2020 Predictions—Where Are We Now?

2020 Predictions—Where Are We Now?


Tara Yavorsky
Tara Yavorsky
VP, Marketing
WD Partners

Because 2020 has been the year of "what the…", we thought it would be fun to look back at the article we published at the beginning of this crazy a$$ year and see what has come to fruition, what was a wild guess, and what still has a way to go.

Prediction #1:

The continued development of AI and automation. It's fascinating to the think of the 2050 job market being characterized by human-AI cooperation rather than the competition.

Chris Spinelli, Strategic Development, Waze

Where Are We Now:

With the extreme rise in ecommerce (thanks COVID!) has come a shift to using stores as fulfillment centers, and while associates are playing a lead role, the opportunity for automation has never been more promising (and necessary). However, 2020 has thrown a wrench in the plans for many brands that were already testing such technology as those brands have had to pivot and shift to more pressing matters at hand. We believe that once the proverbial dust settles, retailers will be able to accelerate the rollout of automation technologies to further enhance online shopping and frictionless store experiences.

Prediction #2:

March of the robots! More than ever, the increase in the minimum wage + rapid turnover for lower wage jobs will require certain businesses to take a critical turn to automation. The majority of the automated jobs will non-customer facing tasks in the back of house of restaurants, as well as in warehouses.

Mark Bateman, VP, Business Development, WD Partners

Where Are We Now:

See answer to number #1 above 😉

Prediction #3:

[Because of all the stresses in our world today] the decompression zone once you walk into the store is one of the most critical aspects—that people can transition themselves into the shopping mode.

Marcie Merriman, Managing Director, EY

Where Are We Now:

This one is a bit tricky! I mean the stresses of our world have definitely increased, as the idea (and experience) of walking into a store is not what it once was. Do you think a spritz of hand sanitizer, donning a fresh mask and staying 6 feet away from associates is the definition of a decompression zone? Actually… maybe we're on to something (wait, is the store even open at all?).

Prediction #4, 5, 6 & 7:

Amazon is going to pass Walmart in revenue.

Online sales (w/o gas, autos, restaurants, bars) will break 25% of total sales on their way to +50%.

Influencers will fade into the same sunset mullets dove into.

More millennials will take more CEO jobs than ever before.

Lee Peterson, EVP – Thought Leadership & Marketing, WD Partners

Where Are We Now:

Let's take these one at a time…

#4 – Not yet, especially given the Q2 numbers reported by the retail giant. Walmart's ecommerce figures grew by 97% (YOY)1 in just Q2 of 2020! We'll have to check back in on this one in early 2021 to see how the two mega-brands fare.

#5 – Ding, ding, we have an (almost) winner here. End of Q2 2020 figures show online commerce getting 21% of the total sales pie2… well on its way to the 25% and likely never looking back!

#6 – Hmmm… COVID could have accelerated this prediction into fruition! According to a recent article in Business of Fashion, there was an estimated 85% decline in sponsored content on Instagram in the month of April. How will customer expectations and mindsets continue to impact brand ambassador partnerships? Time will tell…

#7 – Okay, if you have time to google all the new millennial CEOs in 2020 please report back and let us know what you found out 😉

Prediction #8

We're due for a market correction. So, will it be as deep as a recession? I'm not sure, but I do think there will be a correction.

Melissa Gonzalez, CEO & Founder, The Lionesque Group

Where Are We Now:

Ouch. This one hit a little too close to home. We've gone past the market correction point and straight into a recession with an unemployment rate over 8% (as of August)3. Yet let's be optimists and note that 8% is better than the 14% we saw in April. At this rate we'll be back to normal in early 2021?! Fingers crossed.

Prediction #9, 10 & 11:

Major technology companies (AMZN, Google, Apple) reveal their health and wellness strategies in a much clearer manner, creating further healthcare disruption.

Telehealth makes significant strides toward much greater adoption.

Retail healthcare expands its footprint to a much greater terrain.

Dan Stanek, Executive Vice President, WD Partners

Where Are We Now:

#9 – While there have not been any blockbuster announcements from those companies, they have been making some inroads. Apple has been focusing on consumer health tools and tech products that integrate with consumer devices and lifestyles, while Amazon continues to offer a unique and connected model for its employees. We believe this will continue to be a space to watch over the next year.

#10 – Heck yes! Way to accelerate healthcare into the 21st century COVID! While telehealth has its limitations, there is definitely a time and a place, and this current crisis has shown that healthcare must be accessible everywhere. Forrester Research predicts more than 1 billion virtual healthcare visits in 20204—we hope this trend is here to stay.

#11 – Well if you've skimmed this Wayfind issue than you'll know how we feel about this one (shameless plug for the Retail Healthcare is Here article). Walmart, CVS & Walgreens have made massive commitments to growing their retail healthcare business and it's not a game. Retail healthcare understands and is determined to deliver on consumers increasing demand for low cost, accessibility and convenience.

Well that was fun! Looks like we weren't too far off on a few of these! There's definitely stuff we missed, like race riots, a pandemic, a million bankruptcies and the west being literally on fire, but, geez, who could've seen all that coming?? And besides, it is what it is, right??

Cheers to getting the heck out of 2020 and on to greener pastures.

Talk with us!

Tara Yavorsky
Tara Yavorsky
VP, Marketing