Top 5 articles for understanding the key takeaways of 2020

These were most-read articles of the year!

Header image for the top 5 2020 merchandising articles that shows our top article on the screen of a laptop

2020 is coming to an end. What a year it was. And perhaps depending on what you were expecting from it, what a year it wasn’t!

Either way, 2020 gave us a lot to talk about.

Throughout the year, we’ve been sharing articles meant to help retailers make sense of the year and to prepare their retail merchandising businesses to better weather the challenges of 2020.

Here is the countdown of the top five most-read articles out of the collection, bringing together some of the most important takeaways of 2020. We hope that even when the pandemic is a long-distant memory, these articles can continue to help you set up your retail businesses for merchandising success in 2021 and beyond.

5. The #NRF2020 Vision takeaways you need

NRF 2020 Vision Retail's Big Show

“From here on out, retailers will be focusing on humanity and technological innovation in equal measure, all in the name of getting closer to customers. And instead of existing in opposition, they’ll be mutually beneficial.”

All the way back in January, the 2020 NRF “Big Show” was a-buzz with big ideas and retail goals for the year. Remember that? Of course at this point we know that things didn’t totally turn out the way we’d expected.

We’re starting off this countdown with our first post on NRF 2020 takeaways. Read it to get some perspective on how much has changed, and the things that have stayed the same!

4. How to regain control of your forecasting after 2020’s disruption

How to regain control of your forecasting after 2020’s disruption blog post cover

“While 2020 data might seem like it is working against you and your ability to accurately predict future demand, you can still take action to make it work for you.”

2020 has left behind a lot of disruption in retail, both in terms of operations and customer behavior. All of which has likely left retailers with a lot of distortions and gaps in their data. The problem is, if you need your data to strategize for the future, what do you do?

Our Head of Data Science, Marcos Peñamil, explains where you might run into problems working with 2020 data as is, and some best practices for treating this data and your forecasting models to account for external events that can affect your retail planning.

3. How digital tech embeds sustainability at the core of fashion retail

Fashion sustainability blog post image

“Matching supply and present and future demand is a challenge as old as the industry itself. And overproduction happens more often when legacy processes, operations, and mindsets render retailers unable to leverage data successfully.”

The concept of “sustainability” has been tossed around the industry over the last few years, but its importance gained unprecedented visibility in 2020 as retailers found themselves “buried” under mountains of unsold stock. While sustainable production and ecological materials are certainly a start, one of the big 2020 takeaways is that in order to be truly sustainable, brands and retailers must go even further.

Nextail CEO and Co-Founder, Joaquín Villalba, explains that by taking advantage of digital technologies to become more agile, retailers are actually embedding sustainable practices into the core of their operations.

2. Opening the doors to new demand shifts in fashion retail


Digital transformation let retailers meet new customer behaviours after COVID-19 2“Whether it is a matter of dynamically clustering for ultimate availability, creating store-specific collections to provide value over volume, or increasing supply chain flexibility to increase speed to market, retailers must put their ear to the data more than ever.”

2020 also brought along some philosophical changes to the industry. The events of this year have caused customer behaviors and demands to shift, meaning that retailers will have to learn from 2020’s takeaways to adjust.

This article explores each one of these shifts and how retailers can address them, primarily through the use of data to gain agility. And since these shifts are expected to stick around into the future, retailers will do well to adopt the correct digital initiatives now.

1. Fashion merchandising action plan to restart post COVID-19

Man walking into a retail store

“As a consequences of the COVID-19 disruption become even clearer, so will the merchandising processes that must transform as a result.”

In our most-read article of the year, we give retailers a clear guide for implementing merchandising measures meant to counteract abnormal demand distortions and prepare for an upswing in shopping activity.

While we originally published this merchandising article at the end of the first wave of the pandemic and ahead of the first store re-openings, it has continued to support retailers throughout the year.

And as we look ahead to a 2021, which will likely bring the industry back to levels of high activity, the pointers around preparing the different layers of retail operations (i.e. assortment, buy, distribution, pricing, ecommerce, and outlets) couldn’t be more relevant.


Best wishes for 2021!

Given the many takeaways of 2020, one of the main resolutions for many retailers in the new year will be that of taking a fully data-driven approach to retail merchandising to bounce back even faster.

If you’re ready to take the leap, contact us to find out how Nextail can help you become an agile, data-forward retailer and embed sustainability at the core of your operations.


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