The pandemic's grip on our everyday lives is fading, but there's no going back to business as usual. Consumers' expectations are changing, giving rise to a variety of new and evolving trends, which were highlighted in our recent midyear industry review webinar.
Among the trends we're watching is the pandemic-fueled growth of Amazon and other digital marketplaces, which are an appealing opportunity for companies of all sizes. One outcome of marketplace-driven momentum is the increase in brand aggregators buying and consolidating successful smaller brands that sell online, most often on Amazon.
Several trends in the retail space stand out, including innovative commerce experiences such as cashierless checkout, small-format stores, livestream shopping and purchasing products through social network platforms. At the same time, retailers such as Walmart are making tangible moves into financial services, exploring ways to offer a wide range of banking services.
Businesses are looking for new ways to drive commerce. As a result, smart speakers and voice interactions are set for growth as consumers shift toward contactless shopping behaviors. The way we buy cars is also changing, fueled by preferences for online shopping and financing and home-delivery services.
In financial services, celebrities, social media influencers and everyday investors are driving investments and stock purchases. Digital currencies are heating up as well, particularly Central Bank Digital Currencies, defined as virtual money issued as legal tender by the central bank of a country.
Watch our webinar to learn more about those and other trends we expect will resonate in 2021.