to discuss the key trends shaping the beauty sector.

Relevancy and responsiveness: The secrets to successful brand growth

Maintaining relevance and responding rapidly to consumer demand has helped Microsoft, Coca-Cola, McDonald's and Disney retain their spot in Interbrand's top 10 after 20 years.

Adidas: We over-invested in digital advertising

Adidas admits that a focus on efficiency rather than effectiveness led it to over-focus on ROI and over-invest in performance and digital at the expense of brand building.

Sustainability Is Factoring into 2019 Holiday Purchases

Discounts and low prices are historic holiday asks. But this year, sustainability is also top of mind. According to a recent survey, shoppers are more mindful of who they do business with, especially as it pertains to the environment.

The Search KPI Red Herrings E-Commerce Retailers Should Avoid

An e-Commerce site is a delicate balancing act. Inventory, pricing, content, CRM, search, recommendations, cart, payments and many other components ne...

5 Top E-Commerce Innovations For 2020: Retail Thought Leaders Share Tips And Stats

E-Commerce may have achieved many of the hallmarks of maturity, but in a lot of ways it still behaves like an adolescent: mercurial, intense and desig...

Are Retailers Ready For A Potential Cashierless Tech Boom?

While cashierless stores aren?t quite mainstream, they are gaining a foothold: 14% of retailers responding to the 2019 Retail TouchPoints Store Operat...

Industry Voices: Are All Retailers Undergoing a Digital Transformation?

We recently sat down with retailers, including Natori, Article and Enjoy Life Foods, to discuss their current marketing efforts and how they define digital transformation. Previously, we dug into the marketing channels they rely on most, whether they?ve acquired enough first-party data and what a unified customer view looks like. In today?s ?Industry Voices: A Focus on Retail? video, we look at how whether they?ve undergone a digital transformation and what that looks like.

Three Email Trends Retailers Should Keep in Mind for 2020

Email is still at the center of marketers? digital programs. No surprise there; it offers several benefits: It?s an owned communications channel, it?s permissioned?meaning consumers have opted in and indicated interest?and it?s a traditional marketing channel that most marketers are thoroughly experienced with.

Industry Voices: The Challenges Retailers Face in Creating a Unified View of the Customer

We recently sat down with retailers, including Enjoy Life Foods, Natori and Knix, to discuss their current marketing efforts and how they define digital transformation. Previously, we dug into the marketing channels they rely on most, challenges they face with measurement and whether they've acquired enough first-party data. In today?s ?Industry Voices: A Focus on Retail? video, we look at how they incorporate all the data they've collected to create a more unified customer view.

Chipotle CMO Chris Brandt on Telling the Company's Story as It Makes Its Comeback

For our upcoming report on the future of the CMO, we spoke to Brandt about making the Chipotle brand more visible and relevant to its customers through telling stories about the company's fresh-food values.

Three Future Trends in Chinese Luxury

At a recent Tong Digital breakfast briefing, the future of Chinese luxury was discussed, and some surprising points were made.


Mintel analysts from across the world highlight one brand in their country that's revolutionising the beauty sector through tech. Read more.

Adidas first to sell shoes via Snapchat game

Dick's Sporting Goods is also partnering on "Baseball's Next Level" to let gamers buy limited-edition cleats displayed in retro graphics.

54% of consumers to shop online for the holidays

Amazon continues to lead product searches, but its influence is declining, according to the report.

The era of 3D brand content is now

Our 3D digital world just took massive leaps forward. Here's how to make it work for your brand.

Pinterest gets its own shopping pages

Everything on Pinterest should be shoppable: with that in mind, the platform is adding shopping pages, where retailers and brands can inspire customers and encourage them to shop at the same time.

Boomers Aren’t as Influenced by Social Commerce as Younger Cohorts

Social media has become a hub of influence on many consumers? shopping. Boomers, though, have been wary of this, whether via ads, postings by fellow consumers or the cajolery of ?influencers.?

How Grocery Stores Will Become More Like Tech Companies

eMarketer executive editor Rimma Kats and principal analyst Andrew Lipsman explain how grocery stores will evolve, how many people could replace in-store shopping with voice commerce, a partnership between Alphabet?s drone arm Wing, FedEx and Walgreens and more.

How to Stay Competitive in the Life Sciences Industry? Follow these Market Trends!

As the global life sciences industry continues to flourish, competition among companies is inevitably increasing. To remain competitive, companies need the ability to predict and follow market trends, a feat that can be challenging. But companies can find support in others who are specialized in keeping up with these trends and know how to remain on top of the game. 

Amazon and Puma launch exclusive clothing brand

Sports brand Puma and Amazon have launched a joint leisurewear label called 'Care Of', which will be exclusively for sale through Amazon's marketplace.

Pinterest Exec on CPG Products, Branded Content and the Future of Social Commerce

Consumers are often creatures of habit. They know the products and the brands they like?and getting them to try something entirely new can be a challenge.

The High Fashion of Countering Facial Recognition

As surveillance technology pervades public spaces, evading Big Brother has become a wearable art

The last 30 years in beverage : how have consumers changed?

While soda may have dominated shelves in the 1990s, today?s shoppers are seeking increasingly sophisticated functional beverages. Data company Kantar has analyzed consumer behavior in a new report that highlights the last three decades in the US beverage industry.

Amazon is planning to bring a biometric payment method to Whole Foods

Amazon's biometric payment method at Whole Foods would allow Prime users with a card on file to scan their hand at checkout to make a purchase.

10 sessions you won’t want to miss at the Festival of Marketing

With 12 stages and hundreds of speakers across two days, there will be plenty to see at the Festival of Marketing. Here's our top picks.

