While the sector is still massaging aches and pains, and playing catch up with new consumer behavioural patterns, new ways of doing things, 'adaptability' and 'having an evolving mindset' have become the rallying cry.
What lies beyond in this ever-changing landscape as we look to the now and beyond – sees physical stores becoming critical touchpoints; how some pandemic shopping behaviours are here to stay; consumers turning to less traditional shopping platforms such as Instagram and TikTok while commerce companies are exploring the metaverse.
Together, in the opinion of www.mytotalretail.com - these new ways of doing things will offer consumers far more satisfying ways to shop, while providing opportunities for traders to convert shoppers into customers.
Globally, overwhelmed supply chains, supply-demand imbalances and commodity-driven cost pressures as Russia invaded Ukraine, pushed inflation up and put further pressure on businesses and consumers alike.
Despite this, according to a recent Shopify article, economists and the National Retail Federation in the US project US retail sales to rise between 6% and 8% this year.
Closer to home, NielsenIQ South Africa released its monthly State of the Retail Nation analysis which shows that total annual retail sales at South African retail outlets were R516bn which represents a 14.4% annual increase.
“South Africans are shopping at fewer retailers but spending more per trip, with the average value of their shopping basket increasing by R131 since April 2020,” said NielsenIQ SA, managing director, Ged Nooy.
Mindful of the expected growth predictions and with price hikes and inflationary concerns - to stay competitive the retail trade will once again have to adapt, with the following trend considerations under the spotlight from now, into next year:
Seizing new opportunities for innovative growth are undoubtedly part of every retail or commerce strategy and trends certainly bring a fresh perspective.
However, now that we have had more time to swing back operationally, I would throw my own ‘left-of -centre-trend-shapeshifter’ into the mix around being curious, as there can be no innovation without curiosity.
As we look for new perspectives to old problems, do we really make space for curiosity as a conscious daily practice? It should become a habitual tool for retailers, brands, and organisations to help undercover what innovative buttons they need to push.