November 19, 2019 /Retail Insight

20:20 Vision // Part 1

As 2019 comes to a close, we look back on trends and how they have influenced brands and retailers this year. Did the trends we anticipated last year bloom or were there unexpected consumer attitudes that took off?


The beauty realm continues to flourish as we predicted the Fenty effect exploded with inclusivity becoming a key focus for beauty brands. New to the market, UOMA, released a 51 shade range, Clinique updates their range to 56 and Morphe released a massive 60 shades.

Pat McGrath Labs also launched her first foundation with 36 SKUs in August. This year we have the pleasure of working with Pat McGrath Labs, to give beauty junkies an intimate experience with the iconic make-up artist. With inclusivity and individuality at the core, PMGL’s first permanent space gives an opulent glimpse into the world of Pat, offering “an extravagant mash-up of chic sexiness and baroque minimalism with a touch of electro-glam”.

Brands have continued to break taboos and champion new causes. Mental health has become a huge topic as ¾ people admit to being lonely around the world. Feel Unique partnered with Mind to put on talks, fragrance brand Philosophy donated over $10million to mental health charities and Instagram communities like @IWeigh and @AntiDietRiotCLub gained traction, destigmatising beauty ‘flaws’ by redefining what beauty means.


Experiential retail continues to reinvent itself across the industry. Brands are looking to create connected communities, hosting events, initiating partnerships and venturing into immersive pop-ups. Human contact has continued to boom, as the omnichannel begins to become seamless, with consumers utilising both physical and digital channels.

Navigation is currently going through a huge transition, as consumers look for moments of exploration and curiosity when shopping. Our current collaboration with Naked Retail presents wellness through the lens of a day. Helping shoppers find moments of wellness in daily life, the immersive store will be separated into four sections; morning, day, evening and night. With betterment not perfection in mind, shoppers will be encouraged to find brands and products that bring joy and mindfulness to every aspect of the day.

This will continue into the new year, the community becoming a buzz word in the sector. Brands who harness true consumer loyalty will flourish and have the greatest impact. More than just a pretty store, Glossier uses pop-ups to curate localised communities that are indicative to their identity and ultimately incredibly unique and authentic to the brand. Coal Drop Yard’s, Samsung ‘Not a store, store’ also emphasises this thinking, harnessing the power of local culture and events to help consumers find a sense of unity while subtly showcasing products. 

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We truly believe in the upcoming decade tech will thrive, facilitating new infrastructures and completely new avenues of consumerism and connection. This year we added a new Technology section to our blog to delve into and explore burgeoning ideas and successes.

Some-what surprisingly, tech can be a great way to complement a human-centric shopping experience. A recent project led us to help implement QR codes into a store, adding an interactive aspect of education and curiosity, connecting consumers with products on a deeper level.

Last year we looked at how AI would begin to influence the retail sphere. While new tech is being developed, it has only just begun to be utilised in the retail industry. Brands like Ruti are using facial recognition to improve personalised customer services, and SK-II’s Smart Store is harnessing AI to help create immersive environments. We expect that the movement towards using technology to optimise stores will grow throughout 2020, creating new interactive opportunities for consumers to engage with products.

We ended last year anticipating the impact of community building, humanisation and play within the retail industry. A large part in consumer interaction, this year has also encompassed us researching and looking at the movement towards sustainable practises, a protest mindset and CBD trends.

Look out for Part Two of our 20:20 Vision blog next month, as we consider the future, anticipating trends that will shape the retail industry and consumer attitudes next year.