Marketing and Customer Engagement Will See Changes

The pandemic changed the retail landscape in a big way. Find out what retail industry experts have to say about the trends that will continue into 2021 and what’s

coming next for retailers. The pandemic changed how Americans shop, and many of those changes are likely to stick around in 2021. Automation technology and social

media trends will continue to play a part in how the retail industry evolves. More retailers will offer personal shopping services, and social media influencers will

remain relevant.

This article is for small business owners who want to know what trends retail experts expect to see in 2021. As we start a new year, retailers – and entrepreneurs who

want to open retail stores – are wondering how they can best position their small businesses for a prosperous year. While it’s impossible to perfectly predict the

future, here are the retail trends that the industry experts we spoke with expect to see in 2021.

How customers engaged with small retail stores had already begun to shift to an online, mobile-friendly model, and the pandemic accelerated it. Social media will

continue to introduce customers to brands. Social media is a major driver of the customer journey and online sales for many companies. As we head into 2021, experts

expect that hashtags and meme culture will play as large a role as traditional advertising methods for successful small businesses and their younger consumers.

One way that will happen, Gabor said, is through “creative social commerce,” in which platforms like TikTok and Instagram fuel online shopping.

“Social shopping, such as shoppable TikTok and Instagram, picked up steam in 2020 and is likely to continue rampant growth in 2021 among savvy retailers,” she said.

“More creative social programming, such as what NYC neighborhood boutique Caravan NYC is doing, is also popping up. Its new business model involves hosting an

Instagram ‘variety show,’ complete with entertainment programming and brand/merchandise sponsors who sell their products via the program on the social platform, giving

Upper East Side retailers a new audience and channel to promote their brands.”

Influencers will keep playing a big role
Love them or hate them, influencers will remain relevant for nearly every retail brand. With companies highlighting authentic voices, Gabor said, consumers will be

able to look for leadership among those individuals.

“During a time when consumers prize honesty, sincerity, and truth from the brands they love, influencer programs must emphasize similar values,” she said. “In 2021,

brands will continue to be mindful that their micro-influencer campaigns focus on influencers who authentically align with the values and beliefs of both their brands

and their consumers to ensure that those influencer campaigns have a meaningful impact.”

Key takeaway: Consumers expect to be able to interact with your brand from their mobile devices, and they will continue looking to influencers for brand and product


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