As much as 2021 was unique for its pandemic-related challenges, it certainly gave retailers a clear look at the future of the industry. Here are five merchandising trends we think brands and retailers should prioritize to thrive in 2022.
Customers in Brandon, Manitoba, are going to have different needs and buying habits than Saint John, New Brunswick. Retailers must know who their customers are and leverage their role within their community.
Customizing product display or planograms according to your unique customers’ behaviours is a scalable solution for retailers, which can build brand loyalty.
COVID restrictions permitting, your store could host events and classes that engage your local community. Building that positive relationship with customers will inspire brand loyalty.
Rethinking Staffing Challenges
Labour and staffing issues were major challenges in 2021. Heading into 2022, more than four in five Canadian businesses expect this problem to continue. COVID continues to weigh heavily on everyone’s mind as nearly half of Canadians fear contracting the virus when returning to work.
It’s no surprise that over 70 per cent of Canadian employers prefer to reskill existing employees than search for new hires.
Another option would be to rethink hiring criteria and how employers evaluate applicants. Instead of focusing only on job-relevant experience, employers ought to consider “soft skills” like creativity, critical thinking, and the ability to learn new things quickly.
Investing in employees rich with soft skills could give employers a more versatile workforce, which is exactly what’s needed in today’s climate.
Invest in Supply Chain
Before the pandemic, the supply chain was an underfunded and often ignored part of the retail organization. Retailers had designed their supply chains based on predictable and specific challenges. But COVID has forced companies to revaluate how they invest in their supply chains. It is now time for an end-to-end structural transformation to ensure maximum agility.
Supply chain deficiencies can cause lost sales due to lack of stock, late deliveries, unplanned markdowns, and, ultimately, unhappy customers. Short term solutions should focus on replenishing shelves and learning to quickly manage late deliveries. It’s also worth considering the financial trade-off of investing in higher inventory holdings versus lost sales.
Demonstrating Your Values
Customers nowadays are increasingly interested not just in what brands are selling, but also what they stand for. According to one survey, a quarter of consumers say they are planning to focus more on sustainability and social aspects in their behaviour. Other studies show that two-thirds of customers believe a brand’s ethics and values are important.
Highlighting your brand’s commitment to values such as sustainability and inclusivity while demonstrating the steps you’re taking to achieve these goals will go a long way in building loyalty in 2022.
Successful retailers in 2022 will harness the power of both digital and in-store capabilities by building a seamless omnichannel.
Some retailers have had a head start by having already invested in BOPIS prior to the pandemic. It would also be wise to use in-store data to connect with customers who have been affected by temporary closings online. Engage with these consumers by raising awareness of BOPIS options.
Best-in-class cart abandonment retargeting campaigns are crucial in 2022 ecommerce. With so many digital options, customers can also become easily distracted. Optimizing cart abandonment prompts across all channels can help retailers know where to prioritize messaging depending on where the customer interacts most.
In addition to staying on top of the latest merchandising trends, Storesupport offers solutions for in-store and e-commerce retailing challenges. To learn more call 1-877-421-5081 or visit www.storesupport.ca.« Back to Blog