Skip to navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer

What Will Shape Shopper Marketing and Retail in 2020?

Back to news

What Will Shape Shopper Marketing and Retail in 2020?

We asked a panel of TMA’s consumer engagement pros to weigh in on what they saw make an impact on shopper marketing and retail in 2019 and what they see on the horizon for 2020. Here’s what they had to say.

Kevin Kleber | VP, Creative Director

What was the biggest shift (or trend) that occurred in retail/shopper marketing in 2019?

“Content driving commerce” continues to shift toward “content becoming commerce.” Celine Dion music videos, stories, tweets, augmented reality Snap Lenses, pop-up shops, touch screen kiosks, even something as common as a wall — as we all now instinctively understand, these are no longer mere brand-building media opportunities. Powered by technology, they’re all potential direct-to-consumer shoppable experiences that are redefining what exactly retail means.

What forces/trends will shape retail/shopper in 2020?

More of the same enhanced shoppability occurring more often, in more places, with higher expectations from consumers to make it as seamless and frictionless as possible. The next time you catch yourself about to utter the words “path to purchase,” stop and whisper to yourself “everything is retail.”

Rocky Longworth | VP, Consumer Engagement Strategy

What was the biggest shift (or trend) that occurred in retail/shopper marketing in 2019?

From transactional retail to experience provider: experience is everything to people, aka consumers. Experience doesn’t mean “stunty” events or celebrity partnerships but putting a core focus on customer service. People shop and engage across multiple platforms, digital continues to permeate the landscape, social is driving purchase, and will continue to grow in relevance. However, at the end of the day, it’s how a brand makes people feel that creates and improves value; brands and retailers have renewed their efforts to connect with people through the service experiences they provide.

What forces/trends will shape retail/shopper in 2020?

Technology, such as artificial intelligence, augmented, and virtual reality, will endure and become more prolific in 2020, no question. 5G technology offering brands and retailers the opportunity to create more vibrant experiences for consumers and shoppers. However, Millennials and this new up-and-coming Generation Z will make significant impacts on how retailers and brands behave. From one-size-fits-all to individual customization. Yes, Levi’s will personalize (embroider) its jeans for you and from transaction to purposeful social consciences – think Tom’s Shoes or WarbyParker, both Gen Z and Millennials will continue to shape how brands, retailers, and businesses operate.

Taylor Schumacher | Director, Strategy

What was the biggest shift (or trend) that occurred in retail/shopper marketing in 2019?

“Mobile-first” has been a mantra for years now. A time to prepare for. And now it’s here. More than half of Black Friday website traffic was on smartphones and 39 percent of purchases were on a mobile device (a 21 percent increase YOY). We’re not surprised people like to buy things while they’re lounging on their couches in their PJs watching Netflix.

Direct-to-consumer brands have found purpose in the in-store experience by embracing it as that, a shopping experience. A popular trend prediction in 2018 come true, we’ve seen brands like Glossier, Allbirds, and Outdoor Voices find growth (and buzz) by expanding from the digital to the physical.

What forces/trends will shape retail/shopper in 2020?

Sustainability is mainstreaming. And not just when we’re talking about straws. We’re seeing sustainable consumption across industries and products. Everything from clothing to tools to furniture and home décor to cars is being shared or rented. Almost any product you can think of is on Facebook Marketplace being sold from one peer to another. And then there are the new products that are more environmentally friendly, plastic-free, and endorse quality over quantity. With the state of the Millennial generation’s finances and the predictions of a coming recession, sustainability will not only be trendy, it will be a necessary attitude for many of us to adopt.

Will Clarke | EVP, Creative

What was the biggest shift (or trend) that occurred in retail/shopper marketing in 2019?

In 2019, the robot revolution occurred, and everyone was too busy shopping on their phones to really notice. Packing robots, delivering drones, and AI-enabled shopping are all present day. That’s right, 2019 wasn’t the year that drones buzzed our heads, but it is the beginning of that era. E-commerce emerged as the most popular form of shopping and Amazon Prime has made two-day delivery seem, well, a little slow. Drones are here and soon they will be everywhere. AI will improve machine learning so retailers will know you want something well before you do. And the speed to delivery with robot-enabled logistics will make two minutes seem like forever. Yeah, the beginning of all that happened this year.

What forces/trends will shape retail/shopper in 2020?

Social shopping will continue to take shape with Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest, but I predict the breakout star of 2020 for shopping will be TikTok, the fastest-growing and most popular digital platforms out there, claiming 30 million active users every single month (in the U.S.) and more than 150 million users worldwide.

Kelly Platt | SVP, Account Service

What was the biggest shift (or trend) that occurred in retail/shopper marketing in 2019?

I heard a great quote this year, “Consumers expect brands to have something more in their DNA than just what they produce.” While the trends of cause marketing and consumer activism are not new, they’re gaining steam at a record pace. With an in-depth knowledge of their core consumer base, retailers and brands alike need to recognize this expectation and act accordingly.

What forces/trends will shape retail/shopper in 2020?

In the age of snapchatting and tiktoking, how do you (as a retailer or brand) take the next step in terms of cause marketing and consumer activism? Giving consumers the ability to act on the things they care and are passionate about will be key to forming a relationship beyond a single transaction.

Leo Santos | SVP, Creative

What forces/trends will shape retail/shopper in 2020?

Values-Based Shopping: As the bulk of the purchasing power transitions to younger generations that care deeply about the ethics of the brands they support, sitting on the sidelines of social issues to avoid controversy is going to become ever more difficult. Consumers will force a much bigger focus in CSR. They’ll expect brands to be actors in service of a greater good, serve their communities, be part of the circular economy in minimizing their own waste and working toward a sustainable future, and advocate for issues they care about. Companies that continue to avoid alienating any part of their consumer base by abstaining from taking sides will ultimately be seen as guilty of the sin of omission and shunned in favor of brands considered more responsible for the world around them.

Same-Day Delivery: This is part of that multichannel continuum, but retailers are now chasing after Amazon and starting to close the huge convenience gap created by quick delivery. What’s become a matter of survival for retailers might actually become an existential threat to CPG brands that lean heavily on impulse buying. Will they become confined to convenience retail?

Melissa Hickey | Account Director

What forces/trends will shape retail/shopper in 2020?

I think the trends that will continue to shape retail/shopper in 2020 will be continuing to bring that digital interaction further into the store. Paper POS won’t cut it anymore, consumers want additional information around the brands they are buying as they are shopping, wherever that may be. Retailers and brands need to figure out innovative digital solutions in-store that provide that immediately. With the resurgence of QR codes and AI becoming much more mainstream, brands need to figure out how to get involved in those spaces to deliver that expected experience to their shoppers.

Will these predictions pay off? Only time will tell. But, it’s safe to say our consumer engagement team will be watching and keeping our clients ahead of the game.

MORE LIKE THIS: