If customers were demanding before the pandemic, the increased demand for online shopping and digital retail during the lockdown will make it harder for them to cope.
Over the past year, companies that had never previously considered going online have turned to digital in order to keep up with the times.
A reduction in certain types of shopping due to the pandemic, combined with an increase in the cost of living, makes 2022 a difficult year for retail, with more uncertainty ahead.
1. The search for IT talents in the retail industry is intensified
Many different retailers were looking for more talent at the beginning of the year as the technology field increased.
IKEA said it wanted to fill 150 technical jobs in Europe by 2022, while Amazon announced its intention to create 1,500 apprenticeships and John Lewis said it planned to hire 150 technicians.
Freelancer Ben Sillitoe found many retailers looking for tech talent, including Ann Summers and Boohoo Group.
2. Low online sales growth in January 2022
Online sales took a hit early in the year as consumers developed new shopping habits. According to the Capgemini/IMRG Online Retail Index, online shopping sales will grow slowly in early 2022, with online sales in the first month of the year down 24.4% year-on-year.
Capgemini attributed this in large part to the pandemic driving online purchases as more people had to go about their daily lives at home.
3. Planning for the rise of checkout-free shopping
Since Amazon launched Amazon Fresh, a checkout-free store that allows consumers to buy items and leave the store without a checkout line, other companies around the world have followed suit.
at the beginning of the year, Discount supermarket brand Aldi has launched a similar concept as part of its ongoing tests of “frictionless shopping”.
Aldi isn’t the only company experimenting with the technology over the past year – according to Ben Sillitoe, European supermarkets such as Ahold Delhaize, REWE and Tesco are also working on the technology.
4. Ship From Stores: Will Pandemic Retail Trends Last?
As the global restrictions brought on by the pandemic start to ease, we start to see what’s left and what’s not.
During the pandemic, stores have often become hubs for delivering orders to customers, as has become a practice for many multi-channel retailers, with companies such as Morrisons, Waitrose and Pets at Home using store locations to deliver to customers in areas surrounding the store.
For some, this appears to be an ongoing digital adoption, while for others the changes are scaling back as consumers return to stores.
5. Former CEO explains how Dreams went from nightmare to fantasy
Retailers have been through a lot over the past 10 years, with changing customer habits, especially as digital adoption increases.
At the Retail Tech Show 2022, former Dreams CEO Mike Logue talks about his nine years at the retailer, guiding the company through a customer feedback app, new website and focus on data .
When he left the company, it had sold for about “£533 million”.
6. Primark Try Kids Products Click & Collect
In modern times, it’s even rarer to hear of a retailer that doesn’t have online money transfers than it is to hear that it does.
Primark has been a firm opponent of online shopping in the past – it has a website where people can view products and compare prices, but people can’t order shopping on its website for delivery or click and collect.
The brand said it would pilot click and collect on a small number of children’s products in 2022 to “compliment” its in-store experience.
7. CIO Interview: Carl Dawson, CIO, Asda
Digital transformation can be difficult for some established retailers.The vast amount of legacy technology in these organizations can impedes the adoption of new digital platforms.
But Carl Dawson, CIO of supermarket Asda, told Computer Weekly that the retailer had a unique opportunity to replace all of its technology with a new cloud-based system as part of a refresh as it spun off from Walmart.
Over the next two years, Asda will update its e-commerce, supply chain forecasting, data platform and many other systems across its 29 distribution centers and 650 supermarkets.
8. Deliciously Ella – How the brand is adopting D2C during the pandemic
The pandemic has affected businesses — especially those that rely primarily on brick-and-mortar commerce — in unexpected ways.
At the Retail Tech Show 2022, the founder of plant-based food company Ella Woodward said the company never intended to sell directly to consumers.
When the pandemic hit, some of Deliciously Ella’s largest retail customers, such as Costa and Starbucks, were forced to close, leaving the retailer with no choice but to sell directly to consumers to reduce inventory.
9. The pandemic turned e-commerce skeptics into believers
It’s worth mentioning that Ella isn’t the only retailer facing a transformation due to the pandemic, with many fast adopting e-commerce or other digital solutions.
As mentioned, Primark, which lost money due to closures during the pandemic, has now implemented click and collect despite previously saying it would not be doing online shopping.
Poundland and B&M are other formerly offline retailers who have now decided to go digital.
10. Use technology to reinvent the store
The easing of the pandemic has led people back to shopping in brick-and-mortar stores, but pre-pandemic challenges remain.
As online consumer expectations rise, people expect more of a brick-and-mortar shopping experience — leading retailers to turn to technology.
Glynn Davis talks about some of the types of technology retailers are adopting to meet increasingly demanding customer demands.