Future Focus 2022 – Retail Trends

Retail landscape

Retailers are now rewriting the industry playbook with engaging digital storefronts in the metaverse.

In 2022, as the e-commerce industry continues to accelerate, consumer expectations will demand the sector to address its sustainability impact and make carbon offsetting a one-click, seamless part of the buying process.

Perhaps, this is why retailers are encouraging people back into the stores with an emphasis on interiors imbued with tranquillity.

To this end, platforms are helping retail brands seize the reach of influencers—who then take on the role of salespeople through their peer-led content.


Carbon Offset at Checkout

The retail industry is now facing the same pressure as the travel sector to counteract the carbon footprint by the customers’ purchases and deliveries.

Like airlines, online sellers are now presenting buyers with carbon offsetting options at the time of checkout.

Integrated into the e-commerce experience, Seesiu is a web plug-in that gives shoppers the choice to offset carbon from their deliveries at the time of check-out. Likewise, EcoCart offers to turn Google Chrome shoppers’ carts carbon neutral with a single click.

The German bank Berenberg forecasts that the global market for carbon emissions offsets could increase to £150bn ($200bn, €177bn) by 2050.


Calming Store Environments

Absolute Flower Shop, Shanghai

For some shoppers, the return to brick-and-mortar spaces might come with nervous trepidation, thus driving retailers around the world to create calmer shopping areas.

Building on the lockdown trend for plant care within the home, Browns in central London created a secret garden where the visitors can rest in verdant surroundings while enjoying a bite to eat.

In Shanghai, Absolute Flower Shop is a secret, first-floor florist with a garden hidden at its rear for the owner and customers to enjoy together.

Templ is a concept store in Jakarta that combines a calm, reflective environment with a community focus towards Indonesian Generation Z shoppers. Taking inspiration from ancient temples, the retail space provides a more contemplative alternative to the sprawling shopping malls commonly found in Southeast Asia.

Influ-sellar Platforms

Hero x Klarna

Platforms are helping retail brands attain the widespread reach of influencers by transforming them into salespeople through their peer-led content.

With the purpose to empower store staff, the pay-later platform Klarna has acquired Hero, a social shopping service that allows retailers to engage directly with the shoppers. Combining the ease of e-commerce with a richer content experience, consumers are able to message shop staff for advice, recommendations and inspiration.

Connecting brands with micro-influencers well-versed in live-stream shopping, Buywith scouts budding presenters from existing platforms such as Instagram and YouTube and transforms them into the faces of shared shopping experiences for brands such as Forever21, Boohoo and MAC.

Tapping into the rising curator economy, US-based platform Emcee now allows influencers to create a digital storefront with products from multiple brands, alongside their own pieces. Turning these influencers into retailers, the platform thus drives two-way traffic, allowing users a cut from the sales using affiliate links.


Wrap up

We hope that this report inspires you to adapt your retail brand to this new era and evolve with these changing consumer trends.

We offer all companies a free strategy call with Davidson’s founder, Grant Davidson, to explore how brand purpose can drive your strategy and accelerate your business growth.


If you need help creating a brand that pushes creative boundaries and inspires change, we’d like to offer you a complimentary strategy call with our Managing Director and Head of Strategy, Grant Davidson. Having nearly 30 years of industry experience working with groundbreaking brands, Grant has the experience and knowledge necessary to identify your core brand strategy and communicate it effectively.


Written by Tania Donohue
Tania is the Insights & Strategy Director at Davidson Branding. Over her 17year career, Tania has evolved countless existing brands and brought new ones to life. She approaches all projects from a hybrid ‘commercial-creative' lens, ensuring that all strategic and design work has a solid foundation to help businesses thrive.
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