- New designs, more technology and a redoubled commitment to sustainability
- The pandemic, although not yet behind us, will not be a constraint
A new year has arrived and, as well as looking back to learn from the past, at HMY we are looking to the future trying to discern where the sales strategies of brands and retailers around the world will be heading in 2022.
The eCommerce boom, economic crises, a global pandemic… And yet, the result has not changed: Retail dominates sales. What has changed is Retail’s formula for remaining more relevant than ever.
Economic uncertainty and the pandemic have marked the beginning of the year in a society that has returned to the streets and shops with old and new habits, and the main Retail metrics point to sustained growth. According to the research portal, Statista, 6.6% growth is expected in the coming year, despite the renewed surge in eCommerce.
But how can physical points-of-sale emerge stronger in a post-pandemic society which has rapidly embraced online commerce? This is because Retail has adapted both out of necessity and opportunity.
What do consumers seek in 2022?
The eternal question and starting point for the Retail trends of each year. After analysing the projects we undertook in the second half of 2021, it is clear to our global experts.
Retail’s great opportunity and value contribution to brands’ omnichannel strategy. The convenience of an online transaction is hard to beat, except in specific cases (such as convenience and transit), but consumer engagement can only be achieved with an experience that is enjoyed with more than two senses.
Visibility and proximity
The reach of online advertising is undeniable, but its saturation is reaching the same levels as traditional media.
This makes physical points-of-sale visually spectacular and strategically located ones have regained great value.
One of the most relevant metrics of the year is that influx to shopping centres has grown by 14%, as published by InfoRetail in November 2021.
Safety, but not uncomfortable
Something that consumers have internalised accordingly with the COVID situation and measures for each area and the individual habits. The role of Retailers has been relegated to providing the minimum requirements at all times in an elegant and non-intrusive way: keeping the point-of-sale unsaturated and without obstacles or major stoppers, making safety as automatic and clean as possible.
5 Retail trends for 2022 – The year of sustainability and technology
2021 was a key year in which two essential aspects that will mark the performance of brands and distributors in Retail began to take shape: sustainability and technology.
The main line of communication of most brands is the promotion of products manufactured from recycled materials and environmentally responsible initiatives.
Furthermore, the democratisation of the cost of technology for Retail is driving the number of points-of-sale that incorporate it. Brands are daring to create increasingly more impactful displays, especially in corners, activations and flagships, aware that this is the winning card for improving the consumer experience.
How are these inputs translating into trends for the year ahead?
1.Sustainable products in sustainable points-of-sale and recycling
Brands will apply the same strategy used with their products to their points-of-sale and activations. Sustainability initiatives in Retail will combine shops and marketing campaigns, conveying a message and creating spaces consistent with the communication.
Having conquered the easiest part (digital signage), the level of technological spectacularity will increase at points-of-sale, where screens and one-way messages will no longer suffice and consumers will demand the ability to personalise their in-store experience through interaction.
3.Eye-catching and bold designs, together with premium formats
Points-of-sale as mere places of transaction no longer build customer loyalty. They have their space as points of convenience, but only those that offer something extra will succeed in building customer loyalty, i.e. those worth visiting… and posting on social media.
4.New materials and combinations
Light integrated into furniture has become indispensable for giving added value to traditional wood and metal, but retailers are already asking themselves: “Now what?”
In 2022 we will see a greater use of surprising materials, new textures, premium finishes… The use of ceramics, glass and vinyls will give commercial installations real personality.
5.Pure playersare redoubling their expansion strategies in Retail
The first brands born on the Internet are already in physical Retail and they have paved the way in recent years, demonstrating that it was not just a whim: online needs Retail and vice versa. Hawkers, Ecoalf, Oppo…
Their mixed selling strategies have led them to play with different shop formats to achieve their expansion strategies, but all surprising and brave. Who will follow them? Our “Keys to Expansion in Retail” guide will no doubt prove useful.
Consumers and technology have been changing the rules of the game for years, threatening the continuity of traditional Retail (mere product-currency transaction), but opening new windows and spaces that bring unique value to brands and customers.
It is in the combination of both aspects: digital (seamless and fluid) and physical (surprising, exciting and enveloping) where consumers truly connect to brands.
Each year, this panorama becomes increasingly defined in the form of emerging trends.