Written by Judy Li, Dion Tong, Dec 28, 2021
The sudden outbreak of COVID-19 has posed unprecedented and far-reaching challenges to the global economy, resulting in an economic recession. Simultaneously, a dynamic change in lifestyle and consumer behaviours has been observed due to remote working (WFH), travel restrictions and quarantine. The pandemic hits industries hard. We feel the need to address how the retail landscape has transformed. In this report, we will look into current trending categories and larger landscapes that influence these trends. We will also highlight some potential new consumer behaviours and technologies in the future.
With the temporary closure of brick-and-mortar stores, e-commerce and online businesses have begun to flourish. Despite the painful strikes on F&B, tourism and hospitality industries, some trending categories have scored a significant jump in sales. Under the pandemic, people refrain from hanging out and dining out. Instead, we turn to entertainment in our houses. This swift transition has sparked growth in the following trending categories. They are Home, Sports, General Merchandise and Tech.
Let’s first have a look at how the trends have transformed. Retailers thriving in the Home category are Lowe’s with a 30% jump in net sales, TSC and The Home Depot with a 35% and 23.4% rise, respectively. They formulated vital strategies such as granting employees bonus pay and expanding current services. Average time spent at home became more extended than before, demand for small appliances and home security expanded. Another trending category in Tech and we observed BestBuy with a 153.1% boost in online revenue. This figure explains how the pandemic gave rise to e-commerce and tech development with the increasing popularity of online shopping. Apart from Tech, Target from General Merchandize has recorded a 24.4% increase in net sales. Finally, people are becoming more conscious of their health by marking Dick’s Sporting Goods’ 20% improvement in net sales. By keeping an eye on the trend’s transformation, retailers and customers can leverage the latest market environment and make the most of it.
Here are some expectations for 2021. We can foresee that there will be a continuous change in consumer behaviour. New trends are going to emerge. We will look into some possible forecasts and predictions of the economy and COVID-19 situation. One of the post-pandemic trends in 2021 clicks & collect, to practice social distancing and lockdowns, more retailers ship goods to customers remotely. Distribution centres for goods delivery are expected to boom. Shopping malls might even become distribution centres. Not only will they act as warehouses for storage, but they will also practice in-store sales to maximize the newborn trend. Apart from ‘Click & Collect,’ ‘Real-Time Inventory’ is expected to be another forecast. With the swift experience in e-commerce and online shopping, the order management process is equipped with a higher inventory management system. Retailers are expected to understand better what stock they have and how they sell the stocks. More details will be elaborated in the following.
E-commerce is continuously gaining popularity due to the digitization of payment systems and advancement in mobile technology nowadays. Online purchases are increasing year by year, and there has even been a surge in 2020 due to the pandemic. Therefore, more people are setting up online businesses.
To prepare for success, you have to decide what to sell by determining what products are appealing to customers. Finding and predicting the next trending products and include them in your long-range plans may be hassle. That’s why we are here to give you some insights for what’s going to be hot next year. You can also use TradeBeyond to find new suppliers who provide the best new products. Check out the 5 product category trends that we have included below and get started right away!
People around the world are increasingly aware of the importance of health, especially during the pandemic. One of the significant trends of the sports industry in 2020 is the rise in women’s sports, as Deloitte claimed. Besides, the percentage of Olympic games female athletes rose from 23% in 1984 to 49% in 2020 according to the International Olympic Committee, revealing that women’s participation in sports is growing. The rise in the number of people who engage in sports activities is lifting the demand for sports equipment.
Among Amazon’s top 10 best sellers in the sports and outdoors category, 3 of the products are women’s leggings. Based on the trends stated, it is to be believed that there will be more women taking part in sports, in which women’s leggings will remain high in demand in 2021. Brands such as Lululemon, Gymshark, Hue, Alo Yoga, and Colourfulkoala have the best sales.
A fitness tracker or activity tracker is a device that keeps track of your heart rate, step count, and caloric burn. According to the most popular sporting goods categories on eBay, activity tracker ranks first, while the brands Fitbit and Magictek tracker have the best sales.
Toys and Games
In recent years, the availability of video games and interactive toys are rising with technology innovation. The toy market is gaining traction among consumers, and they are spending more on these products. The global market size of toys is increasing steadily, while there has been a 15% growth in total toys sales between 2014 and 2019. Meanwhile, the toys and games market is predicted to expand at a CAGR of 9.91% in 2020-2025.
Featured Dolls and Toys
The sales for dolls and toys always depend on TV shows and trending films produced by Marvel, Pixar, and DC, to name a few. As stated in Walmart’s top toys of 2020, the top 6 are toys featuring shows and movies, including Frozen 2, Star Wars, and PAW Patrol. TV and movie character toys are also the best-sellers under eBay’s toys category. In 2021, Disney and Marvel’s studios will release Raya and the Last Dragon, Eternals, Cruella, and more. Plush character toys, model building toys, collectibles, and figures based on these movies will be the trend in 2021. We can foresee that retail store brands will release featured puzzles or board games, such as Monopoly and UNO with the latest movie characters printed on them.
