CSA: Experts Weigh in – Retail Predictions 2021

Black and white photo of Brian Ross

Brian Ross
Finger of a hand emitting light going straight to white numbers, 2021

Continued rise of e-commerce in the grocery sector. The rise of the COVID pandemic in 2020 drove a dramatic acceleration of ecommerce for groceries. This shift will continue, even in “the new normal,” as there is a fundamental transformation in the market that will overcome the barriers that have slowed adoption of online shopping in food.

During COVID, consumers shifted their patterns and overcame those concerns/barriers, which resulted in the establishment of critical trust and developed a habit. This will only continue throughout 2021, with an estimated ongoing share expansion to 20% of the market.

Families will continue to cook more at home. As we go into 2021 and restrictions continue for indoor dining, there will be an increase in the number of meals families have at home. This will result in consumers changing their habits – from those who cook from scratch and work on menu and culinary skills to those that look for retailers that can help with prepared meals, meals to go and do-it-yourself meal kits.

Retailers need to realize this isn’t just dinners — now that many of us are at home as the new normal, this will include breakfast and lunch as well. Retailers should focus on products that help us all manage in this environment.

Retailers that personalize win. The changes in ordering online and eating more meals at home also means that consumers are buying different brands, different products and different pack-sizes. While we are still managing through COVID, consumers look to reduce the number of trips to store/online, have bigger baskets and are stocking-up. Those retailers who understand shifts in products and response to price/promotion will better meet customer needs.

About the Author

Black and white photo of Brian Ross

Brian Ross


President of Precima, a NielsenIQ Company. Brian works with some of the world’s leading brands to deliver world-class customer-centric solutions through strategic consulting, industry-leading analytics and a next-generation technology platform. His vision and leadership helped launch Precima in 2008 as a three-person startup, and he has since grown it into a global leader in retail, B2B and CPG strategy and analytics with over 300 experts in Canada, the United States and Europe. With an extensive background in loyalty solutions, customer marketing and merchandising strategies, Brian oversees the strategic and operational management responsibilities, as well as relationships with customers and business partners.

Before Precima, Brian spent several years in management positions across LoyaltyOne businesses, notably providing client management and analytics support for key partners of the AIR MILES Reward Program. He used data-driven customer insights to develop successful programs for clients in grocery, pharmacy, department store, specialty retailing, financial services and consumer packaged goods. Brian shares his broad range of expertise and thought leadership in regular features in leading marketing publications, and is a frequent speaker at industry events and forums.