2020-21 offered unprecedented disruption to all aspects of retail, but also presented extraordinary opportunities for those agile enough to turn on a sixpence. While we can’t see into the future, we can be certain that the economy is on the up and those who make the most of this growth will be in the strongest position.
As we look ahead, here are our predictions for the top 5 retail trends you should be aware of if you want to grow your business in 2022.
Innovation has been crucial to many businesses throughout the pandemic and as the economy recovers and new retailers enter the market, those with an existing stronghold will seek to maintain their position. In the words of Steve Jobs, “Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity – not a threat” and 2022 is certainly going to be a year of opportunity.
New technology is one of the most effective means of innovation and can have a profound effect on your profitability as you find new efficiencies and offer an improved experience for your customers. For the retailer, innovation is all about implementing new systems and solutions, whether that be hardware or software, which directly impact on your business’ performance.
In 2021 up to 40% of businesses suffered cyberattacks or similar security issues. In addition to the costly downtime associated with a breach, a business can also face substantial fines if data is compromised, along with significant reputational damage. If your retail management solution is stored locally on your own PC’s and servers then your business will not only incur regular maintenance costs, but you also risk deliberate or accidental damage and potential data breaches.
As cyberattacks become an increasingly lucrative strategy for criminals, we can expect to see the trend towards tighter cyber security, and consequently, cloud computing to continue as it mitigates many of the associated risks.
Cloud-based software not only offers significant security benefits, but also provides retailers with operational advantages, flexibility and mobility. Access your business data and critical systems from anywhere and make crucial decisions based on real-time business intelligence with a cloud solution. Retailers which adopt cloud computing in 2022 will be at the forefront of the industry while being prepared for any circumstances which would otherwise result in staff downtime or even a complete shutdown of their business; cloud computing provides essential business continuity in the face of difficult circumstances such as repeated lockdowns or other unforeseen issues.
With unprecedented growth in certain areas of retail in recent years, business have come to realise the value of scalability. While for some the initial response to growth is to hire more staff, businesses must also weigh up the effect that additional headcount has on profitability. If overheads and revenue increase at the same incremental pace then as turnover increases so do costs, which means that profitability remains stagnant in real terms. And if you have committed to more headcount and then experience an unexpected and prolonged dip in sales, these additional salaries can have a serious effect on your bottom line.
If the ups and downs of the last couple of years have taught retailers anything, it’s that a business needs to be scalable (both up and down) in order to roll with the punches and make hay when the sun shines. A robust retail management solution can not only increase your overall efficiency, but with AI, automation and unified systems it can reduce your need for extra boots on the ground.
The last couple of years have seen a colossal shift towards online retail and if you’re late to the omnichannel party then it’s seriously time to catch up. This drive towards eCommerce has fundamentally changed consumer behaviour – forever. More than ever before, shoppers are now driven by convenience so services like Buy Online Pickup In Store (BOPIS) and Click and Collect are essential offerings for most businesses.
As consumers return to the high street, retailers should be careful not to put all their eggs back in the bricks and mortar basket because it’s unlikely that consumer behaviour will ever return to the pre-pandemic norm. Whatever your area of retail, it’s vital that you offer the convenience that your customers now crave, whether that’s adding BOPIS, local delivery, concessions or the full omnichannel model to your offering.
As retail continues to recover, businesses certainly have a lot to be positive about but beware the pitfalls of returning to ‘business as usual’ because if the last two years have taught us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected. The more agile, secure and innovative your retail operation can become, the better equipped you will be to deal with whatever lies ahead.
The overarching advice is to take full advantage of these trends and turn them into opportunities for your business. For the savvy retailer, this means adopting a management system which addresses every opportunity through a unified solution such as OpSuite and OpSuite Fusion. RMS invites you to book a demo and see OpSuite retail management software and see how its powerful features and functionality can transform your business. Click here to contact us and book a discovery call with one of our expert team or call 0800 138 0050.
RMS (Scotland) Limited
Unit 006 Ettrick Riverside,
Dunsdale Road Selkirk
TD7 5EB, UK
Established in 2004, RMS is a leading provider of OpSuite Retail Management Solution and Electronic Point of Sale hardware equipment.