With shifts in consumer behaviour and the anticipated arrival of more Covid variants, retail in London is under pressure to find new ways to revolutionise the way we shop in the future. 

2022 trends are showing many positive changes in the retail sector, in this article, we discuss the most crucial factors that retailers should consider pushing to keep up with others in the industry.

Conscious consumerism 

After the pandemic, we seemed to have become more aware of how our shopping habits can impact the environment. 90% of consumers are more concerned about sustainability than ever before. 

Consumers are now more aware of how they shop, consume and dispose of items, with 75% of people expressing changes in their conscious consumption. To keep ahead of the curve, retailers need to consider the desires of their customers and discover how they can meet their needs through the newly improved buying journey that includes sustainable packaging, sourcing products locally and more. 

The 2022 consumers want complete transparency from businesses that aim to make ethical transformations. A study by the IBM Institute for Business Value and the National Retail Federation indicated that one-third of global consumers, from Gen Z to Baby Boomers, would abandon even their favourite brand if it no longer aligns with their values. 41% of British shoppers have stated that recyclable options and sustainable packaging influence their buying decisions and 70% are more than likely to pay a 5% premium for sustainable products. 

As a retailer, your impact on the planet can be rewarding. Ethical practice is the best foot forward, not just for reputation but also to gain the most profit for long-term growth.

Social commerce 

Online shopping is evolving into a more personal experience for consumers, with social media and eCommerce coming together to develop a new way of purchasing online. 

What was once a social platform for posting memories and the latest selfies, Instagram has evolved to become a shopping experience for those looking for a particular business and product or those naturally browsing the app. Retailers can now utilise the platform as a selling point for products and selling in-store and on their website – offering a personalised experience for each consumer without them having to leave the app. 

Social commerce needs to meet consumers in the middle, without disrupting their social experience. Live streaming is shaping the industry, with Shopify recently partnering with TikTok to produce live-stream product advertisements which enable consumers to purchase in live mode on the app – something we imagine will only grow in 2022.

Building digital bricks

A big trend in 2022 is online brands looking to delve into the world of bricks and mortar and bricks and mortar stores looking to introduce better online technology within the buyer journey and experience. 

Brands like Gymshark, Glossier and Amazon have all opened retail and pop up stores in London over the last year to try and expand their offering in the market. Retailers are beginning to realise that their online and offline presence should work together as one reputation rather than separate entities. Physical store owners are investing in impressive window displays, AI technology and software to provide the best possible experience for consumers.

Loyalty as the new frontier for growth

In a world where it has become costly to attract new customers, retaining present consumers is paramount. In 2022, brands need to think harder about how they interact with their customers emotionally. Customer loyalty is necessary, and offering bonus schemes, flexible payment options and working on your reputation as a business is essential.

An upgrade in customer experience

Lockdown caused consumers to think deeper about the in-store experience. Many of us longed to browse the high street, touch the latest threads and find out what looks best with a trip to the fitting rooms – something we may have taken for granted beforehand. 

The pressure for retailers to provide an experience that consumers have craved for two years might feel stressful, but it will feel rewarding when shoppers return again and again. 

The IBM/NRF report also discovered that consumers no longer divide online and offline shopping as individual experiences but have a clear connection between the two. Meaningful experiences form a positive reputation for years to come. Merging online and offline retail creates connections and builds a hybrid strategy many retailers will follow in the future. 

Browsing in-store, shopping online and utilising mobile apps as one hybrid process, depending on whatever is most convenient at the time, is the upmost desirable experience for consumers. Streamlining the retail experience and introducing levels of digital experiences in-store is essential to finding the balance between the different experiences each generation is looking for. 

As retail shifts with the latest trends, we are excited to see how brands transform their offering into something the 2022 consumer wants. 

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