License Global is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

How the Digital Revolution in Retail has Impacted Licensing

As the world stuck closer to home in 2020, the role of digital e-commerce rapidly evolved and fundamentally changed how consumers shop.

According to an EMarketer report from earlier this year, e-commerce sales in the U.S. rose 18 percent. The company expects U.S. click-and-collect ecommerce sales to grow to $58.52 billion, up 60.4 percent from their initial forecast of 38.6 percent growth. 

Consumers' push towards e-commerce is also an international trend. In China, McKinsey reported that the territory earned over $1.5 trillion in ecommerce revenue in 2019 and early reports look for growth this year. In the U.K., behaviors such as home hub shopping have increased by 20 percent in 2020 as well.

For this year, gains for the sector were spurred on by consumers moving online as stores around the globe temporarily shut down due to COVID-19. As consumers now readjust to this 'new normal' and make plans for life post-COVID, it's also become clear that consumers' newfound digital shopping experiences are here to stay. The convenience of online retail and the new comfortability that consumers feel when shopping online has shown a retail pathway.

Shoppers have recently reported to believing they feel they will receive better deals through online shopping via Prime Days than through traditional Black Friday deals. The NPD recently reported that 57 percent of consumers to do at least some, if not all, of their 2020 holiday shopping during the online event. The increased demand speaks to NPD's belief that Prime Day could outpace all other big shopping days this year.

"Consumers are already entering this earlier-than-ever start to the holiday season with a different shopping mindset and this is retail's chance to emphasize the notion that early is better when making holiday purchases – when it comes to inventory, shipping and deals," says Marshal Cohen, chief industry advisor, retail, The NPD Group.

The trends we see today illuminate the truth that online retail is here to stay and the metaphorical Pandora's Box that has opened due to the pandemic shows no signs of closing.


Hear about more of the latest retail trends by registering for the Licensing Leadership Summit now! The all-virtual event will showcase some of the industry's biggest thought leaders and highlight what they see as the future of the licensing and retail business. 

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.