Part of my job as commerce advisor at Avensia is to keep an ear to the ground and pick up what’s coming next in retail. I give lectures on modern commerce and I help Avensia’s customers find the direction for the future of their business, by looking at strategy as well as technology. As the year is coming to an end, I thought I’d share some thoughts about what we might expect in modern commerce in 2022.
The Big Question Marks in Omnichannel Commerce 2022
100 years ago, we relied on the general store to provide us with everything we needed, from groceries to the supplies for a new roof. Today, in most urban parts of the world, we can rely on the internet to provide us with everything we need. But do we really want to? Do we want to do all of our purchasing through online shopping? And can we rely on the supply chains that we once trusted, going forward?
Insecurity is the number one thing that will define 2022 for in-store and online retailers.
Here are a few challenges retailers face, caused by the insecurity that the pandemic and the state of the world has brought on:
- Omnichannel offering. To what extent will people go back to physical stores, as e-commerce is growing exponentially and becoming hyper-convenient? What type of physical stores will consumers want to visit? Do they want Disneyland or a hole in the wall? Shopping experience-driven concept stores? Social concepts? Or just nice-looking delivery hubs to pick up their e-com purchases from?
- Supply chain and logistics. Is it time to stop relying on week-long deliveries from Asia? Is it worth the risk? What are the possible supply chain issues? Is there in fact a business case to bring production closer to home? Are there supply chain challenges? Will consumers reward you for local production in this era of transparency and #supportyourlocal?
- Sustainability. It's not only a matter of reducing carbon footprint and publishing your sustainability report. It is about massive and tangible consumer demand for total transparency and sustainable business models. How can retailers rethink business models, when they barely manage to keep up with competition using the traditional ones?