The 2010’s was a time of pivotal growth and exploration for brands. The use of technology in products and insights was a driving force behind some retailers’ success. Others broke the mold and wrote the playbook on everything from subscription services to user generated marketing. As the year comes to a close, it’s time to plan ahead and consider the emerging trends in 2020. Can your brand keep up?

Keep it simple

With the overabundance of noise in the market comes a greater desire for simplicity. The popularity of simplicity surpasses the technical design of products. More brands are approaching minimalism in advertising as well as product breadth. Put simply, consumers want less options and decision making. The balance of product assortment is a tricky one, but if there’s anything we can learn from the likes of Casper, Billie, and Spanx, its that there is power behind a single product offering. Consumers want to know there is quality and trust in what you offer. If you can sell that, you can sell anything.

Shifts in marketing

The days of mass advertising efforts are few and far between. Today’s consumers are reacting positively to influencer and consumer driven marketing. Going back to trust, nearly 50% of consumers rely on influencer recommendations as they would the advice of a close friend. The influencer market is so large that it’s expected to become a $6.5 billion industry in 2020, up from $4.6 billion in 2018. And those with large followings aren’t the only ones driving this change. Everyday consumers of brands can voice their opinions through various media outlets, resulting in low-cost authenticity value. Technology has allowed everyone to become a critic, a phenomena catapulting major brands forward.

Made just for you

The more we habitually shop behind screens, the more we crave that personal touch we lost going online. Personalization spans from AI technology understanding your purchasing behavior and recommending products just for you to elements of branding. Take skincare company Curology who makes it a point to label the customer’s name right on the product. Combined with a personal 1:1 call with a skincare specialist, this brand understands the need for personalization in a market devoid of it.

Sustainability and its socialization:

Sustainability has been a buzzword for a few years now. But with the onset of a new generation entering the consumer space, brands are now expected to contribute to society. This requirement has pushed brands to innovate improvements in sustainability such as positioning themselves into a circular supply chain. In these situations, finished goods are eventually recycled back to the beginning of the supply chain where they are re-used in manufacturing. So it's not enough to simply talk about your sustainable ways. You must go beyond in order to stand out. This new wave in sustainability will enlighten a new definition for the term “The Circle of Life.”

Artificial intelligence and machine learning

AI has allowed retailers to understand their consumers on a deeper level, but this was really just the beginning. Advancements in this space are well underway with the onset of audio commerce and learning. With an abundance of assistant devices powering our lives, it’s only a matter of time before goods like toilet paper automatically get delivered to your door just in the nick of time.


With the rise in technology we can expect the accessibility of global markets to grow, particularly for small businesses. Ecommerce platforms are enabling SMBs to expand internationally with the help of their built in marketing, sales, and distribution capabilities. Technology has also advanced to include visibility into shipping and custom regulations. Combined with governments that are opening up resources for exports, the global market has never before been more attainable.

Final thoughts

Of course, not every trend will work for every brand. It’s important to consider why these ideas are quickly becoming the norm. Perhaps they are improving the overall shopping experience or allowing brands to reach more customers. Whatever the case is, make sure you remember to  plan for what’s important for your brand to keep up in the new year. 

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