[Worldwide retail trends in 2024]
Twenty Twenty Flow: 5 retail trends to ride in North America (and beyond).

We have pulled out 5 big retail industry trends for 2024 that are inspiring us already.


Hear that? It’s the sound of a new year. Crisp running shoes hitting treadmills. Fresh agenda books cracking open and new subscription confirmation ‘bings’ for calming, decluttering, financial planning and life-in-general boosting apps. Essentially, music to retail ears. And while so many of us are jumping into our resolutions, retailers around the world are jumping into a revolution.

Because unlike any other time in our history, the retail landscape is vibrating with more change than ever. Change from the staggering pace of technology and AI advancement. Change from our very real climate and ecological reality. Change from the hyper-personalization of our media and online experiences.

Change from world tensions. And of course, change from the almighty consumer themselves.

But with all this flux, comes bright opportunity to connect to consumers in more meaningful ways, with more relevant practices and with a genuine thoughtfulness reflective of right this second.

So, to help retailer leaders plan smartly and execute sharply for the year ahead, we’ve pulled out 5 current retail trends that rose to the top.

Let’s get into it.


Bear hugging the care economy.


In 2024, consumers are protecting their peace big time. They’re de-cluttering, consciously unfollowing toxic things, people and brands (!) and creating more interpersonal relationships in a collective effort to improve wellbeing through social connection – in all facets of their lives. This has given birth to the Care Economy.

One where retailers can show up in a powerful way by incorporating care into their offering. Some tangible ways to achieve this is to create reflective shopping experiences or supporting consumers through challenging moments like mental fatigue, climate worry or grief. This year, caring is part of consuming.


Befriending AI for its powerful retail edge.


This year, as brands are tasked with creating more marketing material with less time and budget – sacrificing quality is the ultimate concern. As is increasing ROI. That’s where combining multiple AI-based services and comprehensive platforms that generate custom ads is coming into play, in a real way. These platforms allow start-ups (especially) to use images, video and text generation to create entire marketing campaigns – streamlining the process for clients and saving on time and
budget. But! Embracing this technology doesn’t mean replacing your amazing people – used smartly, it will simply free up your best brains to focus on projects that need them most while delegating other tasks to AI-based workhorses.


Walking the walk of climate responsibility.


We are facing a very real existential climate threat. One that demands a radical and globally collective response from everyone on the planet, including retailers. Consumers are greenwashed-out and numb to empty buzzwords like “sustainable”, “responsible” and “eco-friendly”. And they’re tired of going it alone! They want to see brands do their part too and walk the walk when it comes to taking tangible steps and actionable efforts towards climate health.


Getting back to basics.


Fresh air. Uninterrupted reading. Face to face conversation – without notifications. Remember those? We do. And so do consumers. We are officially in the age of overstimulation and sensory overload – which is when our brains get more info than they can process. That’s why this year, sensory regulation will be the THING. Already practiced by occupational therapists for years, sensory regulation is now being used in our digital era to recognie and prevent triggers that may overwhelm people. Some examples include promoting a slow-tech morning routine (only using one device at a time, for example) or sound-free work sessions (turning off notifications, for one). So how can brands join the movement? That’s the brief for this year.


Saying yes to transparency.


Today, consumers can literally solve cold cases with their online research skills! And are savvier than ever when it comes to protecting their personal data and privacy. In a word, they know B.S. when they see it. In 2024, brands who let consumers behind their proverbial curtain are the ones who are deemed authentic, responsible and frankly, lovable. Vulnerability and honesty aren’t just endearing qualities in a friend but even COOLER in a brand that consumers want to know, engage with and purchase from.

So with that, we wish all retailers – big and small – a happy, healthy and change-fuelled 2024. We’re not quite being overrun by robots and flying cars (yet) but knowing where technology, culture, wellbeing, global issues, financial health and the climate is going can guide all of us towards the smartest and best year yet.

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