Five trends to harness growth and transformation in the new shopping era.


Sebastián Ramírez

Country Manager Colombia

The retail landscape has been evolving rapidly, with consumers constantly adapting to new technologies, economic uncertainties, and shifting preferences. This has led to a prevailing misconception that the future of retail is uncertain. However, the truth is quite the contrary.

According to Master Card spending pulse report from Q1 2023, the retail industry has experienced a 6.9% year-on-year growth in the US, making it one of the driving forces behind economic growth. In this article, we will explore five key trends that are shaping the retail industry and how businesses can leverage these trends for success.

The Power of Omnichannel and the Metachannel

One of the most significant trends shaping the retail industry is the integration of online and offline channels, creating a seamless and holistic customer experience. Omnichannel strategies, which focus on providing a unified shopping experience across different channels, have evolved into a more advanced concept called the metachannel. The metachannel approach builds upon omnichannel by using real-time consumer data to create personalized, coordinated, and blended experiences across both physical and digital platforms. According to a report by Accenture in 2022, 71% of consumers say they expected personalization, making the metachannel approach not only a key driver of customer satisfaction but also a powerful tool for fostering brand loyalty and driving sales.

The future of retail

Embracing Data Intelligence and Automation

The retail industry is witnessing a data-driven transformation, thanks to the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation. A study by Tractica predicts that AI services in the retail sector will increase from $5 billion to over $31 billion by 2028. Much like the metachannel, AI-powered solutions can also create personalized experiences by analyzing customer preferences and behavior, contributing to a more engaging shopping experience. However, AI brings with it additional benefits for a retailer helping businesses optimize costs through efficient staffing, inventory management, and supply chain operations. Additionally, the use of AI and automation enables companies to focus more on customer service, making it a core component of their business model.

Navigating Supply Chain Uncertainties

Global markets, raw material availability, and energy costs are all factors contributing to supply chain disruptions. Companies must shift their focus from the last mile to the first, leveraging demand sensing instead of demand planning. Real-time data can make the entire supply chain more visible and agile, allowing businesses to stay in sync with consumer demands and adjust accordingly. Researchers have found that companies using demand-sensing tools reduced their forecast errors by 20–50%, highlighting the importance of this approach in navigating supply chain uncertainties.

Balancing Brand Loyalty and Private Label Preferences

Brand loyalty remains strong in certain categories, such as beverages and beauty products. However, a growing number of consumers are opting for private label fresh and packaged foods. According to a report by IRI, 63% of consumers will purchase private label fresh food, and 60% will purchase private label packaged food. Retailers must strike a balance between promoting their own brands and catering to consumers’ loyalty to major brands. Ensuring food safety and delivering consistent quality can help retailers maintain trust with their customers.

Addressing Evolving Consumer Behavior

As consumers adapt to disruptions and changing priorities, companies must stay ahead of the curve by predicting new behaviors and consumer trends. For example, regarding sustainability, a study by EY revealed that 66% of consumers say a company’s behavior is as important as what it sells, which indicates a shift in priorities for many shoppers. By harnessing technology, retailers can experiment, innovate, and increase agility, ensuring they remain in sync with their customers’ needs and desires.

A new shopping era

The retail landscape is far from dead. Instead, it is brimming with potential for growth and transformation. To harness this potential, the question for decision makers is:

Are you ready to seize the opportunities and tackle the challenges that lie ahead, or will you be left behind as the industry evolves? Let’s talk!