Since 2020, the retail industry has been challenged by numerous threats and challenges. At first, it was the pandemic that shook the world, pushing the eCommerce adoption rate to +30% over the 2019 levels and fiercely switching the purchase behavior of consumers across the world. In 2022 and as the world tried to normalize its pace, the Ukrainian War, the energy crisis, and the inflation shook the world, with 52% of the consumers claiming that the rising costs affect their ability to purchase goods, according to EY.
“Within the last three years, retailers had to adapt to the most volatile circumstances of the last 30 years, dealing with pandemics, war, inflation, and energy crisis.”
Thus, with the market in decline and the operational costs constantly rising, it is of significant importance for retailers to remain ahead of the competition.
At ContactPigeon we decided to interview 101 retail industry experts and professionals to share their insights and predictions, in order to identify the top retail trends for 2022 and 2023.
Here is a table of contents to help you quickly navigate through this small-scale retail study.
Key insights: The top Retail Trends of 2022-2023
The Top 10 Retail Trends of 2022-2023, as predicted by our experts, are:
- Retail Trend #1: AR/VR Shopping
- Retail Trend #2: Omnichannel Experience
- Retail Trend #3: Social Commerce
- Retail Trend #4: Personalization
- Retail Trend #5: Contactless Shopping
- Retail Trend #6: Influencer Marketing (Livestreaming, TikTok/IG Marketing)
- Retail Trend #7: Voice Commerce
- Retail Trend #8: Customer Experience Optimization (CXO)
- Retail Trend #9: BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later)
- Retail Trend #10: Same-Day Delivery
Other emerging trends of the industry:
- Private Labels
- Blockchain/Cryptocurrency/Digital Wallets
- Virtual Fitting Rooms
- Supply Chain Optimization
Other key observations & useful insights:
- 3 out of 5 top retail trends of 2022 were also included in 2021’s top trends list.
- Omnichannel is steadily for the third year in the row among the top three retail trends.
- BNPL recorded a significant YoY rise, despite not getting a single vote in 2021. This highlights the industry’s potential, adoption rate and maturity against this trend within the last 12 months.
- Total retail trends spotted: 172
- Trends per expert: 1.71
- Unique retail trends spotted: 65
- Total retail professionals involved: 101
- Background of the experts interviewed: retailers, agencies, B2B retail SaaS
Retail Expert #1: Brian Dean, Co-Founder, Exploding Topics
Co-Founder, Exploding Topics
“The omnichannel approach is automation’s soul mate.”
Create an Omnichannel Experience
The omnichannel approach is automation’s soul mate. They require and complement one another, resulting in a superior e-commerce experience for both buyers and merchants. To sell on marketplaces, stick to the tried-and-true method of investigating buying trends as well as consumer needs, concerns, and priorities, which are changing faster than ever in 2022.
You can make all of your channels – including marketplaces – into a single purchasing experience by offering consistent information across all of your sales channels, high-quality visual materials, and a consistent brand image. It’s also crucial to give them a method to transfer across channels: from online ads to the marketplace, from social media to your virtual store, and so on. We gained up to 166% more attention from the user with an omnichannel approach than with a single-channel sales approach.
Retail Expert #2: Sasha Quail, Business Development Manager, Claims UK
Business Development Manager, Claims UK
“Social commerce has offered hyper-personalized end-to-end buying experiences based on a wealth of real-time customer data.”
Native buying experiences on a social media site are referred to as social commerce. It allows customers to purchase online in a more seamless manner. Users may make purchases directly from the social networking app or site, rather than going to a third-party website. The barriers between app users and retail consumers blurred as media platforms became the one-stop shop for real-time engagement, interesting content, and purchasing inspiration. As a result, social commerce has offered hyper-personalized end-to-end buying experiences based on a wealth of real-time customer data. The customer journey has flipped on its head. 90% of product research and decision-making is now accomplished before customers enter a store.
The popularity of social commerce is on the upswing. We’ll see cooperation between Shopify and TikTok, as well as Facebook businesses, in 2020. By the close of 2021, sales of social commerce in the United States are predicted to have increased by 35%, surpassing $36 billion.
Retail Expert #3: Milena Farber, Social Media Marketing Manager, Namogoo
Social Media Marketing Manager, Namogoo
“Shoppers expect personalization. Leveraging this along with multichannel selling creates opportunities to connect with customers wherever they are in their journeys”
It’s the end of the year and I’d like to share with you where we see eCommerce heading in 2022!
