What Are 5 Ways to Thrive in 2022?

As retailers adapted to the pandemic culture, many have created new opportunities to take their businesses from “surviving” into “thriving.” Read five ways to turn retail challenges into wins during 2022.

Read More View next experience View all experiences
Abstract shapes with the number 5 emphasized

Get ready to thrive in 2022

The retail motto in 2020 was “survive,” and for many of us, the most enjoyable activity of the year was hanging up a new calendar on December 31. While 2022 promises many of the same challenges that retailers faced in the year that just ended, we’ve had nearly a year to adjust and recalculate to the new pandemic culture. That has created opportunities which will move the needle from “survive” to “thrive.” Here are five ways retailers can turn challenges into wins during 2022.

1. Embrace a Startup Mindset

Navigating times of unprecedented change takes courage, nimbleness and ingenuity. Over the past year, businesses that remained strong were those choosing to pivot, experiment, collaborate and leverage new technology to serve their customers and support their employees. By embracing a startup mindset, listening carefully and responding quickly yet thoughtfully, those retailers found ways to not only adapt but to emerge stronger and smarter than ever.

An illustration of the number 1 on a colorful, abstract background.

2. Create a Safe & Welcoming New Normal

After months of restriction, consumers are looking forward to enjoying more open and engaging retail experiences. “That feeling of wanting to return to ‘normal’ life is pervasive,” says Dan Mitchell, director of retail and consumer packaged goods at SAS. “Retailers that help consumers see the new normal as safe and welcoming will win.”

As brands and retailers plan for what’s next, the health and well-being of customers and employees will move from being a short-term pandemic response to a more thoughtful long-term integration into store design and retail practices. Although a heightened awareness of cleanliness and safety will likely prevail, customers will appreciate having those expectations met in dynamic and elevated shopping environments. Flex solutions that provide options to amplify protection in the future, if needed, are also smart considerations.

An illustration of the number 2 on a colorful, abstract background.

3. Help Customers Shop Mindfully

Perhaps now more than ever, consumers are taking control of how they spend their money. Consumer psychologist Kate Nightingale calls it “mindful consumption” in which, she says, consumers are “reclaiming control over buying decisions. A sense of control is necessary for our experience of safety - something we have all been missing.”

Consumers will be seeking more personalized delivery of content at the point of purchase, eager for engaging demonstrations of key product attributes that contribute to and support their buying decisions. This calls for a continued shift toward retail storytelling, focused on customer needs and features that drive value for the individual shopper. Connecting customers to your brand’s higher-level purpose will instill a deeper sense of value and satisfaction.

An illustration of the number 3 on a colorful, abstract background.

4. Deliver Greater Convenience

Some of the most significant retail shifts in the past year have focused on increasing customer convenience. These services will continue to gain traction in the coming months. Buy online, pick up in store – or BOPUS – will continue to grow in popularity among consumers because of immediate product availability and the lack of online delivery fees. In fact, Kantar reports that nearly 60% of shoppers expect they will continue to use BOPUS services in the post-pandemic months.

Subscription-based shopping will also likely continue to grow as those working and learning from home seek added convenience to help simplify their lives. Retailers are responding by delivering everything from meal-in-a-box kits to try-before-you-buy clothing to here-when-you-need-it shipments of beauty products that help fill the new demand. These subscription-based sales provide a planned and consistent stream of revenue and help deepen the relationship between the customer, retailer and brands involved.

Whether it’s offering home delivery, AI-driven customer support or a host of other options, businesses that find new ways to make it even easier for customers to engage with their products and services will see measurable returns in both revenue and long-term loyalty.

An illustration of the number 4 on a colorful, abstract background.
“In light of the pandemic, digital has become the primary way for people to connect, work, be entertained and shop."

Taylor Schreiner

Director of Adobe Digital Insights

5. Master OmniChannel Engagement

Retailing has become increasingly digital since 2020. “In light of the pandemic, digital has become the primary way for people to connect, work, be entertained and shop,” says Taylor Schreiner, director of Adobe Digital Insights. Retailers in every industry embraced e-commerce options to continue serving their customers. However, the speed in which many of these efforts were executed may have resulted in disconnects between online and in-store experiences.

As store traffic returns, these disparities will be amplified. An omnichannel approach will be needed to deliver a seamless shopping experience, supported by data integration, robust analytics, process alignment and enabling technology. Examining the customer experience at every point of interaction will fuel opportunities for cross-platform innovation and increased customer satisfaction.

No one is suggesting that the retail climate will be easy in 2022, as even the post-pandemic era will bring its own sets of challenges. But even with the present and future challenges, we believe there are tremendous opportunities for success for those who are willing to adjust. DCI Marketing is constantly studying the retail marketplace and customer behaviors to project future trends. Contact us to get started on a plan to help your business thrive while taking advantage of today’s opportunities.

An illustration of the number 5 on a colorful, abstract background.