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4 retail industry trends to expect this festive season

18 August 2022 | Published by Faire

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Over the past few years, the retail industry has seen some significant challenges and opportunities. 

Whether it’s COVID-19, the rise of e-commerce, or ever-evolving customer expectations, a lot has changed.

But much of this change has been positive, and there’s a bright future for brands that can adapt with the various trends. And when it comes to attracting new customers, there’s no better time to do this than the festive season.

25% of UK shoppers start thinking about Christmas gifts by the end of summer. For retailers that plan in advance, there’s an opportunity to achieve impressive sales over the festive period. 

Retailers and brands alike must get ahead of the curve when it comes to making the most of the busy festive season. But how do you do that? What are the retail trends of 2022? And what does the industry need to make the most of the festive period? Read on to find out more. 

1. Sustainable shopping 

Consumers around the world are more conscious of the environmental and social impact of their shopping habits. 

Research shows this trend is now so pronounced that 36% of UK consumers are often or always choosing brands with good sustainability credentials, and have stopped using certain products because of ethical or sustainability concerns. 

So, it’s important to ensure your products are as sustainable as possible and to make sure that your customers are aware of this. 

The same study found that the most popular sustainable practices among consumers include:

  • Limiting use of single-use plastic (64%)
  • Choosing brands with good sustainability credentials (36%)
  • Buying more locally produced goods (45%)

Tips for success: 

Businesses looking to attract the right attention this holiday season should make the most of this where possible, either by reducing the amount of single-use materials in products and packaging or by partnering with local businesses to reduce the environmental impact of shipping. 

In addition to championing small businesses and local shopping, Faire allows brands to showcase the things that make them stand out—using tags such as ‘eco-friendly’ or ‘small batch’ that make it easier for retailers to find them. 

2. Hybrid experiences 

Today, customers expect a more hybrid experience that mixes the best of both digital and traditional in-person shopping. According to recent research by Vodafone, 75% of businesses now say their customers expect to be able to interact with brands anytime, anywhere via digital services. 

At the same time, hybrid shopping is considered the primary buying method for 27% of consumers. And when you focus on the youngest contingent of shoppers, Generation Z, that number rises to 36%. 

Tips for success:

This festive period, a hybrid experience is key to appealing to a wider audience. Those who ignore this trend are likely to fall behind.

Start nurturing your online presence now, whether that’s partnering with a trusted B2B marketplace, optimising your social media accounts, or updating your website. By combining traditional high street retail with online commerce, you can find new customers around the world and appeal to customers’ ever-evolving expectations. 

3. Gifts that keep on giving… 

One popular retail trend right now is the rise of subscription boxes. 

You may not have considered subscription boxes as an option before. But, research shows over a quarter of UK consumers already have at least one subscription service, and it’s predicted half of 25–34-year-olds will have a new one by the end of this year. 

Tips for success:

Retailers that take advantage of this trend could see sales rise, not just over the festive period, but beyond that, as the subscription continues through 2023. 

Shop owners can try creating their own subscription box full of the fun, local products purchased from brands on Faire, and then offering in-store pickup or delivery. Brands can also tap into this trend by creating gift boxes of best sellers.

4. Affordable gifts for budget-conscious consumers  

This year, the cost of living crisis is on everyone’s minds, and UK consumers are feeling the pinch, especially in the run up to December. 

Research shows over half of shoppers are expected to swap brands to save money. So as we approach the holiday season, value, affordability, and catering to customers with a range of budgets are set to be more important than ever. 

Tips for success:

To get ahead and stay competitive in 2022, consider stocking affordable, quality options that your customers will love. 

Offer a varied selection of goods that come at a range of different price points, so you can ensure that there’s something for everyone within your product range. 

Buyers that shop on Faire can take advantage of a range of offers and discounts, so make sure to explore what’s on offer. 

Heading into the festive season with confidence 

The festive period can be challenging for retail businesses, not to mention competitive. But staying ahead of the latest trends, and working with the right partners can help.

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