The Fastest Growing and Declining Retail Brands in 2020
The COVID-19 outbreak has led to the savage disruption of retail the world over.
Almost overnight, foot traffic in physical stores disappeared, and supply chains were left scrambled. Now at a major fork in the road, many retailers are forced to make tough decisions that were completely unforeseen.
While some global retail giants are laying down their weapons and filing for bankruptcy, others are innovating to save themselves, serving their customers in new and unexpected ways.
Today’s graphic uses data from Kantar’s Brand Z™ report to illustrate the retailers that are growing through adversity, and those that may struggle to survive.
Editor’s note: The report compares brand value of the top 75 retailers globally between 2020 and 2019, using mid-April as a cut-off date for incorporating latest financial information. Some early effects of the pandemic are incorporated in these calculations, but the pandemic’s impact on retail going forward is uncertain.
Retailers Rising to the Top
The calculation of brand value refers to the total amount that a brand contributes to the overall business value of the parent company.
In this case, it is measured by taking the financial value of a brand (latest data as of mid-April), and multiplying it by the brand’s contribution, or the ability of the brand to deliver value to the company by predisposing consumers to choose the brand over others or pay more for it, based purely on perceptions.
Based on these metrics, activewear brand lululemon is the world’s fastest growing retail brand for the second year running. Famous for its culture of accountability and global community events, the brand has struck the perfect balance between a seamless online and offline experience.
Explore the 10 fastest growing retail brands of 2020 below:
|Brand||Brand Value 2020||Brand Value % Change|
2020 Vs. 2019
|Costco||$28.7B||35%||Retail||🇺🇸 United States|
|Amazon||$415.9B||32%||Retail||🇺🇸 United States|
|Target||$10.6B||32%||Retail||🇺🇸 United States|
|Walmart||$45.8B||24%||Retail||🇺🇸 United States|
|Sam’s Club||$6.8B||19%||Retail||🇺🇸 United States|
Interestingly, Walmart holds three spots in the ranking as it also owns Flipkart and Sam’s Club. Moreover, the American retail giant purchased a stake in Chinese e-commerce platform JD.com, which has grown from 5% to 12%.
The two brands entered the strategic partnership together with the goal of dominating the Chinese market and surpassing Alibaba.
The Recipe for Retail Success
While every retailer has a unique growth strategy, according to the authors of the report, there are three factors that are undeniably crucial for success.
- Value: Offering value for money through fair pricing for all products or services.
- Uniqueness: Having a clear purpose and standing for something that consumers find meaningful.
- Premium: Being perceived as being worth more than the price consumers pay.
Further, research also suggests that successful brands dominate their respective category when it comes to brand awareness and consistently provide experiences that enrich their customers’ lives, as demonstrated by lululemon.
As retailers continue to shift their focus towards digital transformation, consumers are still finding great value in having the best of both worlds when it comes to combining e-commerce and brick-and-mortar, otherwise known as “brick and click”.
Retailers Struggling to Stay Relevant
Unfortunately, there are several brands that haven’t yet mastered this winning combination, and the ruthless pandemic economy has only emphasized their struggles.
Here are the 10 fastest declining retail brands of 2020:
|Brand||Brand Value 2020||Brand Value % Change|
2020 Vs. 2019
|Under Armour||$2.6B||-34%||Apparel||🇺🇸 United States|
|Walgreens||$6.8B||-26%||Retail||🇺🇸 United States|
|Tim Hortons||$5.4B||-20%||Fast Food||🇨🇦 Canada|
|Subway||$13.8B||-20%||Fast Food||🇺🇸 United States|
|Burberry||$3.8B||-18%||Luxury||🇬🇧 United Kingdom|
|M&S||$2.5B||-18%||Retail||🇬🇧 United Kingdom|
|Dunkin'||$2.4B||-15%||Fast Food||🇺🇸 United States|
|The North Face||$2.4B||-14%||Apparel||🇺🇸 United States|
Under Armour’s distribution relies heavily on third party retailers and department stores, so the brand has understandably been negatively impacted by the mass store closures.
