Welcome to our first weekly round-up of the most relevant news, opinions, and trends in 2021. With the turbulent 2020 behind us, retailers are approaching the new year with a mix of hope and trepidation, with the pandemic-induced uncertainty set to dominate everyone’s thoughts for the foreseeable future.
Industry headlines are still dominated by attempts to wrap our heads around the drama of 2020 and try to predict how the industry will perform going forward. As we’re still waking up from our holiday slumber, let’s dive into the early digital retail trends of the young 2021.
What’s new in the digital retail world
In the books: Perhaps the most monumental — and certainly the weirdest and most feverish — holiday season in the history of retail is finally concluded and the numbers are in. Here are the most eye-catching numbers, the most telling tendencies, and the biggest takeaways. (Retail Dive)
Delayed effects: Many retailers were hoping that the holiday shopping season would provide a silver lining to a near-disastrous year. And while online sales have indeed reached unprecedented levels during holidays, their aftermath might still rub salt into the open wounds, with record sales followed by record returns of unwanted presents — in the neighborhood of $115 billion! (Charged Retail)
Let’s get technical: No other year has been so dramatically shaped by the use of technology and the capability of businesses to utilize technology in order to overcome the mountain of challenges provided by the pandemic. Forbes brings us their choice of 13 biggest small business technology stories of 2020.
The synergy of giants: The young 2021 has already delivered its first blockbuster partnership! Discovery and Vodafone have signed a multi-year deal spanning 12 European markets that will result in the creation of a new streaming service titled discovery+. The service will deliver Discovery’s broad range of video content to Vodafone’s 100m+ user base. (PR Newswire)
The old normal: In his look ahead to industry-shaping trends for 2021, retail expert Brittain Ladd touches upon the falsity of retailer’s hope of a “return to normalcy”. Ladd states that the “old normal” was already broken and that the wave of innovation forced by the pandemic was long-overdue. He also provides a number of interesting recommendations for some of the major retail players. (Brittain Ladd)
For a more comprehensive view of the changing face of retail and the way technology powers its transformation, visit our Retail Reloaded series!