Based on the past almost two years of living through the peaks and valleys of COVID, retailers have upped their game in terms of the shopping journey. Here are the top five trends customers can expect when shopping in the New Year:
Trend 1: Brick-and-mortar stores remain a critical force for retail
While e-commerce will surpass $ 1,000 billion in 2021, physical stores will still be highly relevant to purchases with 84% of sales coming from physical stores. Stores will become more experiential and integrate more technology into the shopping journey. QR codes will be used for product descriptions and information, stock research or demonstration of product use. Cellphones will integrate with in-store purchases for price and inventory verification, as well as seamless verification. Social interaction and shopping, one of Americans’ greatest pastimes, will be even more important as the country emerges from the pandemic next year and consumers seek more opportunities to cultivate a sentiment. of normality.
Trend 2: Bridging the Gap Between Online Shopping and In-Store Experiences
Better experiences between shopping online and visiting stores will be evident as retailers have worked hard over the past two years to develop these capabilities. Buyers have witnessed this build-up over the past year in a major way with curbside pickup, online shopping, in-store pickup and drop-shipping from suppliers when stock is not available. available in stores. Retailers will continue to work on these types of strategies.
Trend 3: shopping is going viral on social networks
Andrew LIpsman eMarketer Senior Analyst at Insider Intelligence, in a recent Retail Trends 2022 webinar, predicts that viral commerce is a key growth area. Lipsmans discussed the $ 45 billion social commerce business which is essentially shopping through social media. Users can expect to see more deals, a wider range of products offered through social media, and an increase in special collaborations between brands, retailers and influencers. A recent trend among TikTok users posting their latest purchases with the hashtag tiktokmademebuyit which has over three billion views. Retailers, like Amazon, run online assortments from top TikTok sellers.
Trend 4: Near real-time delivery continues as buyer demand for these services increases
An increase in third-party delivery intermediaries has been observed across all retail sectors. Buyers will see more and more retailers offering same day delivery, with many retailers offering service within two hours. Shipt, which is widely used and owned by Target
Another aspect that facilitates this type of purchases is the increasing use of micro-distribution centers which are mini-distribution centers in proximity areas close to customers. Retailers use these centers to help deliver products to customers’ homes. Many retailers offer spaces in mini-distribution centers where customers can pick up their orders. In some cases, individual stores have become distribution centers with pickers walking the aisles for consumer orders.
Automation is an important technology that transforms micro-fulfillment. Walmart
Trend 5: smaller and more polished assortments
Supply chain disruptions abound throughout the past year and a half. This has been a particularly difficult year for many retailers and brands across a wide variety of product categories. As a result, many retailers have significantly reduced the assortment of products within categories. Buyers can expect to find less choice when it comes to style, color, or features. The US market has always been overloaded and overloaded with product choices, especially in the fashion items category, including clothing, accessories, and footwear. Less choice and better organized assortments should translate into a positive shopping experience for customers.
As we wrap up our final week of 2021 and reflect on the shopping experiences of the past year, it can be said that the overall shopping experience and convenience of shopping has improved dramatically. This general trend will continue until 2022.