2022 predictions: the future of retail

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Posted on 20 December 2021 Read time 2 mins
Author Tillo

It’s safe to say that 2021 has been a turbulent year for the retail sector. With high street names struggling to stay afloat, a rise in online shopping and a big focus on saving the local high street, retailers need to be smart if they want to succeed in 2022. According to Retail Week’s latest report, 90% of UK retail leaders are expecting revenues to bounce back strongly next year with 49% of retailers also planning to open stores on local high streets.1

Here at Tillo we like to keep our finger on the pulse when it comes to retail so without further ado, here are our top three retail predictions for 2022.

 

Speedy delivery and easy returns

As the hybrid working model takes hold, more and more people are spending their time at home, removing opportunities for those that live in towns and cities to shop in lunch hours or after work. More than 40% of consumers predict that they will continue to do most of their shopping online and so with the world at their fingertips, retailers need to stand out from the crowd.2

Choice of logistics partners, next-day delivery windows and price points will all become part of a buyer’s decision-making process as consumers expect more immediate service. In line with this, the returns process will be a key differentiator. For those consumers looking to recreate an in-store experience, the ability to order multiple items and sizes knowing that there is an easy, free returns service will come out on top.

Retailers need to catch up with the extraordinary ecommerce growth they’ve experienced and invest in service and fulfilment in order to hold their customer base.

 

Conscious consumers

With climate change top of the agenda for many, especially those most comfortable with online shopping, where your product comes from, where it’s made and by who are going to become a much bigger part of their thought process. There will be a shift to quality, long-lasting products as people move away from fast-fashion and a throw-away mindset.

Retailers need to be focusing on building a greener supply chain with the use of more sustainable materials if they are going to build a base of long-term, repeat customers. Increasingly, customers are seeking companies they can trust whether that be through the way they treat staff, where they source ingredients from and how they manufacture their products.

 

Unique experiences

Nearly half – 49% - of retail leaders are planning to open on local high streets compared to big city high streets such as Oxford Street.3 Retailers are seeing this as an opportunity for brand engagement, unique experiences, and a re-invigorated marketing channel.

Stores offer the opportunity to tell stories, for people to learn about your brand and to engage with customers face-to-face. For retailers investing in bricks and mortar, the consumer experience has to be second-to-none. We’re anticipating, in-store events, unique offers, enhanced customer service and beautiful environments in order to entice people back to the high street.

 

To conclude…

It does feel that the beginning of 2022 will be the turning point for the retail sector and there are certainly lessons to learn from the last few years. Retailers need to act now if they are to engage with tomorrow’s consumers to build a long-lasting customer base.

1 Retail Week, 2022

2 World Financial Review, October 2021

3 Retail Week, 2022

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