Retail Trends

Current market volatility has hit retailers hard. Many are struggling to re-orient operations to meet customer expectations. Read our advice.

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The Best Is Yet To Come For Grocery E-Commerce In 2021

Scott Compton January 8, 2021
2020 was a banner year for grocery e-commerce as grocers swiftly responded to a massive pandemic-induced shift in consumer demand. But throughout the year, many grocers faced significant supply chain disruptions as well as costly (and rising) last-mile consumer expectations for same-day delivery and curbside pickup. It was a perfect storm of challenge and consequence, […]
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Retailers: Here’s How Consumers Are Shopping This Holiday Season

Sucharita Kodali December 17, 2020
The retail holiday season is in the home stretch. We expect US online holiday sales this year will top $173 billion — or fully 24% more than last year.
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Predictions 2021 Hub

Explore our blog posts, videos, guides, and other resources to understand the dynamics that will shape 2021.

Blog

Digital Go-To-Market Review: Beauty Brands

Sucharita Kodali November 30, 2020
Forrester’s Digital Go-To-Market Review evaluates brand manufacturers and how well they are positioned to thrive independently of online marketplaces and even traditional retailers. In our second edition of this study, we focused on the beauty goods sector, evaluating 34 brands on five elements for a total of 20 attributes. From this review, we rated seven […]
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2020 US Online Holiday Sales — Online Holiday Sales Will Reach Historic Levels Despite Uncertainty From COVID-19

Viraj D'Costa November 18, 2020
US online holiday sales in 2020 will total a historic $173 billion as pandemic conditions lead more consumers to shop primarily or exclusively online. Learn more.
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Online Grocery Investments: Going In Fits And Starts

Sucharita Kodali November 10, 2020
There were three interesting grocery developments in the last few days, all pandemic related and all reflective of the fact that digital transformation in grocery is still a work in progress and hardly a home run: Nestlé bought Freshly. This was probably the most predictable in that we’ve seen many big traditional companies buy startups […]
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Blog

Black Friday “All Season Long”? Expect The Bots To Follow Suit

Sandy Carielli November 5, 2020
I was scouring some of the Black Friday ads this week, and the trend seems to be less “Black Friday” than “Black November and probably most of December, too.” Best Buy is touting, “Black Friday all season long.” Target offers weekly “Black Friday Now” deals. Walmart? “Black Friday Deals for Days!” None of this is […]
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Blog

Give Customers The Gift Of Convenience This Holiday Season

Ryan Skinner November 4, 2020
This holiday season, many consumers will be forgoing big family dinners and exotic holiday markets and instead playing host to unwelcome guests like worry (for their health) and anxiety (for their finances). This holiday season, everyone just needs a break. Marketers can help consumers make the best of their holidays by making their lives a […]
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What Do Your Customers Want For The Holidays? Confidence

Andrew Hogan October 29, 2020
Now’s the time to make sure your customers understand whether they’ve found the right product on your site or app, know when they’ll receive their item in time, and know how to easily return the item if it isn’t quite right.
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This Holiday Season, Delight Customers With What Happens After They Click “Buy”

Emily Pfeiffer October 26, 2020
On Dasher, on Dancer, on Prancer, on Vixen . . . on FedEx, on UPS, on DHL, on USPS? There is no online equivalent to walking out of the store just after the moment of purchase, carrying a loved one’s holiday gift. This year, Deloitte foresees US brick-and-mortar sales increasing year over year between just […]
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Blog

What Were Other Retailers Up To This Prime Day?

Sucharita Kodali October 22, 2020
Since 2015, Amazon has hosted its annual summer sale, Prime Day, an exclusive deal event for its Prime members. In 2019, shoppers purchased more than 175 million items during the event, and its sales surpassed the prior year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales combined. For this year, due to COVID-19, Amazon’s highly anticipated event […]
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Predictions 2021: It’s All About Empathy, Digital, And Virtualizing Customer Care

Ian Jacobs October 21, 2020
The purpose of customer service is no longer just to alleviate run-of-the-mill inconveniences; it is to provide fundamental and necessary services for consumers devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn how customer service will evolve in 2021.
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Predictions 2021: Retailers, Brand Manufacturers, And Mall Operators

Sucharita Kodali October 20, 2020
In the wake of the pandemic's deluge of disruption, retailers, brand manufacturers, and ecosystem players such as mall operators are entirely rethinking their businesses, heralding much change ahead. Read what we predict for retail in 2021.
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Blog

Holiday 2020 Kicks Off

Fiona Swerdlow October 14, 2020
It’s Amazon Prime Day and Big Billion Days week — a fitting time to kick off Holiday 2020 and Forrester’s annual holiday prep blog series. In the coming weeks, watch for Forrester analyst expert insights about everything from marketing, podcast advertising, and smart post-purchase notifications to US holiday forecast scenarios, “11/11” event analysis, thwarting “grinchy” […]
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Introducing Forrester’s Digital Go-To-Market Review: Home Goods Edition

Sucharita Kodali October 6, 2020
In a rapidly evolving retail environment, brand manufacturers that have traditionally sold through wholesale channels now need to think very differently about distribution. Some traditional wholesale partners are shrinking — meaning those (often long-standing) distribution partnerships simply can’t generate the sales and growth for brands that they did for decades. By contrast, online marketplaces are growing — and fast. Marketplaces promise access to vast swaths of new customers — but potentially also arm’s-length relationships with those customers and less control around placement, plus proximity to […]
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Add A New Payment Option To Drive E-Commerce: A Business Case

Sean Owens September 24, 2020
Discover some of the common benefit and cost factors that e-commerce merchants can use to build a business case for adding a new payment type.
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Blog

The Disruptive And Problem-Solving Potential Of Emerging Technologies In CPG, Healthcare, And Retail

Brian Hopkins September 22, 2020
Emerging technology is always changing, so we wanted to understand the impact on different industries. In this audio series, we speak with our analyst colleagues Jeff Becker, George Lawrie, and Arielle Trzcinski to explore how emerging technologies are changing (and will in the future), even solving some of the most important and complex issues in four key sectors: consumer packaged goods (CPG), healthcare providers, healthcare insurers, and retail. In a world where […]
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Attend Forrester’s Upcoming Event For Brand Manufacturers On September 29–30

Sucharita Kodali September 18, 2020
One of the biggest transformations in retail that Forrester highlighted in its recent B2C buying research stream is the growth of brand manufacturers in commerce and the corresponding tension with marketplaces like Alibaba, Amazon, and others around the world. (“Brand manufacturers” are traditionally wholesale companies that distribute through intermediaries. They’re a complex ecosystem, and no […]
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Blog

Three Consumer Changes Will Define The Future Of How We Buy

Anjali Lai September 15, 2020
The pace of consumer behavior change has clicked into another gear this year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn how three of these trends will transform buying for the foreseeable future.
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Research Collection

US Retailers Face Unprecedented Challenges In Planning For Q4

Fiona Swerdlow August 24, 2020
Q4 contributes a significant part of many retailers’ annual revenues and profits. As of mid-Q3, factors like high unemployment, a resurgence in COVID-19 cases, short-term and permanent store closures, and the expiration of the US Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program are making it challenging for US retailers to plan for Q4. We’ve created a collection […]
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Blog

Brands Must Evolve From Wholesale Suppliers To Partners

Michelle Beeson August 21, 2020
Brands have been reviewing and revamping their digital commerce strategies for some time. With consumers forced online during pandemic lockdowns across the globe, this focus on digital has only magnified. But digital commerce opportunities are not created equal for brands. Some brands are seeing significant growth in their direct-to-consumer (DTC) business and grappling with the […]
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