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Looking toward 2021: Predictions for a new year

December 18, 2020 | Published by Faire

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Photo courtesy of Kinshipped.

We’re taking a moment this week to reflect on the end of a year unlike any other. First, we looked back on what products and trends were most popular on Faire this year. Then, we reflected on the incredible sentiments of strength and silver linings shared by our community. 

Now, we’re looking forward to the new year. We’re eager to see what 2021 will offer. Read on for predictions about what the retail industry can expect in the year to come.

Sustainable and equitable practices will be prioritized

In 2021, consumers will have an even greater preference for brands and businesses with ethical practices. It will become increasingly important to shoppers that businesses that champion sustainable supply chains and fair wages

Diversity and equity will also be top of mind for U.S. consumers. Following initiatives like the 15 Percent Pledge, a campaign that urges retailers to pledge 15% of their shelf space to Black-owned brands, both businesses and shoppers will be prioritizing increased representation.

Omnichannel will prosper

Throughout 2020, small businesses showed a profound ability to innovate in the face of uncertainty. This mindset will continue into 2021. We can expect to see retail businesses continue to iterate on the best ways to tackle the new normal. According to the latest consumer trends analysis from the NRF, “The companies that get it right will be omnipresent for shoppers — connecting online, in stores and over social commerce and making sure every touchpoint is frictionless.”

Additionally, hybrid sales channels that fuse online and in-store activity will become increasingly necessary in order to meet changing consumer needs. Curbside pickup will continue to be a shopping method offered by small and large retailers alike. In-store pickup for online orders is a similar innovative way to implement this type of buying.

Video tools are here to stay

The ability to connect over video will inform how wholesalers and retailers do business in 2021. Video tools allow customers to view firsthand how products look and work if they can’t see them in person. These resources will continue to redefine how businesses can connect with customers.

Additionally, online events that use video will continue to gain momentum. With widespread access to video technology, digital events and trade shows like Faire Winter Market will offer seamless alternatives to traditional in-person options.

Color palettes will aim to uplift

The Pantone Color Institute has announced two colors of the year for 2021. “No one color could get across the meaning of the moment,” Laurie Pressman, Vice President of the Pantone Color Institute, shared with The New York Times. The combination of Ultimate Gray and Illuminating—a vibrant yellow—are thought to represent a warm light at the end of a gloomy tunnel.

Spring and summer colors for 2021 will range from nature-inspired jewel tones to versatile neutrals. Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, said, “Offering a range of shades illustrative of nature… underscores our desire for flexible color that works year-round. Infused with a genuine authenticity that continues to be increasingly important, colors for Spring/Summer 2021 combine a level of comfort and relaxation with sparks of energy that encourage and uplift our moods.”

Local communities will drive local economies 

International travel isn’t expected to bounce back to pre-pandemic norms in 2021. As a result, businesses will focus on serving local consumers rather than tourists. This presents a renewed opportunity for independent retailers to thrive at the center of their communities.

At Faire, we’ve always believed the future of retail is local. We’re excited to see the way 2021 unfolds. We’re still in this together.

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