2020 saw a rapid acceleration of several consumer behavior-driven trends that had been underway over the last few years. Online sales for the year, according to global consulting firm, AlixPartners, are expected to cross the 30% to 35% mark of total retail sales, much higher than the expected 18%. This growth forced the industry to make quick operational improvements and deliver on product, access, service, price and experience consumers demanded. However, AlixPartners believes that consumer behavior has changed forever. This means that retail will have to adopt many of its ad hoc adaptations permanently.

Keeping this in mind, AlixPartners has identified 10 retail trends expected for 2021. The firm divided its predictions into two interlinked dominant forces for the industry: consumer behavior and operations.