Rethinking readiness: 5 retail trends every marketer should know for the year ahead

Lucy Sinclair, Ziad Chehade / January 2021

With the pandemic creating profound social, economic, and technological shifts, making retail predictions for the coming months might seem a near impossible task. But many of the changes that took place last year were not fundamentally new. While some trends that emerged were short-lived, lockdowns and social distancing acted as catalysts to accelerate behaviours that were already under way. Those changes are set to remain. For many businesses, the last 12 months have meant a focus on survival, though some retailers have seen huge growth as they responded to unprecedented demand in new and unexpected areas.

To succeed in 2021 and beyond, marketers will need to respond dynamically to shifting demand, find ways for customers to window-shop online, and balance competing demands for both value and ethical shopping options. What’s more, they’ll need to do all this while meeting consumer expectations that have proved fluid across categories. Almost every business is now expected to match the delivery and customer support options offered by the most well-established brands.

We’ve analysed thousands of retail Search trends and insights from 23 markets across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa on Google Trends to identify five key consumer trends that are expected to sustain in 2021 — or even longer:

  1. Consumers are taking window shopping online
  2. Consumers are carefully considering who they buy from
  3. Consumers expect better value than ever
  4. Consumers expect extensive delivery options for everything
  5. Consumer demand will remain dynamic

We’ve created a report that digs into the data behind these sustained trends to help retailers prepare for an otherwise unpredictable 2021. And, we’ve included a helpful checklist of concrete actions that every brand can take — from the best places to keep track of changing Search trends to the tools that allow you to take advantage of them. Take a deeper dive in the report below.

Rethinking Retail Report 2021
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