While the brand focuses on expanding its personalized and connected fitness product offerings, it faces huge pressure from powerful competitors such as Nike and Adidas who already dominate this space.
A Rising Tide Lifts All Shipments
2020 has instigated a retail renaissance of epic proportions through accelerated digitization and changing consumer values. Ultimately, some brands will be better positioned than others to benefit from these changes.
As retailers begin reopening for business, they are presented with an opportunity to recalibrate the current retail landscape by setting new standards for the industry.
Ranked: The Top 100 Product Searches on Amazon
This graphic highlights the top product searches on Amazon in the U.S., providing a glimpse of what items American consumers are after.
What Products are People Searching for on Amazon?
When it comes to searching for products online, a majority of U.S. shoppers go directly to Amazon. Thanks to this widespread use, product searches on Amazon provide interesting insights into current consumer behavior, including what shoppers have been focusing on in 2020.
Today’s chart uses data from Ahrefs to showcase Amazon’s top 100 U.S. product searches. We’ll also dive into the most popular categories, as well as top keyword searches on a global basis.
Top 100 Amazon Product Searches in the U.S.
Out of the top 100 product searches on Amazon, over half are for electronics.
Nintendo Switch is the most searched product keyword, with approximately one million monthly searches. This makes sense, considering the console’s recent surge in popularity—in March 2020, U.S. sales of the Nintendo Switch more than doubled compared to a year prior.
Here’s a look at the full ranking of all product keywords, by monthly search volume:
|7||game of thrones||518,000||Media|
|17||external hard drive||412,000||Electronics|
|20||micro sd card||402,000||Electronics|
|33||gift cards for amazon||314,000||Misc|
|48||nintendo switch games||270,000||Electronics|
|59||amazon gift cards||254,000||Misc|
|64||led strip lights||247,000||Electronics|
|69||xbox one controller||238,000||Electronics|
|72||usb c cable||236,000||Electronics|
|79||iphone xr cases||222,000||Misc|
|98||iphone 11 case||195,000||Misc|
Two different Apple products make the top 10—Airpods and iPad. It’s interesting that Airpods and iPads have their own search term distinctive from their broader categories (wireless headphones and tablets), demonstrating Apple’s strong brand recognition in America.
Of course, Apple is also dominant in the personal tech market more broadly. For instance, iPhones make up 46% of the U.S. smartphone market by number of devices sold.
Top 100 Amazon Product Searches Globally
Like the U.S. top searches, Nintendo Switch comes in at number one worldwide, with over 2 million approximate monthly searches.
|12||game of thrones||1,040,000||Media|
|30||micro sd card||576,000||Electronics|
|36||external hard drive||526,000||Electronics|
|63||redmi note 7||433,000||Electronics|
|73||nintendo switch games||402,000||Electronics|
|78||xbox one controller||392,000||Electronics|
|92||lego star wars||362,000||Misc|
|93||xiaomi redmi note 7||362,000||Electronics|
Interestingly, three different Apple products appear in the top 10 global searches—Airpods, iPad, and iPhone. Additionally, a couple of older iPhone models make the overall ranking—iPhone 7 comes in at 21st place, and iPhone 8 takes the 28th spot.
On the U.S. list, these older iPhone models don’t even make the top 100.
Keyword Category Rankings
When it comes to top-ranking keywords, the electronics category appears to be the most important to Americans. Over half the U.S. top product searches fall under electronics, with the home category in second place.
Here’s a look at the full U.S. category breakdown:
Interestingly, when comparing the order of categories in the U.S versus worldwide, the sections remain mostly the same:
|Category||# of U.S. Keywords||# of Global Keywords|
Like the U.S., electronics comes in at number one worldwide. However, it’s an even larger portion for the global ranking—70 keyword searches on the global list are for electronics.
The home category is more popular in the U.S. than across the globe, with 22 in the U.S. versus 12 worldwide. In America, air fryer is the most popular keyword search under this section—possibly because people were looking for a quick way to make their meals while they were busy playing Animal Crossing on their Switches.
