Mobile

Amid the carnage of bankruptcies, store closures, and massive layoffs in 2020, some retail companies actually fared very well. Adjustments to supply chains, product and service bundles, stocking and inventory, and customer service have been the keys to success for big-box retailers like Walmart, Target, and Best Buy. Others, such as Apple, lululemon athletica, Nike, and Starbucks, are focusing on innovating and modifying store experiences through digital integration, frictionless shopping, and atmospherics modified for a “new normal” of social distancing and sanitization.

“Women hold up half the sky,” former Chinese leader Mao Zedong famously said. More than fifty years on, women in China are doing so online, driving digital trends and fast becoming a cohort that marketers ignore at their peril.

For digitally native brands, 2020 was a hard year, especially as the pandemic shifted shopping priorities to essential goods. Even so, collectively, these brands saw increased growth—and more than we expected.

Many mobile app categories saw a boost last year as more consumers spent time with their devices during quarantines. According to our estimates for smartphone app user growth, grocery apps, food delivery apps, and health/fitness apps were the three fastest-growing categories in 2020.

Traditionally, travel advertisers including online travel agencies are among the biggest search ad spenders on Google. That business tanked last year, but ecommerce-related search advertising outperformed thanks to the supercharged digital retail environment.

Mobile games to stop targeting ads to kids: Some major developers and ad tech companies will need to stop tracking children under 13 after settling a lawsuit, limiting their targeting abilities.

As a disruptor in the wireless provider category, Mint Mobile’s marketing culture encourages risk-taking, whether that’s choosing not to advertise in the Super Bowl or having company owner and actor Ryan Reynolds leave voicemails for customers. Watch Industry Voices, with CMO Aron North, to learn what drives its viral marketing successes and more.

IDFA isn’t dead yet: New AppsFlyer data suggests that tracking opt-in rates could be much higher than the industry’s expectations, a spot of optimism that could make it worthwhile to keep collecting Apple’s Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA).

Though still in the early stages of rollout, 5G technology could bring about positive changes to the retail industry, as retailers seek to maintain their digital transformation efforts and bring consumers safely back into stores in 2021. Retailers will use their IT investments in 5G to enhance the customer experience, both in-store and online.