Retail & Ecommerce

Consumers in the US are planning to spend roughly $196 on Valentine’s Day this year, an increase of 21% over 2019, according to research from the National Retail Federation (NRF).

For Alexandra Waldman, launching Universal Standard was a no-brainer. She struggled to find clothes that fit her size-20 frame—even something as simple as a T-shirt that didn’t have a puppy or a "live, laugh, love" affirmation on it.

Click and collect is rapidly growing in popularity, even among consumers who haven’t tried it yet.

Digital installment plans are growing in popularity, particularly among more budget-conscious, younger consumers. In the past year, adoption of digital interest-free payment programs grew from 24% in Q1 2019 to 30% in Q3, per data from CivicScience.

AI has been a hot topic for a while, and attitudes about the technology vary throughout Western Europe. Still, companies are adopting AI to improve business results.

In a marketplace crowded with competition, ride-hailing pioneer Uber still dominates the US transportation-sharing economy. But as the first mover's growth slows, its main competitor Lyft will increasingly claim market share.

The rise of digitally native, direct-to-consumer (D2C) businesses is one of the most transformative movements shaping the ecommerce landscape. In the coming years, many consumers intend to make a significant percentage of purchases with D2C brands, but there may be a ceiling.

An increasingly important part of companies’ messaging efforts is content marketing, which they rely on to build brand awareness and engagement, provide thought leadership, and tap into cultural conversations around particular trends and topics.

While some US consumers are warming to the idea of making voice-based purchases via smart speakers, the number of those doing so is smaller than initially estimated. In our latest forecast on smart speaker users, we lowered our outlook for the number of smart speaker buyers (people making a purchase via a smart speaker) as well as the number of smart speaker users (people who use smart speakers for any purpose).

UK consumers continue to spend. However, as the realities of Brexit finally hit in 2020, the purse strings will tighten. And with ecommerce becoming an ever-greater portion of total UK retail sales, the effect on the high street will be marked. A hard delineation between the online and offline worlds isn’t necessarily helpful, though, as those lines between “clicks and bricks” continue to blur.

The role of political advertising in social media will be a key discussion topic in 2020—an easy prediction to make. Kantar Media expects that US digital political ad spending will reach $1.2 billion this year, and we believe the social platforms that continue accepting political advertisers will be major beneficiaries of that spending.

We thought 2019 would be the year when social properties finally started making measurable gains in social commerce, and we were right. Instagram led the way, with several new shopping features, including Checkout, that make it easier for consumers to go from inspiration to purchase.

The UK is a nation of digitally advanced consumers. However, it lags behind many other countries we track when it comes to proximity mobile payments. No other country comes remotely close to China’s rate of penetration among smartphone users—81.1% vs. just 19.1% in the UK. But whereas the UK tends to come somewhere toward the top of most lists of digital adoption, in this case it falls toward the bottom of the “moderate adoption” bucket according to our adoption categorizations, below the likes of Indonesia and Italy.

Consumer adoption of online grocery—led primarily by Amazon and Walmart—saw hockey-stick growth last year. As these two Goliaths vie for market control, conflicting reports have made it difficult to determine who has the momentum, and where consumers prefer to shop.

Consumers have become more socially conscious in the ways they shop. At the same time, the notoriously unsustainable practice of fast fashion is thriving.

With a robust cache of data in tow and proven success with social, direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands have shifted their focus to more traditional mediums with the hopes of attaining a broader customer base.

Consumers are becoming more cognizant of their spending, some even considering financing high-ticket purchases in an effort to not spend all their money in one transaction.

Strong growth in online sales over the 2019 holiday season propelled the UK retail sector past a milestone. Ecommerce represented 28.2% of all holiday retail sales, surpassing the 25% mark for the first time. Total retail sales for the season amounted to £99.26 billion ($132.33 billion).

eMarketer principal analyst Victoria Petrock discusses what she learned from the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show. She then explains the significance of facial recognition bias and why paying with your hand makes sense.