Just like everyone else, we at Toolio have been adjusting to the new Covid-19 environment as best we can. The long-term effects on individuals, societies, businesses and entire industries will be large and echo for years, if not decades, to come.
While the team has been staying safe and healthy, we have had some time to reflect on what the retail landscape might look like after we reopen. Our goal is not to bet on what happens in the next 3 to 6 months, but to identify long term trends that will shape the years to come. Some of these trends are not new, but they will be significantly accelerated due the Covid-19 pandemic and quickly become part of the “new normal.” These trends touch on all parts of the retail ecosystem - how you plan, design, produce, supply and sell.
Below are Toolio’s top five predictions for how the retail landscape will evolve in the years and decades to come:
- Planning will be more complex as retailers tread uncharted territories. Historical data will be harder to decipher and fast changing macro economic forecasts will bring uncertainty. Retailers will adopt technologies that allow them to make data-driven decisions faster. (See full post here)
- Product assortment and delivery will be optimized to limit markdowns. Brands will develop more evergreen products within smaller collections that have a more targeted delivery cadence. (See full post here)
- Supply chains will no longer be optimized just for cost, but for stability, flexibility and speed. Retailers will forgo margin for increased inventory utilization and redundancies / speed in manufacturing and fulfillment.
- Brands will take control of all distribution channels and points of sale will proliferate. Wholesale will morph into new formats, such as leased spaces and online marketplaces that offer increased ability to reach new customers.
- Retailers will increase productivity and efficiency using software and automation. Distributed workforces will be more welcome and the ability to collaborate remotely both internally and externally will be a part of the norm.
We will be discussing each prediction in depth during the following weeks on our blog. For your reading pleasure we will reference and link to some of the best articles connected to our predictions.
Please stay safe and healthy!