Trends in the retail world can be difficult to predict, especially after the turbulent last couple of years in the industry. If you’re in need of some insight for the rest of the year, consider these top retail trends that you should be watching for in 2022.
The Move to Digital Commerce
Digital and eCommerce are extremely important for all businesses to consider, regardless of company size. Even before the 2020 pandemic—when online shopping was not only more convenient but also safer—the trend for digital shopping had been growing. And based on expert reports, the digital shopping trend isn’t going anywhere. ECommerce has made the shopping experience more convenient than ever, and customers continue to take advantage of this. To compete with larger companies known for their convenience, like Amazon, many businesses are expanding their online shopping programs and offering promotions like free shipping and more. If your retail store isn’t able to support an online shop, try building a website for customers to learn more about your business.
Don’t Underestimate In-Store Shopping
While a digital shopping presence is critical now more than ever for some businesses, don’t turn your back on brick-and-mortar stores. As much as modern technology tries, the in-store shopping experience is not one that can be recreated digitally just yet. Many customers prefer shopping for certain items in-person rather than browsing online; for example, boutiques and grocery stores are irreplaceable retail locations. Many consumers don’t want to go through the effort of buying the wrong size clothing item online only to have to ship it back to the seller. And just as many consumers would rather pick out their own produce than trust a delivery company.
Additionally, digital communication can feel cold and detached—nothing beats a warm and friendly in-person customer service team. These are benefits of in-store shopping that businesses aren’t quite ready to phase out.
Adopt an Omnichannel Retail Approach
Since customers clearly still appreciate both retail and digital shopping, many businesses are adopting an omnichannel retail method. This method, also known as “phygital retail,” combines the best of both digital and retail shopping. You can easily blend digital aspects with your physical retail location by using tools such as digital signage and in-store kiosks. These advancements allow customers to quickly access your product catalog and information, saving them time in your store while channeling some of the convenience of digital shopping.
Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store Options
Another trend that came out of the 2020 pandemic was the rise of buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) services. This is just another way retail stores can embrace the digital transformation through phygital retail practices. If your small business can’t support shipping products for a fully online shopping model, offering BOPIS services is a wonderful way to bring that sense of convenience to your physical store. Plus, this allows customers to save on shipping costs without your business having to cover the expenses—their products will be ready and waiting in your warehouse or retail store location.
Make Returns Easier
Whether your customers shop online or in-store, returns are inevitable. In 2022, many companies are making moves to create easy return solutions, such as automated kiosks in-store and designated drop-off stations. Bringing customers back into the store to make convenient returns can also lead to more conversions. You could even offer easy exchanges for particular products, like apparel, where the only issue the customer faced may have been sizing.
Combat Supply Chain Issues
While the past few years have seen many positive trends and advancements in the retail world, the pandemic also had several retail-altering impacts. One of these impacts is the supply chain issues and shortages that many companies are still dealing with. Now that businesses are acutely aware of these issues, they are doing everything they can to combat them; retailers are dealing with shortages in a variety of ways, such as finding new manufacturers and suppliers, improving their forecasting, altering promotions based on supply and demand, sourcing materials domestically, and more.
Attract More Help
Just as supply issues affected retailers’ inventory, labor shortages started to affect the retail store experience as well. This is another side effect of the recent pandemic, and many businesses are struggling to find the help they need. Having fewer workers means longer lines and a poor customer experience, which has led to some companies shortening their business hours. Therefore, learning how to combat labor shortages is just as important as navigating inventory shortages this year. Evaluate what potential hires are really looking for out of their retail jobs, such as benefits, prioritizing work-life balance, and company culture—this will help your business attract more help in 2022.
Advancements in Marketing Strategies
Marketing is one of the most fluid aspects of retail and commerce. Whether you sell online or in-store, your marketing materials need to keep up with the trends. One marketing trend that has become critical in 2022 is personalization; your customers want to feel appreciated, and going the extra mile to offer personalized marketing is a fantastic way to accomplish this. Offer returning customers loyalty programs and additional incentives to show that you remember them. Use automated messaging technology to record your customers’ names to address them personally in emails, texts, and even printed letters; be sure your customers know you care through these personalized materials.
Adopt Social Media Marketing
If your business hasn’t already, 2022 is the year to adopt social media marketing. Studies show that consumers spend around 10 percent of their day on social media apps and websites. This is the perfect opportunity to get more eyes on your brand and products. Create social media accounts across various platforms for your business and post as frequently as possible. Some companies even have entire teams dedicated to social media marketing because of the impact it can have on your business.
Focus on Sustainability
Did you know that many customers are more likely to shop with a business after learning said business invests in sustainable efforts? If your target audience includes a younger generation, sustainability should be another goal of yours. Now more than ever, an increasing number of businesses are making strides to lessen their carbon footprint, donate to sustainable causes, and practice eco-friendly habits. If you want to garner more trust with your younger target audience, make sustainability a goal.
The retail world has been a rollercoaster these last few years, and many of the trends we see today are still influenced by it; remember these top ten retail trends to watch for as you continue the 2022 business year. If you need additional signage as you adjust your retail marketing, you don’t have to look far. Whether you need digital signage technology or sign sleeves to boost your in-store marketing, you’ll find everything you need here at The Global Display Solutions.