2021 was a year of readjustment marked by a slow economic recovery, still engulfed by the Covid-19 pandemic, which continues to spread across the nation. We all hoped that 2021 would be the year of the return to normality, but that was not the case.
The retail sector has adopted a flexible strategy that makes it easier to adjust to new consumer habits, causing marketers to reorganise their distribution channels for 2022.
Tiendeo, a company specialising in the digitization of the retail sector, has identified 5 key trends that will revolutionise retail in 2022, based on a survey of marketers.
Omnichannel experiences will continue to grow
According to the “Retail Marketing Hot Trends 2022” study conducted by Tiendeo, 58.6% of retailers and brands will be investing in digital channels in 2022.
Changes in shopping habits have made the digital channel the preferred medium for marketers to connect with consumers. Likewise, investment in traditional media (TV, radio or outdoor advertising) has shifted to digital media.
This is highlighted in the study where digital marketing (80.8%) along with social media (68.8%) will be the most prominent investments for marketing budgets in 2022.
The use of adaptable strategies in the face of uncertain future, together with the need to offer omnichannel experiences, will form the cornerstone of marketing strategies in 2022.
The rise of the “Experiential Store”
The concept of the traditional store is disappearing to make way for stores that offer experiences: stores that are able to combine the physical and digital worlds.
A collateral effect of this change is the collapse of the shopping centre business model as we know it today. A business model that is in danger of disappearing in favour of a more flexible one, in which temporary or even one-off campaigns will become the norm.
As a result, shopping centres will no longer just be places to spend time in, but will become meeting points where spaces will become stages, where different types of shows will be offered to encourage the consumption of a particular product or brand.
The objective of this change in business model is to attract the public to the store (both those who intend to buy and those who don’t) and thus create a unique emotion-based experience that creates a greater connection and bond.
Eva Martín, the Chief Executive Officer of Tiendeo made the following remarks.
“Although physical stores are still very popular, consumers want a memorable and frictionless experience, where digital will play a key role. The customer shopping experience is the most important factor in consumer marketing strategy for 91.2% of professionals.”
Technology as a catalyst for change
Mobile sales support solutions, interactive kiosks, checkout-free shops.
With the incorporation of technology and artificial intelligence into the sales process, we will see more and more smart stores, allowing consumers to shop in places that are virtually unmanned and where there is no checkout.
British food retailer Tesco took the plunge by testing a new type of supermarket focused on autonomy and self-service in central London: its first checkout-free store, which allows customers to walk out with their purchases without having to scan their products.
French retailers such as Carrefour, Auchan and Monoprix are also testing this new model. The development of this type of store allows retailers to compete with e-commerce giants by providing a more convenient and frictionless experience.
When it comes to online shopping, we will be taken to the store from the comfort of our own homes through augmented virtual reality.
Dyson, is one of the first brands to open its own virtual store, where users are invited to try their products remotely and thus initiate the purchasing process.
Circular economy at the core of our strategies
Consumer concern for the environment is driving retailers and brands to adopt a more environmentally responsible strategy. Zero waste, second-hand and used markets will continue to grow as they address a crucial issue for the sector in 2022.
In recent months, second-hand spaces have appeared in some large retail stores in brands such as Auchan, Carrefour, Decathlon, Cora, Kiabi or Ikea with its “Circular Hub”.
Another noteworthy feature in relation to the circular economy is the firm commitment of several retailers to reduce or eliminate the production of their paper catalogues.
In Australia, supermarket giant Woolworths has halted its catalogue printing for at least 12 weeks in areas where it has higher digital engagement with its customers.
Sweden’s Ikea, announced its intention to stop printing its well-known paper catalogue by 2022. More and more retailers are reaching this point of awareness and opting for more sustainable communication tools such as digital catalogues.
Long live Social Shopping
Although social shopping is already a well-established trend, in 2022 we will see more and more brands and retailers using this medium as a complement to e-commerce, where social selling will rely mainly on influencers and brand ambassadors.
According to the Tiendeo study, 58% of retailers and brands intend to increase their advertising investments on social networks in the next 12 months.
Tiendeo is the leading platform enabling brands to communicate their offers and promotions to millions of consumers in the digital world.
More than 200 retailers use Tiendeo’s technology to increase traffic to their stores and reach the platform’s audience of more than 75 million unique monthly users.