The Outlook For Retailing In 2021  

Euromonitor International’s new Retailing data and analysis is now live for 2021. In this blog post, we share some of the insights we are seeing for the industry this year and how we are continuing to track the ever-changing retail landscape following the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and consumers shifting to online channels.

Key insights:

The overall global retailing industry contracted 2% in 2020 to US$15.4 trillion. Specialist retailers and department stores were two of the hardest hit sectors in 2020. Euromonitor forecasts that the industry will reach pre-pandemic levels in 2021.

In 2020, there was an unprecedented shift to e-commerce. The annual sales growth of products bought online globally reached 25% with Euromonitor forecasting it to expand by a 9% CAGR over the 2020-2025 forecast period.

The top three e-commerce retailers globally, including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, Inc and, saw their share of goods e-commerce sales drop slightly as legacy retailers ramped up their omnichannel operations due to the crisis.

E-commerce Readiness Model:

In response to this e-commerce boost we saw in 2020, we created the E-commerce Readiness Model to determine which countries and categories have the best market conditions to support higher e-commerce sales.

Using this model, we tracked more than 280 socioeconomic variables across 16 industries and 76 countries to assess the markets most primed for long-term e-commerce growth and identified a potential USD77.7 billion in additional e-commerce sales globally without additional infrastructure expansion.

New retail concepts and the future of the industry

Despite the pandemic, retailers’ appetite for innovation has been impressive despite being confronted by a challenging environment.

We examined fifteen global retail innovations in 2020, highlighting those likely to become permanent features in the global landscape. We look at new e-commerce tools and business models plus ways retailers are re-imagining retail spaces and creating meaningful engagements with customers.

Tech advances create unprecedented change across consumer-facing industries. The pandemic put a spotlight on the power of technology, and consumers are becoming more comfortable with tech-infused commerce. We discussed which tech investments will best align with consumer expectations in the coming years at the National Retail Federation’s Big Show. Download the presentation to learn more.

To see more of our retailing research in action, read our column published in Forbes, or request a demonstration to learn more about how our retailing research can support your organisation.