The second most popular U.S. keyword under the home category is toilet paper. Considering the toilet paper shortages in the spring of 2020, this makes sense, as stores began limiting the number of rolls a person could purchase.
What Will 2021 Bring?
Based on the top 100 list, both globally and in the U.S., it’s clear that when searching on Amazon, a majority of consumers are looking for electronics.
However, the specific electronics they’re searching for (such as iPhones and Nintendo Switches), helps to provide some context around the products people are interested in, as well as the particular brands that are currently on everyone’s radar.
Will the Switch get switched out of the top spot in 2021? Because electronics tend to update so frequently, it’s very possible.
29 Psychological Tricks To Make You Buy More
This graphic looks at 29 different psychological tricks that marketers use to try and influence consumer behavior.
29 Psychological Tricks To Make You Buy More
Ever suffered from buyer’s remorse? You’re not alone.
According to a recent survey, only 5% of people have never felt guilty about buying something. That means the majority of us, at some point in our lives, have regretted a purchase.
But consumers aren’t necessarily only to blame for impulse buys. After all, we’re constantly bombarded with advertisements and marketing tactics specifically tailored to try and get us to spend more money.
Today’s graphic by TitleMax explains 29 different psychological tactics that marketers try to get consumers to buy more.
Tricks are for Marketers
While this list isn’t exhaustive, it provides some key examples of the ways that marketers are attempting to influence your subconscious mind.
We noticed some high-level trends among the 29 tactics, which we compiled into four overarching sections:
- Visual Pricing Tricks
These tricks aim to intentionally minimize the appearance of the price, so it’s more palatable to consumers. For instance, a store will price something at $9.99 instead of $10.00, or label a product as “buy-one-get-one” rather than 50% off.
- Intentional Language Tricks
It’s not what you say, but how you say it. Making products seem costly to manufacture, offering exclusivity, and using words associated with small amounts fall under this category. These tricks use semantics to position a product in an appealing way.
- Brick-and-Mortar Tricks
A store’s layout is less arbitrary than you may realize. Having a bright and colorful entrance, playing calm and slow music, and putting the essential items at the back of the store are a few tactics that fall into this section. These tricks use displays and product placement to influence consumer behavior.
- Urgency Tricks
A false sense of urgency and phase-out discounts are included in this category. If a consumer believes they might miss out on a deal, they’re more likely to buy.
The Theories in Practice
While most retailers are guilty of using at least a few of these tactics, several big companies are notorious for their use of psychological tricks to boost sales.
For instance, Ikea is well known for its confusing, maze-like layout. This is no accident, as an Ikea store’s architecture is designed specifically to maximize product exposure—it’s mastered what’s called the Gruen effect, a term named after architect Victor Gruen, whose elaborate displays were proven to convert browsers into buyers.
Another example is Walmart’s rollback pricing, which uses visual contrast to make the sale price more appealing. It’s clearly served the company well—in 2019, Walmart made $524 billion in revenue, making it the world’s largest retailer.
Costco uses a few tactics on the list, but one it’s notorious for is putting fresh produce in the back of the store. That means customers need to pass through the electronics, clothing, and household goods sections before they can get to the necessities.
While the above tactics are in a gray area, other tricks are flat out dishonest. Makeup brand Sunday Riley was caught writing fake Sephora reviews to boost sales. Employees were encouraged to write outstanding reviews for the company, and the CEO even provided instructions on how to avoid getting caught.
The Influencer Era
As consumers become aware of certain marketing tactics, retailers are forced to switch up their game in order to remain effective.
A relatively recent phenomenon is influencer marketing, which is when brands partner with vloggers or influencers to endorse a product. And these partnerships tend to work—a recent survey revealed that 40% of people have purchased something based on an influencer’s recommendation.
But how long will influencer marketing—or any of these tactics—stay effective? Some of the more subtle pricing tactics might stay relevant for longer, but it’s unlikely that all of these tricks will stand the test of time.
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