5 Specialty Retail Trends For 2022

Posted by Karen Erdelac on Oct 6, 2021

5 Specialty Retail Trends For 2022The last two years have been unusual, to say the least. Retail owners have been forced to change their business models and even the products they sell. Many of the changes that have been made due to the pandemic will carry over for years to come. Here we take a look at five specialty retail trends for 2022.

Online Shopping

"60% of adults stated that they shopped mainly in person pre-pandemic. That figure has fallen to 37% now. In addition, 42% of the survey participants anticipate that they will be shopping in person and online equally in a year's time." We all know that consumers made the switch to predominantly online shopping during the pandemic, and it looks like that trend will continue well into the future. This makes it essential that retail owners launch some form of ecommerce store to remain competitive.

Private Labels

Private labels outsell branded products now at a rate of 300%. When stocking your store, you don't always need to have the biggest brands on your shelves. In many cases, that is actually a negative. Looking to private labels and even selling your own goods can be more appealing to consumers and provide you with bigger profit margins. Stocking items that are rare and exclusive to your store can give you a competitive advantage. The big brands can be found all over the large box stores. Make your business unique by focusing on private labels.

Free Shipping

"90% of consumers say they would shop online more often if given the option of free shipping. In addition, 24% of consumers admit they would spend more to qualify for free shipping." If you've moved to offering online shopping and ecommerce, it is a good idea to provide free shipping in some form. Whether that is across the board or once a customer hits a certain purchase amount is up to you. This may require a bit of an adjustment to your pricing and perhaps a renegotiation with your suppliers to ensure you don't cut into your profit margins.


Being able to offer personalized goods can be a major advantage for small retailers. This could mean embroidery, engravings, custom products, or unique packaging. Offering one-of-a-kind items can set you apart from the competition as your store will be the only place to purchase these items. Having the machinery and skill to do this type of work can also open you up for big contracts with schools and other organizations for trophies, awards, and custom clothing.

Customer Experience

With fewer consumers making the trip to physical locations, it is essential that you treat those that do with the utmost care and respect. Each customer should be greeted at the door with a warm welcome. Be personable with your customers and try to get to know them. Share a bit about yourself and the history of your store and its products. The relationships you build with your customers is what separates small retail from big box stores and online giants. Make sure your store is clean, comfortable, and inviting and that your staff is friendly and courteous.

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Topics: Specialty Retail