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Section 3:

40 retail trends to 2030


Operational Development

Found in this section are 10 future trends that will impact how businesses will have to operate in order to remain profitable.

Below are 4 of those 10 trends as an example of what you can find in this report.


Trend 22: Micro-fulfillment Centres (MFCs)

MFCs help to streamline the fulfillment process, with automated systems and robots that can pick and pack items quickly and accurately. They are well-suited for retailers offering same-day/next-day options. They can also be used to optimise inventory management, as they allow retailers to store and manage inventory in a more compact and efficient manner.


Trend 24: Retail as a Service

Retailers are increasingly offering services such as styling, rentals, personalisation of products, and putting on events for customers to attend, in order to enhance the customer experience and differentiate themselves from competitors. This is also a strategy to allow customers to bond with a brand and learn more about its values.


Trend 25: Virtual & Augmented Reality (VR/AR)

VR and AR technologies are increasingly being used by brands to generate more immersive and functional ways to showcase products and services. It’s ideal for educating consumers and showing them how products can be best integrated into their lives. It can bring the shopping experience to life and allow customers to interact with products in novel ways. The metaverse, although at early stages, is already using VR to allow users to explore different virtual worlds where they can buy products, ‘attend’ events, play games and more.


Trend 29: Diversify, Partner & Acquire

This trend allows retail brands to increase in the addressable market, explore win-win partnerships, expand retail media opportunities, and seize on acquisition opportunities.



40 retail trends to 2030


These are only four of the ten trends analysed in this section, other trends include:

In-Store Technology

Influencer-Generated Content

AI-Driven Automation & Chatbot

• Supply Chain Optimisation

• Voice-Commerce

• Same-Day or Instant Delivery



4o retail trends to 2030



Section 4:

40 retail trend to 2030


Structural Changes

Found in this section are 10 future trends relating to structural changes within the sector.

Below are 4 of those 10 trends as an example of what you can find in this report.


Trend 31: Market Consolidation

The current economic climate presents opportunities for companies to both enhance their capabilities and expand market share via strategic acquisitions. For organisations with robust balance sheets, turbulent market conditions frequently offer chances to acquire struggling companies (e.g. Next)


Trend 33: AI Impact

The use and influence of AI will dramatically rise in the immediate future. This will include areas such as: personalised marketing and advertising, inventory management and optimisation, supply chain management and logistics, fraud detection and prevention, pricing optimisation and dynamic pricing, customer service and support, predictive analytics for demand forecasting and trend analysis, in-store operations and optimisation (e.g. store layout, staffing), product recommendations and cross-selling/upselling, and enhanced customer experience (e.g. augmented reality, virtual reality).


Trend 36: New Payment Methods (Fintech)

Retailers are exploring new payment methods such as mobile wallets, cryptocurrency, and other digital currencies to offer more secure and convenient payment options for customers. Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) is likely to be introduced in the future which may be disruptive.


Trend 38: Blockchain Technology

Retail brands are using and experimenting with blockchain technology (a secure, decentralised digital ledger) across several areas. These include: enhancing security and traceability, streamlining payments, enabling smart contracts, product authenticity and transparency in supply chains. It is important for organisations to carefully evaluate the benefits and challenges relating to blockchain technology before integrating it across their operations.


40 retail trends to 2030


These are only four of the ten trends analysed in this section, other trends include:

Retail Media

Contactless & Mobile Payments

Pop-up Stores & Experiential Retail

• Data Governance & Privacy

• Influencer Collaborations

• Returnless Refunds



40 retail trends to 2030



The retail industry will continue to undergo structural changes and further disruption towards 2030. Changes will be driven by new technologies, changing consumer behaviour, and a challenging economic environment as cost-of-living pressures unfold.

To thrive in this environment, retail brands must stay ahead of the curve by deeply understanding and responding to current and emerging trends.

Our report has identified 40 key trends that are shaping the future of retail, grouped into four overarching areas: (1) Consumer driven trends; (2) Retail brand priorities; (3) Operational development; and (4) Structural changes. By leveraging these trends, retailers can strengthen their business models and operations to enhance the customer experience, drive growth and ensure profitability.

However, it's not enough for retailers to simply be aware of such trends. They must also be prepared to take action. This means making data-led decisions and strategic investments to stay ahead of the competition. This requires a deep understanding of the industry and the ability to identify and execute on new opportunities quickly and effectively at times.

Looking to the future, we believe that the retail industry will continue evolving, increasing in pace as digital transformation occurs, and technologies like AI are increasingly integrated into operations across the entire retail value chain.

The winners will be businesses who can adapt to these changes, maintain agile business models and really leverage the latest trends to create a sustainable competitive advantage.


40 retail trends to 2030

We hope you found this article interesting. For more insights and industry analysis be sure to connect with us.



About this report

This report is published by Retail Economics identifies 40 of the top retail trends that will shape the industry towards 2030. The aim is to provide industry professionals with a handy resource to be able to quickly review the trends and apply the key insights to their businesses to spot emerging opportunities and threats. Complete the form at the top of this page now to download your free copy. 




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