Retail statistics and insights are valuable in helping us predict the retail trends to keep an eye on in 2022 and beyond. Whether it’s changes in the channels consumers prefer to shop through, delivery and order fulfillment developments, or employee and customer expectations, if you don’t know what people want, you’ll have a hard time succeeding.
The following statistics are pulled from a commissioned Forrester Consulting study conducted on behalf of Shopify. We’ve segmented the data into five categories so you can jump around to what’s relevant to your business or read straight through.
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Table of Contents
In-store experiences retail statistics
As vaccination rates increase and parts of the world open up, more consumers are looking for in-store shopping experiences. Higher retail vacancy rates are driving more flexible commercial lease terms (i.e., lower rents and shorter leases) and convincing more digitally native brands to venture into physical retail—even if it’s just to test the sales channel through pop-up shops.
This means brands need to find a way to stand out, and experiential retail is one way to do it.
But these changes come with their own set of challenges, including making sure your retail store follows COVID-19 safety protocol, driving foot traffic in a competitive retail landscape, and finding the right temporary or permanent retail space.
Let’s look at the top in-store retail statistics
- 31% of brands say they plan on establishing or expanding their physical retail footprint in the next year, but 47% are concerned that securing affordable commercial leases will be one of their biggest challenges.
- 55% of brands also say winning foot traffic will be a top challenge.
- 32% of brands say they’ll be establishing or expanding their use of pop-up and in-person experiences in the next year.
- 40% of brands say offering experiential retail would be a top priority for them in the next year, but 57% of them say coordinating it will be a top challenge.
- 46% of brands are investing in showrooming over the next year to improve the in-store experience.
- 32% of consumers say they’re likely to engage with in-store experiential moments.
- 95% of consumers expect retailers to have COVID safety protocols in place for in-store shopping.
- In the last year, 47% of consumers were more likely to purchase from a brand due to its local presence.
- In the US, 81% of Gen Z consumers prefer to shop in stores to discover new products and more than 50% say in-store browsing is a way to disconnect from the digital world.
- More than one-third of consumers in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand say a sense of community is a top motivator to visit local shops.
- 34% of consumers are likely to engage with appointment shopping in 2022.
Omnichannel retail statistics
Shoppers have grown to expect a completely connected experience no matter the channel they’re shopping from.
Whether it’s checking out online and picking up their order in-store, buying through social media, or appointment shopping in-store and finalizing their order online from the comfort of their home, consumer expectations are fueling the next generation of omnichannel retail.
Here are the key omnichannel retail statistics to be aware of
- Nearly 50% of brands say unifying online and in-store operations and data will be their biggest challenge over the next year.
- That’s why 53% of brands are investing in tools that allow them to sell anywhere.
- 33% of brands are prioritizing omnichannel order fulfillment over the next year.
- On average, 46% of retailers are planning to increase their investment in digital channels like their company-owned online store, social commerce, custom mobile apps, and livestream selling to drive sales over the next 12 months.
- 43% of brands will focus on showing available inventory in nearby stores.
- CPG retail companies say sales from their physical retail stores and sales from their ecommerce website are nearly equal, with physical retail generating 18% of revenue and ecommerce generating 19%.
- 81% of brands plan to either increase or maintain investment in livestream selling to drive sales over the next 12 months.
- 49% of brands plan to increase their investment in social commerce in 2022.
- 54% of consumers say that over the next year they’re likely to look at a product online and buy it in-store.
- 53% of shoppers are likely to look at a product in-store and buy it online.
- 55% of consumers want to browse products online and check what’s available in local stores.
- 47% of consumers want the option to check out online and return in-store.
- 58% of consumers say flexible blended shipping options like BOPIS are important to them.
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Sustainability, ethics, and values retail statistics
Consumers want to shop from businesses that are transparent and sustainable, and that share their values and ethics.
In fact, 83% of millennials expect brands to align with their values, and 68% of US consumers say a brand’s social responsibility reputation has at least some influence on their decision to buy.
That’s why more brands are developing products that align with their business values, prioritizing sustainability, and being transparent about their impact, goals, and how they use customer information.
Here are the statistics to back up this retail trend
- 43% of brands are creating products in 2022 that align with their values.
- 41% of brands are investing in being transparent about their social impact, vision, goals, and progress to boost customer trust.
- 44% of brands plan to be more transparent around how they use customer information.
- 53% of companies are making sustainability one of their top priorities for 2022, including improving the manufacturing process and using more sustainable packaging.
