These 5 Trends That Will Define Retail in 2020

The way we shop changed radically in 2019. It was the year two-day shipping started to became slow, perhaps because we’ve heard it so much by now—and Prime Day expanded into a two-day affair. We’ve already reflected on Amazon’s enduring impact on shopping, so here’s a look at the trends that will define the wider retail industry going into 2020:

Faster Fulfillment
In 2019, we saw Amazon lead the charge to make one-day shipping the new standard, with other retailers expected to follow suit if they want to remain relevant. Amazon invested $800 million in first- and last-mile fulfillment channels this year alone, which Oweise Khazi, director of Amazon intelligence at Gartner for Marketers, said will allow the e-commerce platform to vertically integrate its supply chain. Additionally, Amazon partnered with brick-and-mortar retailers like Rite Aid and is expanding its physical footprint to allow consumers to receive and return products across channels, he noted. And, through its Multi-Channel Fulfillment initiative, Amazon is starting to offer this capability to other retailers.

Click and collect
Buy online pick up in store (BOPIS) surfaced as a retail trend in 2018, and it truly went mainstream in 2019, with BOPIS orders growing by 39% this year, according to Adobe Analytics. Grace Smith, director of digital media investment at media and marketing services company Mindshare, pointed to retailers like Walmart and Target, as well as big grocery chains, that invested in click-and-collect in 2019 and saw an uptick in consumer adoption as a result.

Media networks
This was also the year that retailers followed Amazon’s lead by investing in their own media networks. The (familiar) list includes Walmart and Target, which Todd Bowman, senior director of Amazon and product marketplaces at performance marketing agency Merkle, said sought to expand their capabilities and on-board more brands.

Employee activism
As we look on, 2020 may also be defined by the flurry of employee protests at retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Wayfair and Whole Foods, which saw staff take stances on a wide range of issues, from government contracts and carbon footprints to gun sales and a living wage.