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2020 National Retail Awards Recap: Trends in Retail

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I think we can all agree that 2020 and 2021 have thrown a few challenges at the retail industry. From mandatory shutdowns to social distancing measures, retailers across America and the world were forced to rethink their entire strategy.

At Impressive, we’ve been thinking about what the future has in store. As eCommerce continues to grow, trends in the retail space are beginning to emerge.

So what can we expect next?


The thought provoking Steve Sammartino is one of Australia’s most respected futurists and media commentators. At Australia’s National Retail Awards in 2020, he dished the latest on emerging technology and unveils up-and-coming trends that could completely change the future of retail. 

Digital overlap

COVID-19 may have forced the digital and physical overlap of retail a little sooner than we all expected, but it’s time to adjust because this is just the beginning. We’ve been talking about “the last mile” in retail for years — but what about the last 10 steps? Innovation, speed and convenience go far beyond next-day delivery. It’s time to take a page out of Amazon’s book and turn the norm on its head. Bring on drone delivery and let’s see some modern mailboxes that fit our oversized mail.

Hybrid building

As the line between work and home continues to blur, post-pandemic we’ll see offices utilized as more of a collaborative space while our home office transforms into a VR meeting room. The 9-5 days are behind us and the once well-known and beloved cubicle farms are on their way out too. Offices will shrink and cities will revolutionize, becoming playgrounds for entertainment and socialization instead of business and industry.

Our economy will go hybrid, and retail will follow suit. Shopfronts will become all inclusive spaces for interacting, creating and warehouse storage. It’s vital to start thinking about modular buildings that change the way they are used as the day goes on.

The digital twin

The digital twin is exactly what it sounds like — building a digital version of something that exists physically. Take the Amazon Go store for example. The technology used creates the customer’s digital twin and the twin of the customer interacts with a digital twin of their store. This automation set-up will become more prevalent, especially as retail continues to overtake the digital space.

Revenue recurring bundles

Algorithmic commerce is becoming increasingly more popular across all fronts, quickly leading to consumers buried in online shopping packages and subscription services. Take a step back and consider our own algorithms. Stop thinking about the big tech companies and make an effort to understand how we can use our own data to create a service that works. As information and knowledge becomes democratized how can it be used? By finding ways to implement data, you can reduce friction for your organization and your customers.

The final frontier is a battle in the house. Companies like Amazon and Google are competing for the top spot in smart speaker technology. Serving as the eyes and the ears into people’s homes, AI-based voice assistants have completely changed the game. 

The final frontier

The Facebook portal during COVID-19 has gone into double digits, giving retailers the opportunity to further push campaigns on social media. It’s time for retailers to start thinking about in-home commerce and how to leverage the knowledge big tech is providing us to create a more comfortable shopping experience from the couch.


Black Friday is right around the corner and Christmas isn’t far behind. While 2021 hasn’t been the best year for a lot of businesses, finding innovative ways to deal with these new circumstances could be the difference between sinking or swimming during the holiday season — let us help you!

Contact Impressive to discover the opportunities that 2022 could bring for your business!

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