Trends 2022: Retail

By at 5 January, 2022, 8:45 pm


By Karen Kerrigan –

What can we expect for 2022? As Oscar Wilde so brilliantly observed, “To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect.” This mindset for success rings especially true in the modern pandemic-era.

The uncertain track of the pandemic and our economy does not mean entrepreneurs and business owners do not have the tools or knowledge to act rationally, or lack information and data about trends to make investment and planning decisions. Indeed, COVID merely accelerated known digital trends and altered consumer behaviors that have been quite beneficial to many small businesses and entrepreneurs starting new businesses.

As in 2020 and 2021, small business owners must think positively, act decisively, swivel when necessary, and stay closely connected to their customers’ needs in order to innovate and grow.

This SMALL BUSINESS INSIDER blog post provides a roundup of articles, content and resources that offer business owners helpful information about retail trends and how to reach and serve consumers in the ever-evolving economy.

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The 5 Biggest Retail Trends for 2022, Forbes

Yes, e-commerce continues to soar but physical stores will remain a “critical force for retail shopping.” Shoppers will expect more with regard to seamless experiences, social media buying, and “near” real-time delivery.

“Based on the past almost two years of living through the peak and valleys of COVID, retailers have upped their game in terms of the shopper journey. Here are the top five trends that customers can expect when shopping in the new year.”

The Top Retail Trends in 2022, Square

Big opportunities await those retailers big and small that pay attention: Technology is playing a role in managing the labor gap, omnichannel is creating more meaningful experiences, social commerce is booming, there’s a blurring of industry borders, and a strengthening of community and local connections.

The future of retail in 2022 lies in the power of local businesses.  

“The boutique on your town’s main drag, the shoppable post that appears in your Instagram feed, and the marketing email sending you to an online store may all come from the same retailer. And that retailer may be fundamentally different than they were last year…To help retailers identify and lean into those strengths and strategies, Square teamed up with Wakefield Research and surveyed 1,000 consumers and 500 retail owners and managers about the retail industry trends that capture where they’re headed in 2022. What we found was eye-opening — the who, what, where, and why behind our shopping experience is going through a metamorphosis.”

Predictions 2022: Retailers Will Compete on “Pre-Loved,” Returns – And New Partners, Forrester

“The prolonged pandemic continues to shape how retailers and brands strategize and execute to grow their business. 2022 will be a year of investment and new partnerships as retailers position their business model, strategy, marketing, stores, and operations to flourish in a post-pandemic world. Specifically, in 2022, we predict that for retailers and brands:

● The circular economy will become a must-have – and fuel intense investment.

● Returns will become the next retail competitive service differentiator.

● Partnerships – of all kinds – will be the key to growth in the midst of market tumult.”

Amazon FBA in 2022: Trends from 2021 and What We Predict for the New Year, JungleScout

Feedvisor: “Over half (51%) of brands advertising on Amazon experience a return of 7x or more, and 39% of brands see a 4x–6x return.”

With Amazon’s “Shop Local” customers know they’re supporting an actual small business rather than a giant corporation. And: sourcing local, spotlighting secondhand products, more support for brands, and more social media-like features.   

“As great as 2021 was for Amazon and ecommerce sellers, we think 2022 and beyond will be even better…To help sellers prepare for what might happen with selling on Amazon next year, I spoke to the Amazon experts here at Jungle Scout. We predict these changes will impact FBA business in the new year!”

2022 Amazon and e-Marketplace Trends and Predictions, Feedvisor

Key trends to know:

● Product search is happening on Amazon, not Google (and there’s a reason shoppers prefer Amazon)

● Your brand matters, but your ads matter more (“Over half (51%) of brands advertising on Amazon experience a return of 7x or more, and 39% of brands see a 4x–6x return.”)

5 Amazon E-Commerce Predictions for 2022 (+ 20 Actionable Tips to Leverage Them), SellZone

More opportunities for direct customer connections, a focus on brand authenticity, CPC rates will increase.

“A whopping 88% of all Amazon brands are leveraging Amazon’s Demand Side Platform to reach customers both on and off the platform. And it has been worth it! Half of these brands saw a 7X return on their advertising spend while the others reported 4 to 6X times return on their investment. We think that Amazon will continue to gain similar momentum over 2022 and beyond. There is no better time to start selling on Amazon than today!”

10 Retail Trends to Watch in 2022, Retail Dive

The focus is on supply chains, relationships with employees, “apparel watch” (will consumers buy more?), diversification, shifting business models, the growth of private labels, and more.

“The set of challenges retailers faced [in 2021] as a result of the pandemic was different: Instead of mass temporary closures, retailers spent the year battling supply chain bottlenecks as demand came surging back from 2020, and introducing new perks to try and entice workers during a shortage.”

Karen Kerrigan is president & CEO of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.


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