Clearly, the most significant factor affecting retail trends in 2021, continuing from 2020 and undoubtedly continuing through to 2022, has been the global emergence of COVID. We have examined the effects in detail, including a massive post looking at COVID-19 eCommerce Statistics.
However, we can’t state that all the current retail trends are because of COVID. Sure, it has accelerated many, e.g., the shift towards online shopping, but there was movement in that direction anyhow. COVID has severely altered the timeline of change in retail, however.
In this post, we look at some of the current retail trends, along with indications of how things could move in the foreseeable future.
18 Retail Trends for 2022 and Beyond:
- 1. Consumer Sales Have Generally Been Strong, Despite the Pandemic
- 2. Still a Threat of Ongoing Store Closures
- 3. Move Towards Online Shopping
- 4. Free Shipping and Speedy Delivery are Expectations for Many Consumers
- 5. Expansion of the “At Home” Economy
- 6. Physical Stores Redesign Spaces to Make Customers Feel Safe
- 7. Greater Use of In-Store Self Checkouts
- 8. Increase in Contactless Payments
- 9. Retailers Discover the Advantages of AI
- 10. Increased Use of Voice Search and Personal Assistants
1. Consumer Sales Have Generally Been Strong, Despite the Pandemic
2021 has seen a gradual re-opening of the world economy. As Deloitte phrases it, “The high street re-opens.” With more non-essential stores now operating, many consumers have gone on a shopping binge. They are spending money they would typically spend on travel on other things, like home improvement and consumer goods. Many places are also loosening restrictions on the hospitality sector. This consumer-led recovery is likely to continue into 2022 and beyond.
2. Still a Threat of Ongoing Store Closures
The last few years have seen an avalanche of store closures. This trend began long before COVID and was inevitable once online shopping began to take hold. However, the pandemic has accelerated the movement, particularly with shops closing for extended periods during lockdowns.
However, a return to “normal” post-COVID life is unlikely to reverse this trend. Thus, while the closure rate may decrease, there will still be many more closures yet to come.
Real estate data tracker CoStar reported that 40 major retailers (presumably in the USA) declared bankruptcy in 2020, and more than 11,000 store closures were announced. This was on top of 9,300 store closures in 2019.
The exception to this trend is the dollar store sector which is expanding. Dollar stories accounted for half the store openings in the US in 2020, and Dollar General has announced it will add 1,050 locations in 2021.
3. Move Towards Online Shopping
The obvious counterpoint to the closure of brick-and-mortar stores has been an increase in sales made by their online counterparts. According to a Verizon Look Forward study reported by Retail Customer Experience, 60% of adults stated that they shopped mainly in person pre-pandemic. That figure has fallen to 37% now. In addition, 42% of the survey participants anticipate that they will be shopping in person and online equally in a year’s time.
In the UK, 5.7 million households shopped for their Christmas groceries online. Major supermarket chain Tesco’s online grocery sales reached more than $1.38 billion during the 19-week Christmas shopping period. Competitor Sainsbury saw a 128% growth in online grocery sales over the Christmas period.
As the world opens up to some degree, there appears to be some rebalancing in the percentage of people claiming to use online shopping predominantly. For example, 16% expect to shop mostly online in a year’s time, 6% higher than before the pandemic, but an 8% drop from today.
Many retailers now take a digital-first approach, where they place their primary focus on their online store ahead of their physical shops. They have invested heavily in digital technology and have built online-only warehouses.
About Influencer Marketing Hub
Founded in 2016, Influencer Marketing Hub is a private media company based in Copenhagen, Denmark. The company specializes in producing how-to guides, courses and research reports in the social media and influencer marketing industry. The firm is home to one of the world’s largest community of influencers and works with leading brands to leverage the power of influencer marketing with over 5 million monthly unique users. Read more articles on this platform by clicking on the following link: https://influencermarketinghub.com/
If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($100/yr.) Membership via this super simple join form