- In the last year, 41% of consumers said brands that made it easy to understand the actions they’re taking to achieve their environmental and/or social impact goals had a significant influence on their purchasing decisions.
- In 2021, 44% of customers chose to buy from brands that have a clear commitment to sustainability.
- In the last year, 41% of consumers chose to buy from brands that have a clear commitment to social causes.
- 42% of consumers said that knowing a brand is actively working on reducing their carbon footprint is important when deciding whether to purchase a product online.
- 46% of customers are more likely to purchase a product online if they’re able to recycle the product packaging.
Employee and customer acquisition and retention retail statistics
Forty-nine percent of retailers say hiring and retaining employees will be a top challenge over the next year, something 40% of brands are striving to improve. This comes as no surprise considering staff at major retailers have been expressing their frustration with the industry through striking and quitting.
Job openings in the US have hit an all-time high, and UK employers are experiencing the biggest shortage of job candidates ever.
This and the fact that shoppers expect top notch customer service means retailers need to reevaluate the store staff's role and provide opportunities and compensation to retain employees, especially because the happiness of your employees trickles down to the experience your customers have with your business.
Technology also plays a vital role in delivering a smooth experience across all sales channels—consumers want to be able to reach customer service on the channel of their choice (like live chat), watch product videos, and receive personalized recommendations. That’s why retailers are investing in employee training and technology to help staff succeed (and boost customer satisfaction) in 2022 and beyond.
Here’s what retailers are doing to improve the employee and customer experience and boost loyalty
- 39% of retailers say they’re investing in improving the tools and technologies employees use to do their day-to-day work.
- 40% of retailers plan to invest in training store staff to interact with customers using technology to improve the in-store experience.
- 46% of brands are investing in improving the employee experience so they can better serve customers and ultimately boost retention.
- 44% of brands plan to increase their employees’ interaction time with customers over the next year.
- 47% of brands plan to use customer feedback to improve products or customer experience within the next year.
- 58% of consumers say excellent past customer service influenced their decision to buy.
- In the last year, 58% of consumers say the ability to easily reach customer service on the channel of their choice influenced their decision to purchase.
- 43% of consumers say they’re likely to use live chat in the next year.
- 50% of consumers want to watch product videos before they buy.
- 50% of consumers say personalization based on their interests and past purchases have influenced their decision to purchase from a brand over the last year.
Shipping and logistics retail statistics
In the second half of 2021, supply chain challenges were one of the most talked about parts of commerce. Thirty-nine percent of brands say shipping and manufacturing delays and shipping costs will continue to be a top supply-chain-related challenge in the next 12 months, while roughly 45% of shoppers are actively looking for businesses that clearly show anticipated delivery times.
Consumers generally understand these difficulties, but they still want their orders delivered quickly, for free, and on time.
To meet customer expectations, brands and retailers must digitize their supply chains, focus on sustainability, lower costs associated with last mile delivery, and be transparent about the supply-chain-related complications they’re facing.
Here are the notable retail statistics related to shipping and logistics
- 49% of the brands are investing in not just their delivery practices but also transparency with their delivery promises, like sharing when an order is prepared and shipped.
- 43% of retailers are changing their shipping strategies to reduce the impact of global shipping delays.
- 41% of merchants plan to invest further in buy online, pickup in-store options like curbside pickup and click and collect.
- When it comes to searching for and buying products online, consumers find the following most valuable; 74% say upfront shipping costs, 68% say free returns and estimated arrival time, 59% say back-in-stock alerts , and 54% say available inventory alerts.
- 60% of consumers expect same-, next-, or two-day delivery, and 58% of those shoppers expect free next-day delivery.
- 35% of consumers are choosing shipping options like curbside pickup or click and collect to receive their orders in time.
- 75% of shoppers say free shipping continues to have a significant influence on purchasing decisions.
- 60% of consumers say fast shipping influences their decision to buy online.
- 53% of consumers say flexible shipping influences their decision to buy online.
- In the last year, 32% of customers have abandoned their carts because the estimated shipping time was too long.
- In 2021, 23% of shoppers abandoned their carts because there was no guaranteed delivery date.
Apply these retail statistics to your store
Whether you have one or many retail stores or prefer temporary retail options like pop-up shops and events, taking these retail statistics into account as we head into 2022 will help keep your business relevant as the retail landscape continues to evolve. If you’re not sure how to start implementing these trends, check out our Future of Retail 2022 report for actionable tips and merchant success stories.
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