How shoppers are now buying and what we can expect in the year ahead is the question being asked in today’s InternetRetailing newsletter. We report as the first multichannel and ecommerce retailers report their figures after a Christmas that was marked by supply chain issues, staff shortages – and changing customer behaviour. And we go on to explore those shifts in how shoppers are buying and how they may buy this year are explored in the latest of our series of 2022 predictions pieces and in our coverage of the latest metaverse-ready styles and technology.
Next has reported strong full-price sales in the run up to Christmas and is raising its sales and profit forecasts as a result. It says that strong consumer demand drove online growth, despite stock and staff shortages that made it harder to meet delivery promises. However, in-store sales continue to decline, while the retailer says it’s hard to know how shoppers will spend this year in the light of rising costs – it expects its own like-for-like prices to rise by 6% by the autumn, while utilities and National Insurance are also on the way up.
Made.com saw a strong year last year – again, despite its own share of disruption. The digital furniture brand was affected both by factory closures in Vietnam and by wider global supply chain issues that meant it was short of stock in the peak trading season. Looking ahead, its marketplace is set for growth as it moves out of a beta test phase.
Boots, reporting on its first quarter, shows that online sales growth has been running at double pre-Covid levels, while footfall has yet to match its pre-pandemic figures. The health and beauty retailer investing in both online and in-store healthcare solutions as it looks to serve shoppers wherever they are.
We’re also looking firmly to the future as we take a look at the newest designs intended to help shoppers make the most of the added convenience that the metaverse is set to bring. Today’s 2022 predictions piece looks at shifting consumer behaviour and flags up social commerce, hybrid lifestyles and whether shoppers will be going back to stores any time soon.
Today’s guest comment comes from Fran Quilty of Conjura who argues that agility shouldn’t end at the finance team.