Retail Trends to Watch Out for in 2022

The retail industry aims to deliver the right products to consumers as conveniently as possible. The pandemic has accelerated the trend toward digitization, with e-commerce leading the way. But, with sustainable business practices, retail has caught up and now delivers equal convenience, powered by digital transformations. 

Retail was hard hit by COVID-19, and consumers shifted to e-commerce channels in line with lockdown and social-distancing protocols. As a result, in 2021, 18% of goods were bought online, up by 10% percent since 2012.

Brands in retail are rethinking their tactics in light of these developments and are, in response, combining their virtual and physical presences. A cross-channel strategy—one that focuses on online as well as physical presence—provides a seamless, coordinated, and a cross-channel shopping experience that reimagines the purpose of the physical store.

Today, the most significant retail industry trends are focused on an implementation of the different types of multichannel retail strategies and their integration across digital platforms. 

On this note, let’s now look at some particularly prominent trends that will come to reshape the retail game in 2022. From the need for an online presence to transforming your brick-and-mortar to grab-n-go, the retail world is evolving rapidly. 

‘Online buying’ is here to stay 

Consumers and retailers both benefit from online shopping. Thirty-seven percent of consumers make their purchases via the Internet, and retailers are moving in to take advantage of this spike in online buying. 

In addition to maintaining a local presence, independent and online merchants can reach a wider audience with their online presence.

Moving online can increase the retailers’ chances of business success, often measured in terms of growing revenues. According to the  industry data, 51% of e-commerce retailers generate their revenue through online sales. 

Labor shortages can be addressed through automation

In 2022, one out of every 3 retailers are concerned about hiring and retaining employees. A recent study found that 72% of stores are now using automation to reduce the time employees spend in manual labor due to worker shortages.

Automated systems, according to retailers, will reduce the need for additional staff in areas such as order tracking, maintaining loyalty programs, and customer communication. The retail industry should invest in automation or upgrade existing systems to keep up with the changing workforce landscape.

Disruptions to the supply chains

A globally pervasive and complex supply chain has been hard hit by COVID-19. Factory closures, port disruptions, and shipping delays disrupted the supply chains at the start of the pandemic, resulting in worldwide product shortages.

Following the reopening of advanced economies, global supply chains buckled under the pressure of ramped-up production to meet pent-up demand. Online platforms can help offset some of these pressures by ramping optimal capacity.

Working in close collaboration with players in logistics, streamlining assortments, improving forecasting, and leveraging technologies can help retailers overcome challenges related to the global supply chains.

Cut down on delivery times

The majority of shoppers prefer to shop online to get orders delivered to their door, rather than having to go pick them up. Unfortunately, only 38 percent of e-commerce retailers offer same-day delivery. 

As a result, supply chain problems and shipping delays are on the rise – nearly half of the retailers believe they will continue – but thanks to same-day shipping, small businesses will be able to sell their products more quickly.

The greatest advantage of the local retailers is that they maintain a close relationship with their customers, and are better equipped to deliver products faster. However, if you start offering same-day deliveries, and other facilitative services like it, your bottom line will rise.

In addition to same-day delivery, online retail offers the convenience of shopping from home. According to market observers, shoppers avoid retailers who don’t provide online delivery and pick-up-at-store options. 

The most prominent digital trend in retail is social e-commerce

Retailers are trying out multiple ways to adapt to the changing needs of their customers, from selling on social media platforms to setting up online stores. More than 70% of retailers use social media channels to make sales. 

E-commerce tools facilitate social selling, such as fully shoppable stores or flash sales. It allows retailers to interact with consumers at a time when people are increasingly attached to their mobile devices. 

Four-thirds of retailers selling on social networks say social media accounts for at least half of their earnings. Retailers make the most sales on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.

Retail is integrating into other industries

Not only did the pandemic spur company reorientations but also accelerated the rate of mergers and acquisitions, which had already sped up, thanks to the pandemic when businesses were forced to sell and close. 

In the pandemic, one in every four shoppers bought salon and spa-related retail items, while 44% bought meal kits, cocktail kits, and online courses on cooking.

Across the board, the clearly defined boundaries between retail, restaurant, and service businesses have become blurred. For example, there are restaurants that sell groceries and meals (typical retail offerings) and have now also begun providing lessons on cooking conducted online via Zoom.

Automation and technology investments

Technology takes center stage among the retail trends in 2022. Omnichannel shopping and e-commerce are clearly trail blazing the road of retail’s future. 

According to observers, retail and e-commerce giants, like Amazon, are increasingly putting their money into these transformative technologies that promise to make for a seamless retail experience for in-store shoppers. 

The transformations we are likely to see further unfold in 2022 include digital product testing, QR code scanning, and predictive analytics, which will not only provide ease of shopping experience—grab-n-go style—but will also lead to increases in revenue.

Final Thoughts

Consumer behavior is paving way for the introduction of novel trends. Retailers, taking inspiration from e-commerce, are also adopting these trends at an accelerated pace to offset the negative impacts of recent events that have adversely affected brick-and-mortar stores everywhere. The trends we have to keep a close eye on, out of the several mentioned above, are automation in retail, social e-commerce, and same-delivery services.


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