#10things that will change retail forever in 2022

Accenture says retailers need to evolve to adapt to the fast-moving needs and expectations of their customers.

The South African consumer is increasingly driven by preference, not just product choice. In fact, according to Accenture Africa retail business managing director, John Watling, consumers want “hyper-personalised experiences and seamless interventions that fit naturally into their daily lives”. And this means that retailers need to evolve to adapt to the fast-moving needs and expectations of their customers.

1. Adapt to a new reality

Healthy eating, home cooking, and menu planning are now top of mind. Over a quarter of consumers say being inspired with healthy meal solutions is essential when shopping. Post-pandemic consumers want to take a hybrid approach to grocery shopping – 51% of consumers intend to do their grocery shopping in the future via a mix of in-store and online. These new ways will challenge long-held assumptions about shopping missions and value propositions. Clever use of tech can inspire in-store shopping.

2. Retailers need to drive the difference

Retailers must accelerate the adoption of new tech to make data-driven decisions and build deeper bonds with their customers and their employees. This could mean a multi-fold transformation that covers the entire spectrum of how you reach your customers, how you collect and analyse your data, and how you meet the ever-evolving preferences. Retailers need to understand the individual’s mindsets to realise untapped value – 85% of consumers are interested in grocery retailers helping them change how they live, shop, or eat.

3. Consumers want convenience

Over 38% of consumers prioritise time-saving by shopping for food and non-food together. Less than a third spend time shopping around visiting multiple retailers; and 64% of consumers are interested in using features like contactless shopping, digital notifications, personal virtual assistants, or interactive elements to make their omnichannel shopping journey seamless. Amazon, for example, is testing multiple innovative and highly tech-driven grocery store concepts like Amazon Go, Go Grocery and Fresh, to understand customer mindsets and shopping missions. Through cashier-less shopping journeys, Amazon collects consumer shopping data and uses the insights across the business for online or advertising. An account-based structure allows members-only to try the hyper-convenient stores – and adding the stores to the ecosystem helps boost loyalty.

4. Loyalty benefits are less desirable

The specific benefits of grocery loyalty programs are now less desired. Only 39% of global consumers are happy with the benefits from grocery retailers as part of their loyalty scheme. Over 51% of the retailers named in our survey are operating loyalty programs where the percentage of happy consumers falls short of this average. Consumer demand for trusted and authentic relationships with their grocery retailer of choice drives the need for loyalty schemes to be more innovative, forcing retailers to examine the benefits and services they offer to build and maintain loyalty.

5. Sustainability is top of mind

This year will see an accelerated prioritisation of sustainability. Almost 76% of consumers would switch spending to a grocery retailer which better understood and responded to how vital sustainability is to them. With sustainability top of mind, consumers are most enticed by food waste reduction, greener packaging, and local products. Research shows that consumers are willing to pay more and invest their time in more sustainable grocery options.

6. Mixed-channel grocery shopping is here to stay

Lives have changed. Mixed-channel grocery shopping is here to stay, and retailers must continue to reinvigorate their store experience whilst investing in technology to enable online sales and fulfilment. Delivering on sustainability and conscious consumption requires end-to-end value chain collaboration, public-private action and consumer participation. Retailers should have more mature interactions with consumers about what it takes to achieve improved sustainability and how working together is critical.

7. Social point of sale

Social platforms’ one-stop-shop for real-time interaction, entertainment, and inspiration, is blurring the lines between app users and the retail consumer.

8. The greater good

Retailers have established purpose-driven initiatives across their value chains to emphasise transparent, ethical, and inclusive business practices.

9. Resale rescaled

Resale is fashion, not a fad; and its growth has inspired a slew of new entrants.

10. Supply chain reaction

Industry turbulence has challenged global supply chains, urging retailers to double down on analytics, invest in automation, and vertically integrate.


Main image credit: Pexels.com.


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