Consumers Remain Skeptical About Ordering Fresh and Frozen Food Online

Walmart?s expansion of Delivery Unlimited, its grocery delivery membership, is the latest attempt by a major retailer to make online grocery shopping more appealing. But better delivery value only addresses cost?not quality.

What Should the In-Store Retail Experience Look Like?

eMarketer principal analyst Andrew Lipsman discusses what made the Apple Store so successful, which retailers are nailing the in-store experience, McDonald?s voice-activated drive-thrus, Walmart?s ecommerce initiatives and more.

Q&A to Former Walmart CMO: Understanding the Customer Path to Purchase Isn’t Always Easy, but AI’s a Good Start

Marketers have long grappled with how to best leverage the data they?ve collected. It?s certainly a challenge as data fuels nearly all of their marketing efforts?including personalization, audience segmentation and targeting.

Burberry partners with Apple on personalized messaging

"R Message" lets shoppers book in-store appointments, receive product advice and make purchases.

4 Effective Ecommerce Link Building Strategies

Building links can translate into more sales and return customers. Here are effective link building strategies for ecommerce sites.

What The Next Recession Could Mean For Marketers

A major shift away from TV advertising could cause ripple effects across categories

Vinted celebrates 700.000 Belgian members with Dutch expansion

Lithuanian second-hand clothing and accessory platform Vinted has reached 700,000 members in Belgium and now expands to the Netherlands as well.

How Zalando helps shoppers find the right size

Uncertainty about the right size keeps many consumers from ordering shoes and clothing online. It also causes a lot of unnecessary returns, so Zalando works on innovative solutions.

Social commerce sees highest adoption among retail tech

More than one-third of adults said they made a purchase through social media, coinciding with Facebook, Pinterest and Snap's expanded shopping features.

How physical retailers can combat online competitors with experiential retail

Andrew Little, events and special projects manager at Creatacor Inc., shares insight on how experiential marketing adds value beyond the traditional retail customer experience.

Ikea releases audio-book version of catalogue on Spotify

Ikea has turned its latest catalogue into an audio-book and put it on Spotify. The goal of that campaign is to draw attention to the digital version of the catalogue.

Ontex launches nappy subscription service in Benelux

Belgian Ontex, Europe's largest nappy producer, launches its nappy subscription service Little Big Change in the Benelux, after trialling it in France. The service starts today.

AliExpress opens first physical store in Madrid

AliExpress, an Alibaba subsidiary, has opened its first physical store in the Spanish capital Madrid. The Chinese say Spain is their major target in Europe.

How brick-and-mortar retailers can succeed on Amazon

Retailers need to view Amazon as a platform to not only sell more products but to build reputations as well.

Why OOH will revolutionize retail and the customer experience

Out-of-home digital, known as OOH, is making major strides and promises big changes in consumer shopping behavior. Interactive kiosks and digital signage will play a bigger role at retail.

Why conversational commerce is coming sooner than you think

Marco Lafrentz, vice president, tyntec, shares his insight on how online commerce has evolved significantly over the last two decades, and the ongoing shift is beginning to extend beyond the browser. Today's consumer expects immediate results and conversational customer service.

Zalando trials second-hand shop in Berlin

Zalando tests a second-hand shop for women's fashion items in Berlin, called Zircle. It is the second venture of the German e-tailer into second-hand clothing, following the app Zalando Wardrobe.

The North Face

This month, US-based outdoor retailer The North Face unveiled its new retail strategy with the opening of an 8,000 square foot store in New York. The new approach of ‘basecamps for exploration’ focuses on sustainability, community and celebrating the brand’s heritage. By the end of 2024, every North Face store will have reduced inventory to make room for educational and community-building activities, such as employee-led classes on tent-pitching, a speaker series with partner athletes, and archival pieces displaying the company’s history.

Here’s two takeaways you can bring back to your team:
Read more 

A no-deal Brexit could unleash a flood of fake goods in the UK, retail expert says

There could be an "explosion" in goods sold via the grey and black markets in the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to a British retail expert.

How retailers can thrive in the age of Amazon

Simon Hay, Outra CEO, explains why the day to day job of delighting customers has to be delivered by ruthlessly efficient, smart, agile technology if you are to compete on an equal cost basis.

UK Shoppers Fail To Pick Up 1 in 7 Click & Collect Orders

UK shoppers fail to pick up a surprising number of click & collect orders. But retailers, eager to solve the last-mile challenge, should focus on making the fulfillment option more appealing, instead of abandoning it altogether.

Gen Zers Are Turning to BOPUS for Instant Gratification

"Buy online, pick up in-store" is a retail service that a dominant proportion of today's youngest consumers are taking advantage of, according to Package Concierge. Nearly two-thirds of US Gen Z shoppers, surveyed by the mailbox tech company in May 2019, reported using BOPUS within the past month.

AI, Machine Learning Are Helping Retailers Spot Flaws in the Customer Experience

Retailers can?t always rely on customer feedback to measure the success of their ecommerce platforms. Small technical issues, which often go unnoticed by the business itself, can significantly hinder the customer experience.

Customer engagement key to long-term retail success

Scott Heimgartner, director of product marketing at Maropost, believes the key to customer engagement is to not just provide products and services to consumers but also provide the content that will keep them connected with your brand.

Consumers Are More Open to Biometrics

Nearly half of consumers surveyed by Paysafe said they?ve used biometrics?typically based on facial recognition technology?to make some form of payment.

A look at 12 myths in the luxury retail industry

The luxury retail segment is experiencing a transformation and with that comes a slew of myths, according to research conducted by the Luxury Institute and its Global Luxury Expert Network. The organization has identified 12 myths ? what it it also views as top obstacles ? to high performance retail this year: 1. Time is the ultimate luxury.