Retail and Vendor Insights

Top 8 Retail Trends for 2022

Want to stand out from the competition in the crowded retail market? These retail trends for 2022 will guide you on the path to success.

8 minutes

Top 8 Retail Trends for 2022

Published: February 4, 2022

Young man playing virtual reality game in retail store
Forward-thinking businesses are fully embracing technology trends for 2022.

With January already behind us, 2022 is shaping up to be an exciting year for retail businesses, with many new and innovative concept staking over. A major shake-up is predicted in the way consumers shop, and businesses will have to adapt quickly to stay afloat. As people become increasingly comfortable using their phones to make purchases online, several unexpected avenues will open for retailers to provide meaningful and personalized consumer experiences.

In the next few years, it will be a very different landscape than what we see today. So, what can retailers expect in the year ahead?

Let’s find out!

Retail Trends for 2022 and Beyond

Here are some of the top retail trends predicted to take off in 2022 and grow over the next few years. Keep an eye on these because they could make or break your business!

Trend #01: The Escalation of Store-Within-A-Store Concept

Major retailers are starting to adopt the store-within-a-store concept to allow customers to buy products from different brands in one place.This trend is especially popular among luxury brands.

Big names like Disney, Toys R Us, and Sephora are setting up their shops inside larger host stores. Recently, Ulta Beauty opened the store-within-a-store concept at Target as the two companies teamed up to deliver a more convenient and curated shopping experience for customers using their collective brand reputation, loyalty, and omnichannel expertise.

Another example would be Sephora at Kohl’s mini-stores throughout the country. Consumers may enjoy Sephora at Kohl’s experience in more than 850 stores by 2023.  

Young teen shopper browsing beauty selections
Millennial shoppers are flocking to store-within-a-store concepts like Ulta Beauty at Target and Sephora at Kohl's.

Trend #02: Using Omni Channel Tools for Meaningful Shopping Experiences

We can also expect to see more retailers using omni channel tools to provide added flexibility and value to their customers. This includes things like augmented reality, allowing shoppers to try on clothes and accessories virtually before buying them. Interactive displays will also gain more popularity, giving customers information about the products they are considering buying.

However, despite moving to e-commerce platforms and adopting omni channel strategies, many retailers struggle to exploit omnichannel opportunities and deliver consistent shopping experiences across online and physical channels.

Education is key for retailers to stay on top of their options and build an omni-literate system to streamline front- and back-of-house operations and keep products moving while fulfilling their omni channel sales.

Beautiful woman shopping in mall with bags of purchases
Today's consumers are embracing changing technologies and are more open than ever to utilizing smart technology when it comes to the shopping experience.

Trend #03: Curbside Pickup is Here to Stay

Curbside pickup is becoming increasingly popular among shoppers, as it offers a convenient and hassle-free way to get their desired items. They find it easier to order items online and pick them up at the local store.

Nearly 67% of US shoppers used this service at least once in the latter half of 2020. The number will continue to grow in 2022 as more people become aware of the service and its benefits. These include:

• No shipping costs

• The surety of seeing a product before taking it home

• Instant exchange and returns  

Curbside pickup is also a great way for retailers to save time and money while providing an excellent shopping experience. If you want to tap into this trend, make sure you have a good system in place for managing orders. This can include having a designated area for pickups and ensuring someone is available to help customers load their purchases into their cars.

Mother and son online shopping
Buy online pickup in store was reinvented by necessity in 2020 but has remained a strong part of US retail strategy.

Trend #04: Retail Activations as Part of Experiential Marketing

Retailers are increasingly turning to experiential marketing tactics like retail activations to stay competitive.

Retail activations are a great way for brands to engage with customers in an interactive, memorable way. Brands like Sephora, Apple, and Nordstrom have been using AR and VR technology to engage with shoppers on a more personal level, both in-store and online.

Customers enjoy trying on clothes and other accessories virtually using smart mirrors and seeing how furniture and home décor items will look in their homes using smartphone cameras.

Also, more retailers will use modern technology to offer access to exclusive deals and discounts and personalized assistance to help customers make the most of their purchases and keep coming back for more.

Young girl at video game store activation
From video games to virtual reality experiences, retailers are leveling up the in-store experience.

Trend #05: Retail Therapy Through Live Streaming on Social Media

Retail therapy is now being taken to the next level through live streaming.

Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok have become integral in retail marketing strategies. These platforms allow retailers to interact with their customers in real-time and give them access to exclusive content.

For example, fashion retailer Burberry is winning hearts by staging digital shows and streaming live fashion shows on social media. The London Fashion Week show in 2020 was filmed and streamed live without any physical audience.

Retailers can use video streaming to show off new product ranges or educate customers about product care and maintenance tips. They can also invite customers to meet company founders, designers, or other influential people in the company.

To take advantage of this trend, you should create entertaining live stream content by making your products the main characters in the story. This is a great way to build brand loyalty and create an emotional connection with the audience. It may also help you tap into new markets and boost sales.

Trend #06: "Buy Now, Pay Later" Purchase Plans

This is one of the most important retail trends for 2022.  

By allowing customers to pay for items in installments without interest rates or late fees, retailers are attracting more prospects, especially millennials who’re often strapped for cash but want to jump in on the latest trends.

Walmart and Target offer this service using Affirm and Zip, respectively.  

Futuristic robot assistant with touchscreen in shopping mall
More and more retailers are experimenting with AI, AR and even robotics as a way to engage and even draw in tech-savvy consumers.

Trend #07: Using Breakthrough Technology to Make Retail Stores More Innovative

Retailers use AI and AR to offer a multi-sensory brand experience throughout the sales process. These technologies allow customers to get immediate attention, find their desired items, try them then and there, and pay for them instantly.  

For example, we can expect an upsurge in the use of digital mannequins in 2022. These mannequins are equipped with sensors that can track a customer's body shape and size and recommend the best fits for them.

Other tech products that may help retail businesses become future-proof include drones, touch tables, and interactive signage.

Trend #08: Increasing Consumer Interest in Swap and Giveaway Groups

Another trend that we can expect in 2022 is the resurgence of swap and giveaway groups on social media.

These platforms allow people to exchange unwanted items for other, more fashionable ones they might like better or give away their stuff as gifts.

In addition to helping beat inflation and save money, these communities promote sustainability by keeping old items out of landfills and preventing waste from being produced in the first place.

This trend introduces a unique opportunity for retailers willing to position their upcycled items as the next best thing to buying nothing. A little effort here will go a long way in attracting younger customers, including Gen Z, who are concerned about sustainability and seek resale items through digital channels.

These retail trends for 2022 promise that whatever the future of retail holds, it's sure to be fascinating!

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