2024 retail industry outlook

Looking for loyalty in all the right places

As retailers look to woo price-sensitive consumers in 2024, loyalty will have to be earned. To make that happen, trust will need to be the cornerstone of their profitability playbook.

Revamping retail loyalty

The last two years have been anything but ordinary. Consumers witnessed a 40-year inflationary high in June 2022 and 11 Federal Reserve rate hikes by July 2023. Given this volatility, it's reasonable to assume that consumers' collective psyche would be bruised, and they would retreat from the marketplace.

However, consumers have endured, surprising analysts by challenging conventional wisdom. In fact, consumers continue their consumption binge, with some benefiting from wage increases while others are presumably burning through savings and accumulating debt even as economic uncertainty continues to loom. 

Against this backdrop of an uncertain 2024 economic outlook, a focus on rebuilding trust could lead to profitable loyalty. 

With bargain-hunting consumers skipping from source to source and customer acquisition costs increasing 222% in the past decade, loyalty programs remain a hot topic. And with the opportunity to utilize first-person data from loyalty programs to create additional revenue, it's no wonder retail executives' most cited growth opportunity for 2024 was strengthening loyalty programs.

Based on what we’re hearing and seeing, 2024 will be the year to rewrite the loyalty playbook by putting trust at the center. Our annual retail industry outlook explores three key opportunities:

  • Lean into loyalty programs
  • Enhance omniexperience through in-store investments
  • Drive individual engagement at scale with trustworthy AI

Download our full 2024 retail industry outlook to learn more about the biggest focus areas for retailers in the year ahead.

2024 retail industry outlook

US economic forecast 

A note from Deloitte US Economists Danny Bachman and Akrur Barua

“The US economy seems to have avoided a recession even as inflation has dropped. This is good news, especially at a time when geopolitical tensions are rising, growth in key US economic partners is slowing, and there is uncertainty over budget funding. 

Consumers have benefitted from rising wages due to a strong labor market and declining inflation. They have also drawn down their pandemic-era savings to fund more purchases. This dip in personal savings, however, will weigh on consumer spending in 2024–2025. In addition, consumers face headwinds from high rents, rising house prices, and repayment of student loan debt. 

Two key trends will shape the future business environment: tighter labor markets and higher long-term interest rates.”

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