GS1 Connect 2022 is right around the corner! Brands and thought leaders from around the globe will gather to share supply chain best practices and exchange ideas on how to stay ahead of consumer expectations, optimize business efficiency, and enable end-to-end supply chain visibility.
As the world enters a new post-pandemic era, with restrictions waning, the retail landscape is shifting once again. Here are three retail trends to watch in 2022 to ensure your business stays one step ahead of the competition.
Trend No. 1: Omnichannel is winning the retail game
The year 2021 saw the return of in-person shoppers to brick-and-mortar stores across North America at pre-pandemic levels. At the same time, the sharp rise in online shopping due to the pandemic has not lessened. These two seemingly conflicting trends are both due to omnichannel shopping.
Predicted for many years now, omnichannel shopping is here in full force, and retailers who want to succeed in business need to get on board. The physical and digital worlds are neither separate nor competing—rather, they are connected and must work together.
Today’s consumers enjoy the quick, convenient, and curated experience that e-commerce can deliver. Yet, at the same time, they seek more in-store encounters, especially after being stuck at home for several years. They crave sensory experiences such as touching and feeling products and interacting with human sales reps. In this new, blended reality, consumers might enjoy the experience of visiting a shop in person before ordering a product online.
Trend No. 2: Collaboration and agility can overcome and solve supply chain disruptions
In recent years, supply chain disruptions have created serious problems for retailers. The pandemic, extreme weather events, geopolitical turmoil—there seems to be no shortage of disruptions.
Retailers who have managed to weather these supply chain disruptions have relied on innovation, adaptability, and quick turnaround times. They’ve been immensely agile in finding and partnering with new suppliers and logistics partners and experimenting with new fulfillment processes and technology.
The most resilient retailers have implemented systems that enable them to share data and processes with their partners in real-time. Accordingly, they’ve been able to work together to identify and resolve problems right away, and this has allowed them to continue to meet consumer demands on time.
Trend No. 3: Technology is key to weathering the labor shortage
No industry is immune to staff shortages right now. From entry-level jobs to executive positions, recruiters are struggling to attract and retain talent. In fact, many of today’s supply chain disruptions are due to staff shortages. From the factory floor to the delivery van, there are simply not enough workers to move products through the supply chain.
Companies that leverage the power of technology to streamline systems and eliminate repetitive human tasks, such as data entry, will be better equipped to withstand the labour shortage. By automating certain tasks and processes, they can free up their staff to do other important work that will allow the company to flourish.
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