The retail industry across the world has come back to positive outlook since the situation recovers in 2021. Several retailers did create new shelf spaces and made innovations for consumers convenience, reachability and handholding the products. With respect to revenue growth projection for 2021, both physical retailers and online retailers are on positive note and deeply involved in fulfilling and souring their stores with goods. With respect to manufacturers, they got more time to think about and make innovations in products. They could focus on innovating and developing more FMCG products. Particularly, the demand for essential goods was never went down even during the peak pandemic time. Demand was still present in the market, however, the sellers experienced challenges in 2020 which they could come over successfully in 2021 with new learnings and innovations. This specific Industry insight provides an overview and scenario of the current retail industry, e-commerce industry and the new innovations these retailers are making.

Impact on E-Commerce: e-Commerce players are optimistic about the current scenario. 2020 is the year, where millions of dollars investments went into strengthening logistics and supply chain networks of the companies to address the unprecedented demand for online sales in the 1st and 2nd quarters of 2020-21. Despite the situation recovered in 2021, and physical retail store footfalls are increasing, ecommerce players are saying that online business is going to stay for convenience, affordability and reliability. Ecommerce players such as Amazon; Walmart and Target who have the needed digital capabilities have experienced significant growth in 2020-21. E-commerce sector in USA has grown 42% from 2019 reaching $813 billion in 2021. Overall retailers are changing their business models with long term thinking accommodating e-commerce. One more scenario in the supply chain network is, e-commerce fulfilment specialists’ businesses are also growing significantly.

In India, as on June 2021, Amazon India is already partnered with 150,000 small stores in their network. Over a period of next four years (by 2025), Amazon is going to add 1 million small stores to their network. Amazon would like to improve the livelihood of the marginal sellers with whom they have partnered with. Over 8 years period, Amazon India while maintaining their employee safety, served customers and small sellers, doing bit of community and government service, created value to customers, transported medical equipment, helped in vaccinations and helped in insuring small businesses. In June 2021, Amazon said it is committed to Indian diaspora and keep growing their network in generating value to customers and sellers. In the recent past, so many local language sellers joined the Amazon sellers network.

Delivery Innovations: In India, since April 2020, e-commerce players have learned a lot with respect to handling day to day operations, supply chains, sourcing, fulfilments and logistics. Over a period of time, lot of innovations entered into product delivery and handling schedules. Some of the ecommerce players are categorizing the products being order by the customers, as essential goods, needed items, support items, and luxury or add on items. Essential goods are even delivered to customer place within 3 hours of order booking in selected cities. These are particularly the essential food products. Next category they kept hygiene, personal care items; next category clothing, accessories; next category would be the furniture; electronic durable goods, etc. Based on this sequence/ordering they are scheduling/prioritizing the staggered delivery/handling of the goods onto 2 to 3 separate delivery dates with essential goods delivered immediately in few hours.

Physical Retailers Scenario: despite the Shoppers visits are increasing to physical retail stores, the retailers have a challenge of sourcing the needed stocks and maintaining the inventories. Among the product categories sold are travel products and pet product sales were good in US market. Physical retailers are feeling like demand for goods will continue; sourcing and filling shelf space is a continuous process as of 2021.

In India, as on June 2021, Reliance Brands, a division of Reliance Retail is planning to create its own fashion and life style goods products in the price range of Rs 1,000 to Rs 3,000. Earlier Reliance retail was selling premium brands in the price range of over Rs 3,000. Creating their own brand decision came from Reliance Brands to target the growing Indian middle-class customers.

As the situation is turning, fashion designers, garments designers are on positive note. As the people want to attend functions, celebration, weddings, birthday parties, and events in India, particularly from June 2021, designers in metros started looking for turnarounds and growth. In US as well, consumer demand has grown, there is increased demand for suits and dresses in US. US dress market in 2020 experienced 32% decline over 2019 and could hit $84 billion. And in US, the dress market is expected to grow 15% in 2021 and 7% in 2022.

Overall, with more number of products, sourcing, innovations in display and delivery retailers across the world are on positive outlook.

Hope I have shared the current scenario.

Thank you.

Best Regards,

Dr.Goparaju Purna Sudhakar




  1. Smith, J. (2021), “Logistics Providers see e-commerce momentum Continuing Post-Pandemic”, The Wall Street Journal, June 09, 2021.
  2. Bailay, R. (2021), “Reliance Brands Plans Affordable Fashion and Life Style Line to Tap growing Market for Such Products”, The Economic Times, June 09, 2021
  3. ET (2021), “Amazon Focuses on Innovation, Commits Long Term Investment in India”, The Economic Times, June 09, 2021.
  4. Larson, K. (2021), “A Return to Dressing Up: Retailers and Designers Say Dresses are Back”, Forbes, June 14, 2021.

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