More Store Openings
Though the pandemic gave a significant boost to e-commerce operations, it also created an opportunity for retailers to rethink the role of brick-and-mortar. For many, 2022 will bring increased investments in stores to complement their online presence and offer consumers an expanded menu of means to meet their shopping needs. We started to see this play out over the last year and expect it to continue. CNBC notes this trend will include digital-first retailers like Wayfair.
More Technology Integration
Retailers have driven an enormous amount of innovation to the shopping experience over the last 10 years. We expect that to ramp up even more in 2022 with new platforms and technology designed to deepen the connection between consumers and their favorite brands, integrate more purchasing opportunities throughout daily life, and simplify transactions. An example, from Fast Company, might be simply texting Apple to order a new pair of AirPods.
More Brand Collaborations
Retail is a notoriously competitive industry. But in recent years, many companies have found success in embracing the strengths of their peers and establishing strategic partnerships that benefit both companies and consumers. The Kohl’s, Amazon and Target, Ulta Beauty collaborations are great examples of how these relationships can work and we anticipate 2022 may introduce us to a few more.
Supply Chain Innovation
Perhaps a top headline of 2021 was the significant supply chain challenges that in some way impacted nearly every retailer and shopper in the U.S. Though steps are in motion to alleviate the congestion and slowdowns – including federal legislation – this is not a problem that will be solved overnight. We have already seen some retailers taking matters into their own hands to ensure they can deliver for customers in the near term, but retail leaders have undoubtedly been developing more long-term strategies that incorporate things like new technology, alternate sourcing options, and more to ensure their supply chains are prepared to meet the demands of 2022 and beyond. We’ll be diving into all things retail supply chain at the upcoming LINK2022: Retail Supply Chain Conference in Dallas. Join us!
We’ll continue to keep an eye out for emerging trends throughout the year and will be offering educational content and benchmarking opportunities for RILA members to assist as they navigate the 2022 environment.
Technology & Innovation