- Multi-Channel Personalization: There’s no way around it- shoppers expect personalization. Leveraging this along with multichannel selling creates opportunities to connect with customers wherever they are in their journeys, increasing conversion rates and improving customer loyalty.
- Increased use of AI: Investing in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to scale workflows and processes. By next year, online sellers are expected to spend more than $7 billion on AI alone, giving retailers the power to deliver data-driven customer experiences.
- Rise in Mobile Shopping: Shoppers use mobile devices at all stages of their digital journeys, from product investigation to purchase. In fact, almost 73% of eCommerce purchases happen on a mobile device. Be sure to invest in and optimize your mobile sites.
- Investing in Intent and First-Party Data: Due to recent iOS updates and increased global regulations around the use of 3rd party data and cookies, eCommerce marketers will be looking to intent and first-party data collection to overcome this obstacle and deliver enhanced and personalized customer experiences.
Retail Expert #4: Olga Dogadkina, Founder, Emperia
“Introducing productivity tools and real-life applications to virtual reality could dramatically improve the rate of adoption creating a more connected user experience.”
People are realising that this is the future and that virtual reality can be integrated into every step of the cycle; design, production, wholesale, sales. It’s accessible and sustainable in that sense. But also, it’s about creating a connection with something that people might not be able to physically reach.
This e-commerce shift was already imminent before, but the pandemic has catalysed it. Brands at the premium end like Burberry (who we’ve worked with) and even high street retailers like Zara are experimenting.
Beyond the improvements to hardware, i.e. better lenses, higher screen resolution etc, the utilitarian value of VR software is rather limited. Up until now, we’ve seen VR being mainly the domain of gamers; introducing productivity tools and real-life applications (such as shopping, learning, medical) to virtual reality could dramatically improve the rate of adoption creating a more connected user experience.
Retail Expert #5: George Mirotsos, CEO, ContactPigeon
“Monitoring visitor behavior across all digital and physical channels is a must in 2022 and will aid retailers in understanding how their customers’ habits shift between different touchpoints.”
Surely 2022 brought forth a lot of new and exciting trends, but it also expanded the possibilities of some already existing ones. Now that eCommerce is facing a steady decline, retailers have to re-evaluate their strategies and invest in technological advancements that will produce maximum results, while offering the best possible customer experience.
The trends that have emerged from this digital renewal include a combination of hyper-automation with the capabilities of omnichannel engagement. Monitoring visitor behavior across all digital and physical channels is a must in 2022 and will aid retailers in understanding how their customers’ habits shift between different touchpoints. The next step for a complete customer-centric approach is the hyper-automation of personalized and targeted marketing campaigns with the use of data, AI, and machine learning. Last but not least, chatbots are a very valuable tool that can act as the perfect mediator for a seamless customer journey and deliver top-notch customer satisfaction.
Retail Expert #6: Najla Kayyem, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Pacific Retail Capital Partners
Vice President of Marketing, Pacific Retail Capital Partners
“Omnichannel sales and BOPIS (buy online pickup in-store) will continue to be an essential key to success”
The future of shopping centers and in-person shopping: instore /IRL shopping is still an experience many people are seeking out currently and we are seeing positive trends for retailers throughout our US shopping centers. However, people are looking for a different experience as they journey away from their homes. Consumers will experience shopping centers with more open green space and communal areas with year-round outdoor seating. Mixed-use of the space with pop-up shops to bring local and small businesses the opportunity to sell directly to consumers. Pet centers, entertainment areas, senior services and wellness continue to thrive.
Omnichannel sales and BOPIS (buy online pickup in-store) will continue to be an essential key to success and centers will continue to expand areas to assist in creating ease of experience for their customers. Livestream shopping /virtual reality. With the rise of influencer marketing and social media marketing, consumers have adapted to new ways to experience products and make purchases. Customers have become channel agnostics and want to shop when and how is most convenient for them.
Retrofit, Reposition and Redevelop are the new reduce, reuse, and recycle. Brands must rethink how brick and mortar spaces are being used to create elevated and efficient experiences for their customers from try-ons to check out. Shopping centers need to smartly use their space creating a safe and engaging customer experience.