A Look Back At The Retail And E-Commerce Trends And News Of 2019

On the latest episode of Today In Five:

2019 was a big year for the retail and e-commerce industries. Between record-breaking holiday sales, the resale boom, CEO departures, and more, there’s a lot to cover. So here are a few of the things we thought were noteworthy in 2019. 

Record-Breaking Black Friday and Cyber Monday

In 2019, Black Friday and Cyber Monday broke records. Digital sales were up 20% this latest Black Friday, reaching $7.4 billion across 4,500 retail websites that Adobe Analytics tracked. It became the second-largest online shopping day in history.

If you thought that was a lot, Cyber Monday 2019 blew it out of the water, reaching a whopping $9.4 billion in online spending. Not only does this indicate the growing importance of retailer’s digital strategies, but it’s a sign of the changing times for the consumer. The convenience of online shopping and the world of Amazon has had a radical effect on the retail landscape and we can’t wait to see how that further develops in 2020.

Sustainability Took A Front Seat

Speaking of Amazon, they made headlines numerous times in 2019. Notably, Jeff Bezos made steep claims to achieve the terms of the Paris Climate Agreement a decade earlier. His statement marks a deeper cause, one that many retailers are working hard on. Sustainability and being aware of environmental impact has taken over global headlines and retailers are feeling the effects. More consumers are looking for brands that create sustainable products and find ways to offset their environmental impact. As a result, businesses like Allbirds have seen incredible success because of their mission to focus on sustainably and ethically-made products in the industry.

The One Where Resale Was A Massive Industry

Consumer demand for sustainability has created a boom in the resale industry. Once thought of as taboo, secondhand clothing and resale businesses like ThredUp, The RealReal, Poshmark, and even rental companies like Rent the Runway, are at the top of the pack in a market that’s expected to hit $51 billion by 2023. 2019 saw a lot of new players try to break into this market, even the Kardashians are taking a swing with Kardashian Kloset. Brands like H&M, Urban Outfitters, and Banana Republic are also introducing clothing rentals to their strategy to reach the mindful consumer.

Grocery Delivery Wars Waged On

Same-day grocery delivery wars waged on in 2019. Amazon and Walmart led the pack, but Walmart still has the upper hand. The retailer has even been testing autonomous delivery in certain markets. But as Amazon continues to work on its own grocery chain separate from it’s already owned Whole Foods, it will be interesting to see how this continues to develop in 2020.

Amazon Ups The Ante With Quick Delivery

Amazon has also put many retailers in a bind by driving consumer demand for fast and free shipping. Their rollout of same-day delivery drew a line in the sand that not many could cross over because of the margin-cutting impact it would have. Even Amazon saw their profits take a hit after making the transition. Target, after acquiring Shipt, was able to answer the same-day delivery call through the delivery service. Buy-online pick-up in-store services have also risen as a viable option for retailers and it’s one consumers seem to have embraced, driving a 43% uptick in buy-online pick-up in-store orders on Black Friday alone. 2020 will force a lot of retailers to look at their logistics and find creative ways to deliver on fast shipping.