2021 Retail and Logistics Predictions: Hindsight Is 2020, Foresight Is 2021

February 3, 2021

Seven supply chain leaders provide insights about the future of omnichannel retail, eCommerce, and logistics technology.

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2020 was a year of massive, unprecedented disruption. COVID-19 fundamentally changed the world and no one was prepared for it. Now with the widespread distribution of the vaccine on the way, the world is faced with a new phase of disruption: Adjusting to the new normal. Find out what the future holds for the retail and supply chain industries.

Key Takeaways

  • Retail in 2021: Omnichannel is no longer an option
  • Supply chain resilience: With readiness comes resilience
  • Logistics technology: A new playbook requires new technology
  • Business strategy: The new normal and where to go from here

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Introduction
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One prediction from 2020 was that it would be the year of the supply chain. In many ways it was, but not in the way anyone expected. A pandemic-sized disruption was not in the forecast.

Supply chain disruptions are common, and they aren't usually predictable. Most leaders have contingency plans in place to manage a level of uncertainty, but not to the level of COVID-19. Most supply chain disruptions are constrained by location and time, and the pandemic isn't. It spans multiple regions and it isn't time-constrained—it's ongoing.

That unprecedented combination broke the supply chain. It exposed to the world how critical the movement of goods is, and it came in the way of empty toilet paper shelves and delayed eCommerce orders.

Looking ahead, if retailers and brands want to be resilient and thrive in the "new normal," they must fix what's broken and embrace change.