The core trends that have shaped retail in 2021 may differ from those that come to the fore next year, according to Antoine Daviet (pictured), Head of Product Marketing, Trace One.
Following a pandemic period in which businesses have had to react to the myriad of changes in the marketplace, many will be looking to 2022 as a year in which they can embrace new trends as they occur, and have the foresight to visualise what is coming down the track so they can plan accordingly.
For Trace One, which specialises in supporting businesses through the entire private label development process – including sourcing, getting suppliers on board, product and packaging development and quality management – the most recent year has made one thing clear: change has accelerated, and it’s not showing any signs of slowing down.
“In 2021, following the first wave of COVID, everything started speeding up,” says Antoine Daviet, Head of Product Marketing at Trace One.
“We were following several trends in the marketplace before the pandemic – packaging reduction, eco-design, local consumption, e-commerce and digitalisation, among others – and all have accelerated this year.”
The Right Focus
As things return to normal, the challenge will be to determine which of these trends are likely to remain, and continue to gather pace, and which will turn out to be temporary – a response to the heightened circumstances of the past year and a half.
“Take local consumption, for example,” says Daviet. “That’s a trend that we’re keeping an eye on, because while it was in growth before COVID, there were a lot of new launches during the pandemic. At the moment, however, we’re not sure it’s going to remain at the same level. We need to watch it closely.”
For Trace One, therefore, it’s important that once a trend becomes established, it can offer relevant supports to its customers that add value to their organisations. Of course, no business is going to be dealing with single issues in isolation – in most cases, firms have multiple balls to juggle, from improving their sustainability score to bolstering their digital offer. As Daviet explains, data is key when it comes to developing solutions that can help businesses.
“Every time, it starts with collecting data, and then developing KPIs around that data,” he says. “It’s about finding a balance between offering a tailored approach that can help a particular business with a certain query, and respecting the independence of that business.”
As for a key trend that is set to shape the retail sector next year? According to Daviet, it’s likely to be a continuation of a trend that has been in growth for several years now – shoppers are asking more and more questions, and businesses need to make sure they have the right answers.
He adds, “We’ve been seeing this materialise for the past two or three years, or perhaps even the last five years,” he says. “Now, however, it’s accelerating.
“New trends are going to keep coming, one after another, and as solutions providers, it’s important that we keep up, both for ourselves and our customers.”
For more information on how Trace One can help you plan for the year ahead, log on to www.traceone.com.