3 Retail Resolutions for 2022 - Retail Innovation Conference & Expo

3 Retail Resolutions for 2022

We’re early in the New Year and the workweek, which means one thing: resolutions are hot on everyone’s mind. I’ll be honest, I’m usually one to forego resolutions entirely. Sure, I’ll set some goals…maybe even jot them down in pencil. But things change and so do our daily priorities, so why focus on holding ourselves accountable on things that may not be relevant weeks or months down the line? 
When I look at resolutions through a retail lens, though, my adamant attitude changes. Consumer sentiment and behaviors are evolving fluidly (we can thank the omicron variant for that now), but if we were to zoom out and look at the most prevalent and top priority trends, they align with a lot of the things we’ve been discussing in the industry for years, especially in 2021. That’s why I think it’s a great time to press pause, set some intentions and charge into 2022 with some bold goals for the retail industry.

Resolution 1: Find ways to raise the personalization bar

As consumers, we’re all looking for a personalized experience. We’re spending more time online and getting slammed by more ads and messages, so the companies that can tailor these points of engagement always rise to the top. That’s why my big underlying retail resolution for the New Year is to explore ways to raise the personalization bar. We must think beyond the traditional measures (think “hi, {{first name}) and dig into creative, curated and customized measures. Marketing teams are facing more pressure to perform and prove the value of their investments, so this is a great way to make a big splash. For example, can you use browsing behavior data to develop customized ad campaigns based on consumers’ intent or propensity to buy? Can you send tailored email campaigns based on how active (or inactive) a customer is? Bringing the discipline of “right place, right time, right channel” to a more granular level will be key in 2022 and beyond.

Resolution 2: Get social to foster your online communities

Social networks and platforms have really matured over the past year, and we’ve seen creators make leaps in their approaches from content creation to community engagement. Analyst firms also are noting adoption in leading-edge territories like China to understand future growth potential. We’ve all seen social commerce, including livestreaming, shoppable content and other tactics, get more retail love over the past year and I think in 2022, it’s up to brands to continue to foster those communities. After all, the more you engage with those communities, the more you can understand your audiences, drive more revenue and, most of all, create (and repurpose) more content. Over the next year, I encourage retailers to find new ways to create and reuse content across social platforms in order to create a steady stream of social engagement.  

Resolution 3: Expand into services to unlock new revenue opportunities

We’re in the retail business, which means the top priority is to sell products. But in 2022, I encourage brands to rethink what it means to develop, test and optimize products. That means going beyond physical items and dive deeper into services. For example, Chewy rolled out “Connect with a Vet,” a telehealth solution that connects pet owners with licensed vets, while BHLDN, the bridal brand, implemented virtual styling services and appointment scheduling to support omnichannel goals.  
Other brands are looking at services and solutions to drive additional revenue, similar to what Peloton and Apple have been able to achieve. For example, Fabletics has launched its own fitness app, called Fabletics FIT. Sleep Number also has an incredible app that allows Sleep Number 360 customers to view their SleepIQ score and learn more about the factors that impact their quality of sleep. They can even control their bed settings and personalize their wellness profiles and connect to other health and wellness apps to optimize their sleep habits. In this case, the SleepIQ app doesn’t generate revenue per se, but it does further immerse customers into the Sleep Number experience. It helps them get the most value out of their purchase, improve their quality of sleep and, in turn, see Sleep Number as a valuable resource and guide versus simply a “bed retailer.” The end result is a more passionate and vocal fan base that is likely to stick with Sleep Number for the long-term.

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These are only three of the five big trends we believe will drive retail priorities and investments in 2022. Download this guide to get the scoop on what’s to come and how you can maximize your retail experience in the New Year.

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