How Retail Marketing will Change in 2021

Retail Marketing

The retail industry underwent rapid and large-scale disruption in 2020, with eCommerce becoming the big winner. Retail marketers are having to adjust quickly. They must keep making the vital changes that keep them ahead of their competitors. Marketing strategies will need to be reexamined and adjusted to take into account the changing face of retail. Not to mention the evolving demands of consumers. Next-generation marketing strategies need to be the priority for retail brands that wish to stay relevant in 2021. Not to worry, there are many opportunities to make big gains. If you work in retail marketing, then here are the expected changes that will need to be addressed across all of your 2021 marketing strategies.

Embrace Immediacy

It doesn’t feel like that long ago that consumers would be happy with a 14-day delivery period. That is no longer the case. More than ever, consumers want the products that they buy online to arrive as quickly as possible. Overnight shipping needs to be the goal, and that gives marketers a whole new avenue to promote and highlight. Retail continues to make the shift to online selling as a priority. Although fulfillment will play a major role in the success or failure of those retail brands. When marketers need to ensure that they are one step ahead of what consumers need, eliminating delayed gratification is vital.


Although personalization has been essential for retail marketers for the last few years, it is going through changes. The sheer volume of available data about consumers and their interests is leading to the rise of hyper-personalization. People-based marketing strategies means being able to provide consumer insights that can simplify and streamline the entire shopping process. Retail has become as much about experience and speed as it is about the product, and retail marketers will need to ensure that the entire sales funnel, both in traditional and digital media, is personalized from the ground up. When consumers want an experience as much as a good product, that hyper-personalization is the key.

The ChatBot and AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) is not quite at Skynet levels yet, but it is proving to be a major boon for retailers. Leveraging customer-facing artificial intelligence offers many potential benefits. The key advantage of AI-driven sales assistants is that they can recommend upsells based on browser history and the real-time demands and needs of customers. Like hyper-personalization, this allows for more of an experience that consumers will come back for. From big-chain retailers with a global presence to side-hustle sellers that want to improve their visibility, AI-powered chatbots are the future of retail marketing.

Product Sourcing

Not only do modern retailers need to prioritize delivery speed, but they will also need to ensure that they have the range of products that their consumers want. This has always been the challenge. Although, it is becoming easier to tackle for those that are using the right resources.

Platforms like RangeMe are proving to be indispensable for retailers and for the marketing department. Take a look at what companies use Rangeme already, and how they are benefiting from having the products that they need when they need them. This unique service helps streamline the discovery process between suppliers and retailers. Which means it’s a lot easier for small suppliers to get their products into big stores like Target. The benefit of this for the supplier is huge as it can help them grow. But, it also helps Target as it gives them access to unique and interesting products. These help to make the retailer more attractive to customers than their competitors.

It’s easy to dismiss the importance of order fulfillment. However, with the future of retail focusing on personal experiences, having access to a wider range of suppliers is more important than ever. Especially for marketing departments. That’s why using RangeMe is a great choice; it is the leading online platform that streamlines product discovery, sampling, and sourcing between suppliers and retailers.

Social Media Shopping

The last big change in retail marketing to consider is all about social media. The notion of social media shopping is not new. And, now the benefits of social media marketing have been examined in almost excruciating detail. This combination is proving transformative. Instagram now allows for retail brands to post images with embedded links that will take a customer straight to a product page. This offers huge potential for retail marketers. The combination of social media shopping and influencers is the natural progression for the marketing department to take note of. Those members of the marketing team will be able to source those influencers more easily and use them much more intuitively. Combine this with a focus on hyper-personalization, social media shopping is one trend that is set to become the norm for retail marketers all around the world.

Despite the unprecedented challenges that retail outlets faced in 2020, retail marketers have many opportunities as they move forward. A more agile approach to retail marketing is clearly essential. But with the right focus and an awareness of the retail marketing trends, 2021 could end up being the most transformative year for marketers since the invention of the internet.

About Ryan Flannagan

Ryan Flannagan is the Founder and CEO of Nuanced Media, an international eCommerce marketing agency specializing in Amazon. Nuanced has sold $100s of millions online, and Ryan has built a client base representing a total revenue of over 1.5 billion dollars. Ryan is a published author and has been quoted by several media sources such as BuzzFeed and Modern Retail. To connect with Ryan, check out @Ryanflannagan on Twitter or via LinkedIn.