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The Future of Retail 2019

Top 10 Trends that Will Shape Retail in the Year Ahead

About This Report
Retail is in the midst of a transformation, at both physical stores and online. This report examines 10 trends that will most shape retail in the year ahead.
Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Retail is in the midst of a radical transformation. Rapidly shifting consumer habits, fast-changing technologies and challenging competitive dynamics are all occurring against an overall positive economic backdrop. As we look back on a strong 2018, we consider the 10 retail trends that will most shape the year ahead.

How much will US consumers spend on retail and ecommerce next year?

We forecast that 2019 will mark another strong year for the sector, with total retail sales expected to grow 3.3% to $5.529 trillion and ecommerce sales expected to grow 15.1% to $605.3 billion. However, emerging economic risk factors dampen the outlook from what could otherwise be expected given the strong US labor market and rising incomes.

Which retailers will succeed and which will struggle?

The retail apocalypse will continue to threaten brick-and-mortar resulting in more store closures from traditional retailers, but it will be offset by the expanding retail footprint of direct-to-consumer brands and other niche retailers better positioned to thrive in this environment.

Which retail innovations will reshape physical retail?

Brick-and-mortar is in the midst of a radical transformation as it transitions from an inventory-led environment to a more frictionless, experiential environment. Emerging trends like cashierless checkout, pop-up stores and data-driven merchandising are causing retailers to reimagine the retail experience for modern consumers.

Which emerging retail technologies will gain traction with consumers?

Voice commerce, social commerce and augmented reality are among several up-and-coming technologies that will gain traction with consumers in 2019, but only in select use cases and category contexts.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report looks at what to expect for the US retail and ecommerce markets in 2019, and highlights the 10 key trends that will have the biggest impact on shopper behavior and retailer performance in the year ahead.

KEY STAT: US retail spending is poised for solid growth across all channels in 2019, with brick-and-mortar proving resilient while contributing more than half of overall sales growth next year.

Here’s what’s in the full report


Exportable files for easy reading, analysis and sharing.


Reliable data in simple displays for presentations and quick decision making.

14expert perspectives

Insights from industry and company leaders.

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Macro Factors Affecting 2019 Retail Environment
  3. eMarketer 2019 Retail and Ecommerce Forecast
  1. Top 10 Trends that Will Shape the Future of Retail in 2019
  2. eMarketer Interviews
  3. Read Next
  1. Sources
  2. Media Gallery

Charts in This Report

Interviewed for This Report

Jason Goldberg
Chief Commerce Strategy Officer
Interviewed October 12, 2018
Nicolas Avila
Vice President, Technology
Interviewed October 11, 2018
Robert Glazer
Acceleration Partners
Founder, CEO
Interviewed October 29, 2018
Erin Jordan
Walker Sands Communications
Senior Account Director, Partner
Interviewed October 10, 2018
Michael Langguth
Co-Founder, COO
Interviewed October 8, 2018
Chris Lundquist
Dutton Management Consulting
Managing Director
Interviewed October 2, 2018
Aaron Magness
Interviewed October 26, 2018
Scott Webb
Interviewed October 9, 2018
Ethan Whitehill
Managing Director
Interviewed October 19, 2018
Josh Wolff
Vice President, Customer
Interviewed November 2, 2018
Maria Prados
Vice President, Global Retail and B2B
Interviewed October 26, 2018
Ravi Raj
Passage AI
Co-Founder, CEO
Interviewed October 25, 2018
Jamie Shuttleworth
Chief Strategy Officer
Interviewed October 17, 2018
Sanjay Tamhane
Digital Market Intelligence Manager
Interviewed October 22, 2018


Andrew Lipsman


Caroline Cakebread
Junior Analyst
Man-Chung Cheung
Research Analyst
Amy Rotondo
Research Manager, US
Yoram Wurmser
Principal Analyst
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