Beacon @ CES: Retail Trends: The New Shopper

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It goes without saying that 2020 has fundamentally changed how we shop, but in what ways? In another fantastic session from CES Digital, we got the top trends from retail over the last 12 months

Movement in where people spend

Health and wellness have become extremely popular verticals for consumers. As people are not able to go to the gym there has been a shift in people investing in outdoor sports such as cycling, golf, running.

Unsurprisingly, social spending has decreased dramatically with bars, restaurants and cinemas all suffering. However, this is expected to pick up significantly at the end of 2021 (dependent of course, on the vaccine rollout).

Digital-first retail strategies

Through necessity, people are becoming more comfortable online. From the weekly food shop to window shopping, online retail has increased with little indication of slowing down. Investment in a resilient and flexible supply chain is key. This is a vital asset in an uncertain world, allowing brands to react to the market in a nuanced way.

Doing good is good for business

Social responsibility was a huge talking point in 2020. Focus turned to the POC and Black communities, allowing light to shine on Female and Black owned brands that would otherwise go unnoticed.

As we went into our first lockdown, pollution levels plummeted giving rise to the question “why aren’t we taking better care of our planet?”. Eco-citizenship became increasingly important to modern customers – a trend that we think is here to stay.

Gender fluidity was another important area of discussion, with Harry Styles’ eponymous December cover of VOGUE sparking debates internationally, as well as the Tik Tok trend “I want to be pretty the way boys are pretty”. Gender expression has become a talking point across many age groups.

Size inclusivity has long been minimised within the fashion community. With high-street brands such as Nasty Gal and high-end brands like Dolce and Gabbana all making plus sized collections a permanent part of their repertoire, inroads are being made in normalising all bodies.

New ways to interact

They say necessity breeds innovation, when brands are unable to physically interact with their customers they must turn to other methods. 2020 saw a rise in many schemes such as:

  • QR codes
  • Apps
  • Reward Schemes

Something these trends all have in common is an importance on the customer experience. By investing in technology and workflow processes, the customer experience can be optimised and enjoyed. 

You can be what your customer needs, when they want it, how they want it.