Video games flourished in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, where people have been forced to stay home with an abundance of free time, where many have decided to partake in online games. The sales of video games have increased by 23% in 2020 compared to last year. Regarding Amazon’s best sellers in video games, 5 out of the top 10 products are Nintendo Switch games, revealing that Nintendo is the leading brand. We can expect the video games trend will last long due to the expansion in the video gaming market. Knowing that the long-awaited PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X have been released recently and that the Nintendo Switch 2 might be out in early 2021, it is safe to assume that these next generation games and consoles will be highly marketable. You may wonder what the best looking games for the new consoles are. Gamers are consistently looking for action and shooter games like, Assassin’s Creed: Vallaha, Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War, and Demon’s Souls, which are revivals of the best classic games on PlayStation. Whereas Sackboy, A Big Adventure, and Busgnax are the hottest PS5 adventure games for children. For Nintendo Switch 2, relaxing social games prevalent in 2020, like Animal Crossing: New Horizon, will continue to be hot in 2021.
Thanks to Coronavirus restrictions, more people are choosing to buy furniture online. One of the top trends in the furniture industry is that online sales will rise continuously; even though customers still shop in physical stores. Several online furniture retailers saw a dramatic rise in quantities sold in 2020.
With more people paying attention to sleep quality, companies are introducing luxurious bedding products, and customers are spending more on bedding. Out of the home and kitchen category on Amazon, bedsheets and pillows are the best sellers. Additionally, according to grand view research, the global bedding market size is anticipated to rise at a CAGR of 5.1% from 2019-2025. Regarding what types of bedding will be hot, customers look for bedding products with high-quality, modern designs, and relaxing materials. More than that, the color white, cream, blue, grey, and pink are going to be the best sellers in 2021.
Kitchen Furniture and Cookware
Google trends show massive growth in searches for “kitchen furniture” in 2020 compared to the previous five years. One of the best furniture online stores, Wayfair, saw high demand for kitchen furniture as well as cookware. Among all the kitchen items, water filters rank high on both Amazon and eBay’s best-selling list. More people prefer cooking at home during the pandemic, thus cooking utensils are high in demand, especially innovative utensils that increase efficiency. For example, potato mashers, salad spinners, egg separators, vegetable slicers or cutters, and garlic grinders. Regarding kitchen designs in 2021, a kitchen with wood furniture will be the coolest according to various bloggers. You might want to source products that are made of marble, metal, or concrete since many customers look for them to complement the wood themed kitchen.
Electronic Home Appliances
With the emphasis on quality of life and greater technology, more people are adding deluxe appliances to upgrade their home. Manufacturers are launching a variety of kitchen appliances for consumers to choose from, and some of the latest products include an automatic time stirrer, Wi-Fi air fryer, sandwich maker, and more. According to Statista, the home appliances market is predicted to grow in the coming years. The value of sales is expected to reach up to $451.6 billion USD by 2023.
There is a dramatic increase in searches for “ice maker” in 2020 according to Google Trends. As suggested by Fact MR., the expansion of the ice makers market is related to consumers’ consciousness towards energy efficiency, and demand for energy-efficient appliances will continue to rise. A variety of ice makers are available in the market, including air-cooled ice makers, automatic commercial ice makers, and modular ice machines, to mention just a few.
Generally speaking, air-fried food is healthier than deep-fried food as it has a lot less oil and fat. This gadget has been trending since 2019, and its popularity sustains among customers since Google trends show that searches for “air fryer” have been constantly growing lately. We have found some Air fryers that are trending right now and will be top-rated next year. They include the COSORI Air Fryer, Instant Pot Air Fryer, and GoWISE USA Air Fryer. Outside of the brands, we also see the air fryer being a hot product for store brands as we move into 2021. Several retailers are rolling out their version of these air fryers in early 2021.
More households are getting pets as we have seen through an increase in consumer spending. The American Pet Products Association revealed that 68% of households have pets. Healthy pet food is one of the latest trends, and the pet food market generates the most revenue within the industry. Most of the e-commerce platforms offer pet supplies for birds, dogs, cats, fish, horses, and even reptiles, in which dog supplies is the most popular.
According to a survey conducted by Petfood Industry, dogs are the most common pet, with 33% of respondents owning at least one dog. We’ve identified that dog treats and food are ranking high on Amazon’s best sellers in pet supplies. More than that, pet owners are looking for food that contains vitamins and omega-3’s to keep their pets healthy as reported by Petpedia. Retailers and suppliers should watch for pet food with nutritious ingredients since wellness is the primary criteria for pet owners. Some nutrition pet food including NUTRO Wholesome Essentials Dry food, Purina ONE Smart Blend Natural Adult Dry Food, Hill’s Science Diet Dry Food, Rachael Ray Nutrish Super Premium Dog Food, and Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula will be the top-sellers even after 2020.
Pet Fish Supplies
A lot of people keep fish as a pet since they are quiet, inexpensive, take up less space, and are easier to take care of compared to other pets. Live plants for fish aquariums has the most search results on pet supplies of eBay in 2020, in which Aquarium Plants Factory and Aquatic Magic have the most massive sales. Searches for “live plants” are growing over the past five years and are likely to continue in 2021. Furthermore, fish owners are looking for smarter technology-integrated products to provide a cozy environment for their pets. You might want to source purification and aquarium products to cater to their needs, such as filter cartridges, fresh and saltwater conditioner, underwater lighting, and aquarium thermometers.
Apart from these recommendations we have, you can always find more products by using the TradeBeyond app. Keep researching and learn more about marketing since it plays a key role in selling your products well.