Dear M & M: What are the top business trends for 2020? – Tom

Dear Tom: The continued trend of global e-commerce growth will continue. We will see more and more retailers move from brick and mortar storefronts to online stores.

Continued building of state-of-the-art warehouses to facilitate efforts to speed up shipping to get those online orders delivered faster in 2020. We won’t see this everywhere in 2020, but efforts are being made to deliver that tube of toothpaste directly to your door via drone.

Going green will pick up steam from electric cars to natural plant-based fiber to make clothing will occur. Efforts to capturing younger demographics will be strong. Many of us can remember a time before the internet. We now have a group that grew up with it. The internet is an essential part of everything they do.

According to a recent VidMod survey, 59 percent of Gen Z respondents say they are using their YouTube app a lot more than the prior year. Showing there is a strong demand for those types of services going forward. 2020 trends for malls will be continued growth in food and entertainment experiences.

Retail storefront brick and mortar will decline. A staggering number of stores have shut down in 2019: more than 9,000, way up from the 5,800 that closed in 2018, according to Coresight Research. The coming year might be the grimmest year so far. Chico’s, Gap, Office Depot, Bed Bath and Beyond are some of the major chains expecting more closures in 2020.

In the latest example of how Macy’s is struggling, a landmark location in downtown Seattle will close in February 2020. The eight-story building occupies a whole city block and bears Macy’s name.

Going forward, trends in spending on entertainment and personal services will be strong.

Customer reviews will continue to dominate purchase decisions. Ninety-five percent of online customers say they listen to online reviews before they decide to make a purchase. Important to note, 90 percent of online shoppers step back from buying if the product or service has no reviews.

Sources: Moneywise and Andrei Vasilescu at DontPayFull.

ASK M&M is prepared and submitted by Mark Schmitt, director of the Small Business Development Center at Cochise College; and Mignonne Hollis, executive director at the Arizona Economic Development Foundation. To ask your questions: Call the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Cochise College (520) 515-5478 or email schmittm@cochise.edu or contact the Arizona Regional’ Economic Development Foundation at (520) 458-6948 or email hollism@aredf.org; www.aredf.org.

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