Everyone working in retail is aware of the fact that the industry is ever-evolving, sometimes even at a dizzying pace. Trends come and go, innovations disrupt certain pockets of the industry, and customer habits change. But now that we're in the 2020s, another way of transformation is about to come, and retailers, whether in e-commerce or brick-and-mortar, have to prepare.\r\n\r\nThe key to staying relevant as a business is adapting to trends that disrupt the industry. If you want to be ahead of the curve, you must keep a close eye on how everything is changing, and maybe do a bit of predicting yourself. To help you gear up for the next decade, here are some of the trends that are expected to transform the retail industry in 2020 and beyond:\r\n\r\nE-commerce will become more immersive\r\n\r\nE-commerce used to work in conjunction with physical spaces, but in the coming years, you can only expect it to become more immersive. No longer will a customer have to go to a store to try on clothes and makeup. Technological innovations will provide a way to provide virtual mirrors, so you can try whatever you want using your device. If you encounter an issue, you can contact a member of the staff via video calls with a single push of a button. You'll also have access to an entire store's inventory by browsing through a virtual store where you can see what's in stock and displayed on the shelves.\r\n\r\nShoppers will demand more personalisation\r\n\r\nIt's not brand new information, but shoppers are inclined to purchase from stores that offer individualized experiences. This will be an ongoing trend in the next decade, as more and more people will crave customization in the products they buy. Ideally, there should be a technology that enables the shopper to lay out their specific requirements for an item according to their personal needs. Whether it's a shoe, a tailor-made suit, or personalized packaging, consumers will continue to demand opportunities for personalization from the stores they engage with.\r\n\r\nSustainability will continue to be at the heart of retail\r\n\r\nConsumers and companies alike are aware of their responsibility to save the planet. Because of this, retailers will adopt more measures that will enable them to practice sustainability, like reducing plastic usage, utilizing recycled products and non-polluting materials, technologies like automation, and just about anything that contributes to the reduction of the use of resources. Consumers will follow suit and will be more likely to purchase from companies that prioritize sustainability and eco-friendliness.\r\n\r\nDirect-to-consumer retail will prevail\r\n\r\nSince Nike and New Balance spearheaded this trend, more brands will follow suit. You'll notice that soon enough, companies will invest in pulling inventory from mass retailers and create exclusive physical stores that elevate the buying experience and bridge the gap between the physical and digital divide. This tactic is expected to contribute to improving overall customer service and gaining consumer loyalty.\r\n\r\nThese trends are not set in stone, but it's important to at least have an idea of what's to come so you can prepare accordingly.\r\n\r\nBrowse through our website for more news on the retail business in the UK.