The big-ticket retail trends that will drive sales moving forward

The retail sector has undergone a period of rapid transformation. Driven partly by the impacts of Covid-19, this transformation accelerated trends that have been emerging for years and will now continue to be the major driver of sales in the future ahead.

But what exactly are the big themes that are set to keep playing out in the future?

According to a recent report by LS Retail, they can be broadly broken down into five key themes that every retailer should be aware of.

So, let’s take a look at what they consider are the big-ticket trends that will drive retail sales moving forward.

retail trends driving sales, paying with credit card on laptop
February 24, 2022


It’s no secret physical distancing and working from home have had a major impact on the way people peruse and purchase products, with e-commerce emerging as a necessity for retailers seeking to cater to the new normal.

In reality, the online trend has been increasing for years, and it will continue to be a major trend over the period ahead.

LS Retail explains, to stay competitive in the upcoming months, retailers need to set up an e-commerce strategy that considers and addresses multiple issues, including:

  • Cybersecurity – to ward of fraud and protect their customer’s information.
  • Infrastructure – to ensure the stability of the supply chain
  • Ability to scale – to cater to the ebbs and flows of e-commerce demand
  • Delivery – to allows for the swift purchase, then pickup or delivery of a customer’s item
  • Omnichannel – allowing customers to buy wherever they are (online, instore, click and collect)

Within the online realm, LS Retail also notes social selling is a booming trend, with customers now seeking to purchase directly through social media, without needing to click through to the retailer’s website.


The checkout reimagined

The checkout has been reimagined in the past two years, with self-service, contactless, and a frictionless experience all part of the customer expectation when it comes to making a purchase in-store.

the checkout reimagined

LS Retail predicts long lines and wait times will continue to become less common in the period ahead relying on a series of technology, including:

Self-checkouts – which take up less space, speed up the checkout process and allow for distance between staff and customers.

Mobile Point of Sale – This utilises tablets and mobile devices to take the checkout to the consumer, slashing time spent in the queue and allowing for a personalised sales experience.

Scan and Go – This sees the transaction firmly in the hands of the consumer, who uses an app to scan the items as they add them to their cart, and then complete payment prior to exit.

Cashierless stores – Made famous by Amazon Go, cashier-less stores are tipped to become increasingly popular, relaying on RFID technology, shelf sensors and overhead cameras to track the items customers add to their cart instore.

Contactless payments – Contactless payments, including payments made by digital wallets and touch and go credit or debit cards, increased in popularity during the pandemic and their popularity is tipped to further increase in the period ahead.

In terms of expectations, LS Retail notes market research firm Valuates Reports predicts that the contactless payment market will more than double in size by 2026.

Voice payments – Driven by the uptake of smart speakers and voice assistants, voice payments are gaining popularity, particularly in online retail.

This is predicted to increase in the months ahead courtesy of the convenience it offers, the growing popularity of smart speakers, and also advances in artificial intelligence.


A new era for physical stores

While consumers still have a deep love of the physical store, its role in retail is changing.

new era for physical stores

LS Retail predicts that will lead to shifts within the physical retail environment including:

Fewer products instore – Fewer products in a physical store have benefits for both the consumer and retailer, requiring less decision-making for the customer, less money tied up in inventory for the retailer, and less time devoted to product management.

Courtesy of the endless aisle provided by the digital experience, retailers can now have fewer product lines in-store and continue to cater to customer demand.

Dark stores – Dark stores act as fulfilment centres that customers do not visit. Instead, they act as warehouses where staff pick and pack orders made online. In the process, they speed up the delivery of online orders and have the ability to operate 24 hours.

Pop-up stores – Pop-up stores have been an emerging trend in recent years and that looks set to continue. They allow a retailer to test markets and products, tap into the customer’s fear of missing out, and go where their audience is.


Sustainable and ethical

Sustainable and ethical retail has become a major priority for consumers and that trend was compounded during Covid.

‘Buying local, buying less and buying better’ became common practice, while consumers looked to the manufacturing process of products, and considered the environmental credentials of the items they bought.

Sustainable and ethical

The reality is the values that a retailer espouses matter to their patrons, but it cannot simply be lip service. Consumers want to see retailers put their words into action and when they do these customers vote with their wallets and embrace loyalty.

The focus has also shifted beyond how products are made and what a brand stands for.

Customers now want assurance the staff working for a retailer are treated fairly and adequately compensated for their role.

LS Retail explains statistics indicate:

  • 71 per cent of consumers say they prefer buying from brands that align to their values.
  • 83 per cent of consumers believe it’s important or very important for brands to act sustainably.
  • 49 per cent of consumers consider whether companies take care of their employees as one of their top five purchasing considerations.
  • 66 per cent of consumers are willing to pay more for goods from brands that demonstrate social commitment.


Operational resiliency

LS Retail notes after months of disruption, operational resiliency and business continuity have become key points of focus for businesses.

“More retailers are investing in technologies that can make them ready for tomorrow, today,” they state.

operational resiliency

These technologies include harnessing the capability of the cloud to ensure business is operational anywhere, anytime, with real-time insights into what’s occurring.

Noting the benefits of cloud-based operations, LS Retail explains it allows retailers to:

  • Support collaboration for remote teams
  • Speed up decision making
  • Gain actionable insights
  • Innovate more easily
  • Scale faster, and
  • Limit risk

In turn, they note this allows retailers to better predict what will happen, and manage their inventory more effectively.


The final word

The retail sector continues to change and evolve, partly in response to the recent pandemic but also as part of the world’s ongoing embrace of new technology and convenience.

And this rate of change is only likely to accelerate in the years ahead. You can read more about the trends emerging in retail here, or view our range of products designed to assist retailers embracing a new era.