Beacon 2021: Retail

After a whirlwind year that upended the lives of consumers around the world, retail industry leaders are focused on achieving efficiency and improving experiences for customers and employees in 2021. Specifically, our yearly survey of 102 cross-functional industry leaders revealed that retailers are prioritizing operational efficiency, store operations effectiveness/innovation, and customer experience to steady the ship and drive the bottom line in the new year.

As they look to tackle this strategic agenda, retailers say they are optimistic about 2021. Seventy percent of those surveyed anticipate revenue growth in the new year, and 91 percent are optimistic about attaining their strategic priorities. The retail industry’s confidence and positive outlook for the year ahead may be a result of its ability to navigate the COVID-19 global pandemic. While the retail landscape was turned upside down in a matter of days, retailers responded quickly with adapted operations to serve customers in new ways. The pandemic pushed retail organizations to act quickly to expedite change and armed leaders with useful knowledge—including insight into vulnerabilities in supply chains—that will help them manage future crises and strengthen operations. Despite feeling that their strategic priorities are very attainable, retail leaders say they may be costly to resolve in the new year.

Download our Retail e-book for a closer look at what’s in store for the industry this year. Click here to learn more about 2021 industry trends.