The Future of Retail Report: 2022 Edition

by Digital Main Street   |   June 29, 2022   |   Share this:  


Consumers are craving connection and convenience and retailers are stepping up to meet those needs, reimagining what the entire shopping experience should look like. From conversational commerce to seamless online shopping experiences, the future of retail is bold and innovative, and it belongs to independent retailers.

To help retailers define and own their success in 2022, we partnered with Wakefield Research to see how 500 retail managers and owners, along with 1,000 consumers, are shaking up the status quo. Whether you’re an online retailer, have brick-and-mortar locations or a mix of both, this retail report will help you understand the top trends and changing customer expectations defining the next age of the retail experience.





An analysis of the top retail trends of 2022: From social-first selling to QR codes to the rise of the multi-hyphenate retailer, learn about the top trends that are shaking up the retail world this year and beyond.




Tools and strategies to help you bring all of these ideas to life at your store: Find out which retail trends are right for your business and how to put them into motion in 2022.




Industry insights from Square retail experts: We tapped Square experts to share their perspectives on what these trends mean, where they’re headed and the best ways for local retailers to do what makes the most sense for their businesses.




Real-world examples from creative retailers: See how retailers across the country are bringing these insights together to create a shopping experience that’s integrated, innovative and irresistible to customers.




What is the future of shopping?

The future of shopping lies in the power of omnichannel retailing. One customer might seek out same-day curbside pickup for a jacket they researched online. But they’ll also remember that lovely bottle of wine they saw in store as part of a new subscription service. And with the rise of multi-hyphenate businesses, both experiences could happen in the same store.

In 2022, shopping will be personal, thoughtful, seamless and innovative:

  • Customers expect to purchase what they want both when and how they want it, but they also trust retailers to curate the right products and experiences for their tastes.
  • Retailers are taking risks with new business models and technologies to become more efficient and accessible, so it’s easier to engage shoppers everywhere they expect to find their products.
  • The right set of omnichannel tools is key for meeting new customer demands and enhancing the retail experience through personalization.

By trying out new ways of doing business and streamlining each step, retailers are staying ahead of the curve.


How will the future of online shopping change?

The future of retail isn’t moving all online – it’s moving everywhere your customers are.

Selling online is now table stakes, and it requires an omnichannel solution that can tie each touchpoint together – for shoppers on the front end and business owners on the back end. Using integrated tools, successful online retailers are syncing their inventory, tracking orders, offering loyalty programs and selling on social media.

With everything in one place, creating that connected, personalized experience across channels makes online shopping a complement to the in-person shopping trip.

From social media selling to chatbots to text message checkout linksretailers are connecting with customers everywhere they want to shop, using technology to automate operations, opening up more time to invest in marketing, design, staffing and new business ideas. For today’s retailers, connecting with customers at each touchpoint is leading to higher sales and the flexibility to adjust and grow.



What is the future of brick-and-mortar stores?

Customers want to return to in-person shopping, and they want what they can’t get anywhere else. By making the in-store experience stand out through community events and allowing customers to pick up online orders, retailers are using brick-and-mortar locations to build their brands and deepen customer loyalty.

To pull this off, store owners need to hire the right staff. As retailers work through new challenges – from supply chain issues to learning new skills – a strong team will help them navigate each milestone. One way business owners are investing in this work is through their tech stack. A strong majority of store owners surveyed use or plan to use automated tools so staff members can spend less time on hands-on tasks like order tracking and managing customer loyalty programs.

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