A lifestyle store is generally defined as a shop that sells lots of different products all in one place. Lifestyle stores have grown in popularity over recent years as they bring a host of brands together under one roof to enable consumers to aspire to certain types of lifestyle. Most stores are independently owned and thus the products they stock tend to reflect the passions, tastes and lifestyle aspirations of their owners.
Lifestyle shops mirror the lifestyle of their target audience, whether this be in their physical stores or online via their ecommerce websites. Products are carefully chosen to reflect the needs, wants and tastes of the target market and presented in such a way that consumers can see in one place the lifestyle that they aspire to. This might include the furniture and decor they want in their homes, the gifts they want to give to their loved ones or the products they want for their children.
As consumers look for new retail experiences and the younger generations expect more stimulation, stores need to diversify in order to keep up with varying tastes which is something that lifestyle stores, with their multiple categories and brands, can really deliver on. That’s why experts are predicting that lifestyle stores will continue to grow in popularity throughout 2022 as shoppers look for engaging and inspirational shopping experiences in the wake of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
So, what then can you expect from a lifestyle store in 2022?
Growth in online shopping
Even those with a staunch preference for brick and mortar stores were forced to change their shopping habits during Covid-19 enforced lockdowns, when we saw a massive switch towards digital shopping. Many lifestyle stores, which had previously relied mainly or solely on their physical stores, had to adapt to ecommerce during 2020 and 2021 and with those foundations in place and shopping habits changed for good you can expect lifestyle shops to take advantage of this going forward and deliver more aspirational lifestyle products from their online stores whilst finding creative ways to blend the offline and online experience.
Social commerce is also a growing trend, with more and more people shopping from social media apps and sites and in particular using mobile phones to make purchases. You can therefore expect to see more posts and targeted adverts in your news feeds from lifestyle brands looking to show you how they fit in with your tastes.
More demand for ethical brands
Consumers are increasingly seeking out ethical brands or those who are transparent about what they sell, where it comes from and how it was made. These values are important to shoppers and so they will become more and more important to retailers looking to grow, retain and nurture their customer base. Lifestyle stores are in a great position to take advantage of this as they already choose their products to reflect a certain kind of lifestyle and can go one step further to align the items they source and the brands they stock with the ethical and transparency values consumers are increasingly favouring.
Working from home changing homeware and clothing trends
With more and more people working from home either full time or on a hybrid model, how we design and configure our space is changing, opening up new opportunities for lifestyle stores to offer further products that enhance and decorate our living space. With many employees no longer having to ‘fit in’ with the workplace culture and style, it gives free reign to make the workspace you have at home a place where you can be productive but, more importantly, where you can also be you. Therefore, lifestyle shoppers will be increasingly looking for home decor elements to enhance and soften their working environment, perhaps adding pot plants and scented candles to work areas to make them more appealing.
How we dress is also changing. As we work more from home, casual, relaxed clothing which is more practical and comfortable is very much at the top of the list, so expect to see further increases in soft, stretchy and comforting clothing, layers and knits to cope with adjustable temperatures to be in demand.
The need to support local businesses
Despite the inevitable rise in online shopping, the pandemic has also brought about increased loyalty towards local brands. Whether this stems from not being able to travel outside your area during the worst periods, disruption to the supply chain or a need to save local shops from closing down, consumers have fallen back in love with local stores. Not only from the point of view of visiting these physical stores, but taking advantage of the local delivery options on offer. We can expect to see these services continue and people returning to the high street to support the stores they have enjoyed deliveries from during periods of lockdown and isolation.
A desire for conversational commerce
Chatbots might seem like a good idea, but consumers are becoming increasingly frustrated about not being able to talk to a real person. With many of the major brands moving all of their customer support online during the pandemic, consumers have missed out on the opportunity to chat to someone helpful to resolve problems in person. That desire for conversational commerce is predicted to grow in 2022 and smaller lifestyle stores will be able to use their position as family run or independent businesses, to connect with their customers and bring back good old fashioned customer service.
Lifestyle stores are in a great position to take these trends and grow in 2022, not only in terms of the lifestyle products they choose to sell but also how they present them both online and offline and how they communicate with customers. By staying up to date with the latest trends and continuing to provide products that help people to reach their lifestyle goals, these stores can retain and grow their share of the retail marketplace.
To browse products that might fit in with your lifestyle aspirations visit lifestyle store Moonflower Shops where you can browse online or in store at their two shops on Stroud high street in Gloucestershire.