What will retail look like as this year progresses?  Our team has predicted six need-to-know trends that will take your brand from retailer to celebrity, winning more brand fans than ever before. Get ready for in-store broadcasting, metaverse formats, gaming integration, a stand against greenwashing, focus on micro-communities and slow consumerism.

Trend 01 | Creative Curation

Raised with online creative tools and an entrepreneurial spirit, Gen Z is influencing a new era of creative communication where they expect to actively participate and be part of brand experiences.

In response, brands are building experiences driven by co-creation and collaboration that make their customers part of the creative process. As we head into 2022, we will see more brands exploring ways to integrate social broadcasting and live-streaming content into the retail experience to encourage footfall, boost brand-customer connection and amplify their message.

Influencing factors:

  • Make-Do Mindset
  • Co-Creation
  • Collaboration
  • Digital Curation
  • Peer Recommendation

Trend 02 | Radical Transparency

People increasingly feel they can make a difference by carefully choosing where and how they spend their money. They want to buy into brands with integrity and purpose – a focal point that will continue to grow in 2022. 

Data shows that consumers are willing to pay up to 10% more for products from companies with greater supply chain transparency. To tap into this mindset, brands should take a more considered approach to how they present not only their products but the values of the brand through creative and informative window displays, in-store experiences and product labelling. 

Key considerations:

  • Carbon Footprint 
  • Reducing Consumption 
  • Product Provenance
  • Digital Consumption

Trend 03 | Hyperlocality

Micro-communities, 3rd Spaces and an emphasis on belonging are just some of the things we can expect to see amplified in retail during 2022. A continuation of the impact of Covid-19, which made it critical for brands to look at their local environments and connection with local communities in order to survive. 

Over the next year, big brands and retailers have a huge opportunity to re-evaluate the purpose of their physical spaces, find new ways to actively contribute and give back to local communities and reap the rewards of greater support and advocacy. 

Much more than a simple in-store ‘community wall’, the Hyperlocality trend is a chance for brands to tap into true connection, leverage word of mouth and make communities feel understood.

Key considerations:

  • Sense Of Belonging 
  • Neighbourhood Stores 
  • Connection
  • Collaboration 
  • Community 
  • Micro-Communities 
  • Third Spaces

Trend 04 | Regenerative Materiality

Get ready for consumerism to slow down in 2022 as people’s focus on purpose and positive impact over material wealth reaches new heights. Circularity has never been more important, not only for the products being sold, but for the spaces that sell them, as people’s awareness of the impact of consumerism is more advanced than ever.

It’s important for brands to tap into this no-ownership movement and resale revolution and up their games when it comes to circularity in their products and spaces. We see brands initiate take-back schemes, open repair stores and consider modular store formats to accompany this move to a more regenerative future.

Key considerations:

  • Design For Disassembly 
  • Recycle, Repair & Restore
  • Circularity
  • Take-Back Schemes
  • Modular Formats

Trend 05 | Metaverse Formats

Challenging conventional retail, immersive Metaverse Formats serve to communicate a more expansive and meaningful brand narrative. People want their virtual experience to reflect what’s important to them IRL and will bring their ethics, values and identities with them into the virtual realm. 

The Metaverse is not an isolated space, it’s an interconnected extended reality from the physical world. Retail brands are taking cues from the gaming industry to build inspiring and immersive experiences that take brand engagement to whole new levels.

Challenging conventional retail, these immersive experiences serve to communicate a more expansive and meaningful brand narrative. People want their virtual experience to reflect what’s important to them IRL and will bring their ethics, values and identities with them into the virtual realm. To meaningfully engage with consumers in the metaverse, brands will need to think beyond entertainment.

Key considerations:

  • Virtual Realms
  • Gamification
  • Dematerialising
  • Augmented Formats
  • Hyper Realities

Trend 06 | Escapist Playgrounds

It’s no secret that the role of physical retail is evolving. It’s no longer enough for brands to simply display their products. Consumers want meaningful experiences that stimulate the senses and provide moments of escapism from the everyday world in exchange for their time.

Driven by the idea of discovery, surprise and a need for escapism, more retail brands will turn to reigniting excitement through meaningful escapism and sense-stimulating environments. Appealing to our childlike curiosity and our desire to play, these immersive installations and sensorial displays will provide a sense of wonderment and joy.

  • Narrative Infused
  • Digitally Enhanced
  • Sensorial
  • Immersion
  • Playful Exploration
2022 retail trends_Escapist Playgrounds

Want to see how you can tap into these trends in 2022? Get in touch.