The COVID-19 pandemic transformed both consumer habits and the way retailers operate. While it drove a huge increase in online shopping, it doesn’t automatically mean the end of brick-and-mortar retail. Instead, new forms of consumerism will emerge. We’ve examined five predictions for the retail industry in 2022.
1. Focus on customer experience in-store for the Retail Industry in 2022
Research has shown that consumers still value in-store experiences. However, it’ll be important for brick-and-mortar stores to stand out. So, a major prediction for the retail industry in 2022 is a focus on the customer experience in-store. This won’t necessarily be about shifting more products but will strengthen the customer’s relationship with the brand instead.
An example of this is Nike’s store in Times Square, which has a basketball court fitted with cameras to record shots. It’s become a huge tourist attraction that boosts brand awareness. Another example on an everyday level is Lidl. They use the ‘treasure hunt experience’, where customers can benefit from unexpected, limited edition products.
As large numbers of people will want to visit an experiential store, using queuing software like Qudini can help filter people through the store and experience safely.
2. ‘Online only’ stores opening offline
When the world’s biggest online retailer opens a physical store, you know brick-and-mortar isn’t going anywhere. The Amazon Fresh grocery business combines the ease of online shopping with the experience of physically choosing products in a store.
Brands that started as digital-only are seeing huge value in adding physical stores. It’s likely that more of these will start appearing in the retail industry in 2022, building on the technology and convenience of eCommerce.
3. More technology
It’ll be impossible to avoid technology in the retail industry in 2022 – it’s revolutionizing the consumer experience both online and off. Brands can now use data to personalize products and offers. Technology will become the modern equivalent of the local shopkeeper who knows each customer personally.
Technology will also make retail more seamless for the customer. It can enable easier pickup and checkout, or appointments that are controlled via a customer’s phone. Qudini is at the forefront of this with software that supports product pickup or a queuing system to allow for a safer checkout process.
4. Hybrid sales
Hybrid forms of sales, like shopping in-store and paying online, or shopping online with curbside pickup, are likely to become more popular in the retail industry in 2022 as consumers want the best of both worlds.
By mix-and-matching their offerings, retailers can meet consumer needs. This could therefore take the form of online and offline stores, using a mix of social media platforms or utilizing customers’ smartphones to enhance their shopping experience.
5. Sustainable consumerism for the retail industry in 2022.
One of the biggest retail industry predictions for 2022 is the priority placed on brand ethics. According to shopping trends reported by Forrester, consumers are increasingly purchasing products based on a company’s values.
Responsible behaviour in the face of the ongoing battle against COVID-19 will likely weigh heavily on consumers. Many are seeking out businesses that prioritize safety. Using Quidini’s software to facilitate services like curbside pickups or in-store appointments demonstrates a commitment to consumer well-being.