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Retail Trends to Watch 2023

  • 12th January 2023

Written by Andréa Williams, Head of Marketing

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Over the next few weeks, we’re going to be digging deep into the trends that are transforming retail in 2023 and look at what this means for retailers and how they operate.

Whilst the market might look pretty damp heading into this year, there are plenty of opportunities to reach new audiences within your target market and optimise sales activity, fuelling crucial growth.

82% of UK businesses are targeting significant growth in 2023 despite economic factors. Technology tends to be at the heart of this growth, allowing brands to scale quickly and respond to trends faster.

Retail Trends 2023 (Infographic)


The resale market will boom in 2023 as brands start to take back control of their second-hand markets.

Rising inflation, tighter budgets, environmental concerns and a move towards appreciating pieces with unique value are all driving progress in the resale market which is expected to grow 126% by 2026.

It is expected that by 2025 it will be the norm for retailers to have their own resale selections within stores, here’s who’s already doing it well:

  • Selfridges is aiming for almost half its interactions with customers to be based on resale, repair, rental or refills by 2030 as the upmarket department store responds to increasing demand for more sustainable shopping.
  • Jigsaw teamed up with luxury rental and re-sale platform My Wardrobe HQ in 2021, giving consumers the change to rent collections and sell any of their own pre-loved Jigsaw items. With the intent of creating a sustainable future for fashion and encouraging new ways to shop, Jigsaw were the first brand to offer a fully circular model with My Wardrobe HQ.
  • Harvey Nichols is also well-rehearsed in the second-hand resale market, partnering with Reflaunt. The resell service enables Harvey Nichols customers to resell their bags and luxury pieces, receiving up to 80% of the original price when the items are resold.

Social Commerce

In 2021, US consumers spent $37bn on goods and services purchased through social-commerce channels, expected to hit $80bn and $2 trillion globally in 2025. Other than a vital boost to sales, selling through platforms like TikTok and Instagram can help you reach a global audience and leverage social proof, whilst allowing you to interact with customers directly and of course, create a truly frictionless shopping experience.

Levelling up the social commerce space is live commerce. Live stream shopping events are taking over TikTok feeds across the world. Gamifying the shopping experience, enhancing interactivity, and offering entertainment through audience participation via chat functions and reaction buttons, live streaming opens up your brand to entirely new generation who’s spending power and disposable income are consistently increasing.

Return options

2022 saw a rise in retailers charging for shoppers to return online purchases, with ¼ of the UK’s leading retailers charging an average cost of £3.53 for a return. But this hasn’t impacted return rates with online returns up 26.6% in November 2022.

Consumers generally feel pretty neutral about paying for returns as most of the brands charging for returns offer free delivery in the first place. Whilst paid returns could become a barrier to purchase, retailers can look at how they increase return options to justify the price.

Offering a variety of ways for customers to return will make or break loyalty. There are a range of return options available, but most retailers only offer two methods. Consumers like the convenience of having their returns picked up from their homes, but they also like to head into store to look at other items whilst making their return.

As consumer expectations of the shopping experience increase, so do their expectations of returns. It’s likely that we’ll see a sharp increase of return options in 2023.

Labour shortages to continue

The BRC stated that retail vacancies remain near record highs at 1.19m. It’s expected that open vacancies reached at the end of 2022, but with unemployment sitting at 3.7%, it will be a slow return to any sort of balance for the retail labour market.

Retailers are looking at ways to leverage automated tools in retail processes to manage labour shortages whilst offering an increase in productivity and accuracy. Voice picking is one way that retailers are optimising their warehouse processes and something we can expect to see increase in 2023.

Voice picking is a method of method of order fulfilment in which warehouse workers use voice-directed technology to pick items from a warehouse or distribution centre using simple voice prompts to guide the worker through the picking process.

The technology eliminates the need for workers to manually check paper-based pick lists or use handheld scanners, which can be time-consuming and prone to errors. Instead, workers can simply listen to the voice prompts and follow the instructions provided by the software. Additionally, voice picking enables the worker to have both hands free, allowing them to move faster and more efficiently.

This is just one automated method increasing efficiency in the warehousing process and overcoming labour challenges, we can expect to see many more adaptations to retail processes as we go through the year.


Tune in over the next couple of weeks as we look at some of these topics in more detail and how Merret Pro is geared to deliver and overcome retail challenges in 2023.

Merret Pro is our award-winning omnichannel supply chain solution, designed and developed for the demands of modern retail. It is a complete, end-to-end software solution, with a central stock pool and single view of stock; allowing retailers to improve full-price sales performance, increase profits, and provide consistently excellent shopping experiences.

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Read more about retail tech predictions for 2023 from our partner Datitude here

  • 12th January 2023

Written by Andréa Williams, Head of Marketing

Add me on LinkedIn

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