The future of retail — 6 trends for 2022

As we enter 2023, retailers across the globe are evaluating their performance during 2022, gearing up for the coming year by examining their successes and shortfalls. Brands have to be constantly on the lookout for new and emergent trends, especially in an incredibly saturated market.

Traditionally, it’s been challenging to differentiate which trends will remain relevant year to year and which are just flashes in the pan. However, it’s critical that retail leaders get it right — otherwise, they’ll put their companies at a competitive disadvantage.

In this article, you’ll find a list of marketing trends for 2022 and a closer look at what’s on the horizon. These trends dominated this year and are poised to remain critical components of retail marketing in 2023. While they will be particularly important to companies operating in ecommerce and retail sales, they’re relevant to any business that sells products or services online.

1. Omnichannel marketing has become a necessity

In the modern marketplace the majority of commerce now occurs online, so it’s crucial for retailers to have an omnichannel strategy.

Omnichannel marketing involves the use of more than one marketing channel. Examples may include paid ads on Facebook or Instagram, website advertisements, and SEO tactics. A diverse marketing strategy that utilizes multiple channels will make a better impact on a brand’s target audience and nurture them through the purchasing journey.

Make no mistake — simply using more than one channel does not constitute proper omnichannel marketing. To be omnichannel, a brand’s marketing strategy must leverage more than one medium to create a cohesive experience. Messaging must be consistent across all channels to ensure a consistent experience for consumers.

Omnichannel marketing has become critical because customers typically interact with brands at multiple touchpoints before making a purchase. For example, a customer might first encounter your brand on Instagram. From there, the person may view your website, review your products, and then make a purchase.

Many consumers need even more brand interactions than that before buying. However, there are instances where consumers will become aware of your brand and then make a purchase.

2. AI is being used to create better services

Next up on this list of retail marketing trends is the prevalence of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning software in improving customers’ shopping experience.

Robust marketing solutions use AI tools and allow you to tap into customer data you’ve already gathered. You can use these tools to target prospective and current customers with personalized content.

AI has become integral to modern marketing efforts due to shifting customer expectations. Three out of four consumers prefer to buy from brands that provide personalized online experiences. AI enhances customer experiences, which paves the way to better conversion rates, higher total sales figures, and more revenue for your organization.

AI technologies also play a critical role in analyzing the massive amounts of data your organization has accumulated. With AI tools, you can gain deep insight into consumers’ thought processes and better understand their journey, helping you craft future marketing campaigns, evaluate the effectiveness of past ones, and strengthen your digital presence.

3. Same-day delivery is now the norm

Modern consumers expect the brands they support to provide excellent delivery options and generally prefer same-day or expedited delivery over in-store pickup.

According to recent data, 51% of retailers offer customers same-day delivery on at least some of their products. Research also found that 49% of consumers say that same-day delivery options cause them to be more likely to make online purchases. Conversely, a lack of same-day delivery options discourages customers from making a purchase, especially if they are already on the fence.

Local businesses can use same-day delivery as an equalizer when attempting to compete with major ecommerce retailers. Offering same-day delivery makes goods and products more appealing than they would be with standard delivery times.

To further improve their positioning, local businesses should also consider offering buy online and pick up in store (BOPIS) technologies. This serves two purposes. First, it gives local customers fast access to the products they are interested in. Second, it allows retailers to provide consumers with near-instant gratification without having to absorb added shipping expenses.

If your business is not in a position to offer same-day delivery, it can stay competitive by maintaining a steady stock of products that customers want through forecasting. To conduct accurate forecasting, your organization will need to adopt a modern commerce management platform. Adobe Commerce is one such platform that empowers your business to build engaging shopping experiences, conduct comprehensive forecasting, and gain total transparency over purchasing trends.

4. Social media is a mainstream commerce platform

Social media is no longer a secondary marketing tool. Consumers today expect to be able to purchase products that they see on their social media feeds. By enabling them to do so, you can streamline the customer experience and eliminate friction in the purchasing journey.

If your business already has a strong social media presence, consider using ecommerce tools to set up shop on these platforms. If not, you can also leverage social channel-based sales tools while you work to grow your followers.

To expand their reach on social media platforms, many businesses partner with influencers. These sponsored partnerships or affiliate marketing deals allow companies to leverage large, loyal audiences quickly and easily.

When seeking influencer partners, make sure to find individuals that align with your brand’s values and ensure that your prospective partners have a following that resembles your ideal target audience.

5. Customers expect a full shopping experience online and offline

Whether consumers make a purchase online, offline, or via a hybrid option (for example, online purchase with in-store pickup), they expect a fully personalized experience. Thanks to modern marketing technologies, providing a complete shopping experience online is simple — assuming the in-store staff is well trained and the online tools are operational.

When a consumer visits your website, they should be targeted with personalized ads that highlight relevant products based on their browsing and purchase history, as well as demographic data or location. By presenting consumers with relevant products, you can encourage them to buy more, nurture a sense of loyalty toward your brand, and boost sales.

To engage in effective ecommerce personalization, your organization must gather and store information based on customer wants, needs, and preferences. You will also need to invest in a flexible analytics platform so that you can leverage all of this data and have the freedom to adjust your marketing strategy as needed.

6. Consumers are more conscious of brand behavior

Modern consumers are increasingly conscious of brand behavior. Customers expect brands to be transparent regarding everything from where they source their raw materials to what causes they support.

Sustainability is of particular importance to consumers. According to a 2020 survey, almost 70% of people think brands should strive to be eco-friendly or sustainable. Customers also want to be aware of the environmental impact of the products they buy.

Your organization can honor this expectation by voluntarily providing key sustainability information. What you provide will vary based on the kinds of products you sell, but some general sustainability information might include the following:

By supplying this information, you can demonstrate that your organization is conscious of its environmental impact. You can also share sustainability initiatives with your clients. This will encourage environmentally conscious customers to do more business with your company, and it could even help you win over some of your competitors’ clients.

Now that you know which marketing trends were prevalent in 2022, you’ll have a glimpse of what’s on the horizon for 2023.

Ready to refine your marketing capabilities and leverage the latest retail trends? Adobe can help you stay ahead of the competition with its powerful suite of marketing and ecommerce solutions, including: