Ten Problems for Sales in the 2020s

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Literature Review: Sales Problems for the 2020s

27 trends emerged in the areas of ‘Consumer, Food & Retail’, which encompass new products and services within the consumer space, as well as manufacturing processes and systems that facilitate the development of sustainable food value chains. Trends related to personalization, consumer convenience, consumer sentiment and the subsequent shifting value of goods and services, and new or adapted industry standards and regulations are all represented. Many trends in this space have already been widely affected by the pandemic, with the Streaming Economy and Direct-to-Consumer among those accelerating now while trends such as Experiential Retail and Digital Detox are experiencing a deceleration effect [1].

The world’s retailers face a host of challenges. Even before the pandemic, many brick-and-mortar retailers were struggling. Now, as we emerge from the liminal space of nationwide lockdowns into new psychological and social territory, shoppers will be anxious about whether visiting stores will increase their exposure to the virus. Adding to the complexity: The United States is now officially in a recession, which will dampen consumer spending for months to come. The good news is innovative ways of operating were already being prototyped on a smaller scale before Covid-19 [2].

Over the past few years, marketing still continues to change in a way that allows businesses to adapt to ever-changing needs and demands; trends, technology and certain marketing tactics are constantly evolving. It is essential that your business stays up to date with these new developments, so you can target clients successfully, stay way ahead of your competitors, all while remaining relevant and top-of-mind with marketing efforts. Converting leads to customers, growing traffic to the website, and cross-selling remain most company’s top marketing priorities [3]. So how is this achieved through marketing?

The Covid-19 pandemic has fanned public concerns that the coronavirus could be transmitted by cash. Scientific evidence suggests that the probability of transmission via banknotes is low when compared with other frequently-touched objects, such as credit card terminals or PIN pads. To bolster trust in cash, central banks are actively communicating, urging continued acceptance of cash and, in some instances, sterilizing or quarantining banknotes. Some encourage contactless payments. Looking ahead, developments could speed up the shift toward digital payments [4].

The Covid-19 pandemic and the measures taken to limit the spread of the disease have significantly disrupted economic activity in countries around the world, resulting in significant business interruption losses. The vast majority of these losses are likely to be absorbed by policyholders as, unless governments (or courts) intervene, few companies have business interruption coverage that is likely to respond to these types of losses – exposing the existence of an important protection gap for some pandemic-related business interruption losses [5].

Starting from such general references, this booklet identifies ten relevant areas from very recent contributions put forward at academic level in the form journal articles, conference proceedings and students’ theses. Ten freely accessible internet references have been selected for each area and direct links are provided at the end of each chapter for own consultation. Our selected references do not intend to mirror ranking indexes nor establish novel classifications. On the contrary, they are meant to represent peer-reviewed, diverse and scientifically-sound case studies for vertical dissemination aimed at non-specialist readers. They will also be able to scoop even more references through the bibliography that is reported at the end of each selected reference.

Without further ado, these are the “Ten Problems for Sales in the 2020s” that we are going to introduce in this booklet:

  1. digital technology,
  2. conscious consumer,
  3. mobile payments,
  4. agritech,
  5. retail experience,
  6. popular products,
  7. sustainable fashion,
  8. plant-based diet,
  9. digital marketing,
  10. b2c platforms.

Each problem has its own dedicated chapter made of an introductory section, a short presentation of the ten selected references and a conclusions section.

The final chapter of this booklet will report the conclusions from each chapter again in order to provide a complete executive summary.


[1] H. Patel et al., “150 trends for investors to watch in the 2020s”, 2020 Jun 17, Barclays, online at  , accessed on 1 Oct 2020

[2] K. Machtiger, “What Will the Retail Experience of the Future Look Like?”, 2020 Jun 16, Harvard Business Review, online at  , accessed on 1 Oct 2020

[3] A. Jerenic, “Top 5 Challenges of Marketing and Sales”, 2020 May 7, Mo Agency, online at  , accessed on 1 Oct 2020

[4] R. Auer et al., “Covid-19, cash, and the future of payments”, 2020 Apr 3, Bank for International Settlements Bulletin n.3, online at

[5] M. Yokoi-Arai et al., “Responding to the COVID-19 and pandemic protection gap in insurance”, 2020 Sep 9, OECD, online at , accessed on 1 Oct 2020 houses for sale, cars for sale, homes for sale, puppies for sale, businesses for sale, integrated marketing communications

“Ten Problems for Sales in the 2020s” booklet for Amazon Kindle, 2020; click on the cover to go to the dedicated Amazon listing page houses for sale, cars for sale, homes for sale, puppies for sale, businesses for sale, integrated marketing communications