Pandemic uncertainties for retailers expected to continue in 2022 as businesses adapt to changing consumer behaviour
As India’s retail industry works towards recovering from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the surge of Omicron cases has caused uncertainty once again as local restrictions return to some states in the New Year.
With Haryana introducing vaccine mandates for entering retail establishments and Delhi returning to an odd-even opening model for ‘non-essential’ shops, the New Year spells a return to uncertainty for many retailers. Not only do stores have to contend with operational regulations, they also have to adapt to the changes in consumer behaviour the pandemic brought about.
“Customers now decide 'when to shop', 'where to shop' and 'how to shop'- be it online, offline or a mix of both,” Metro Cash & Carry India’s managing director and CEO Arvind Mediratta told the Press Trust of India. “They are looking at a seamless omni-channel experience. Hence, phygital has emerged as an intrinsic part of customers' shopping experience, and this integration between offline and online retail is likely to grow.”
Phygital retail is expected to remain a key strategy in 2022, putting an emphasis on strengthening the supply chain. E-commerce hiring will continue to increase and supply chain and logistics jobs will be some of the most in-demand.
Other retail trends expounded by the pandemic include a demand for interactive, influencer and celebrity-led video shopping. Brands including Nykaa and Flipkart embraced video shopping in 2021 and more retailers are set to adopt the tactic in 2022.
Covid-19 also resulted in a greater demand for ‘health’ products in the personal care, beauty, and nutrition markets. Clean beauty and sustainable fashion both rose in popularity during the pandemic which continues to result in brands launching ethical product lines and sub-brands.
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