2023 is on the horizon and for most retailers and restaurants, it can’t get here fast enough. Inflation and underperforming sales targets have made 2022 a tough year, yet there is always the promise that comes with a changing calendar. Companies will be going all in for 2023 in an effort to make up for lost time and revenue. Inflation and labor shortages won’t solve themselves next year, although we could see some innovative solutions implemented to overcome them. Not all ideas will be ready for prime time and it will be worth watching to find the trends that hit home.

The most important trend of 2023 will be the evolution of the omnichannel experience. Businesses have been trying to merge their digital and physical channels for years, yet we will finally see a balancing act next year. Technology will be key as both eateries and shops place a greater emphasis on the importance of things like mobile apps. Restaurants have started moving most of their deals and limited time menu items to their individual loyalty apps and we could see this explode next year. We will likely see a continued shift away from traditional national deals such as dollar menus and carry out deals in lieu of personalized offers. This will boost revenue and push customers toward enrolling in loyalty plans. These allow restaurants to bridge the gap between physical and digital storefronts by offering a more seamless experience while also collecting valuable data in the process. Next year we could see more brands move popular menu items to digital only menus in an effort to drive up membership. We will also see more automated technologies present and some brands will be testing out automated stores. We are still far away from a host of robotic restaurants, yet it will be interesting to see how consumers respond to these concepts

Retailers will also move towards more digital interactions and a higher degree of integration between their physical and digital presence. We will see stores lean more into dynamic pricing, a flexible real-time pricing model, and limited time deals that are personalized in order to draw consumers away from competitors. Dynamic pricing in particular, could see wide spread use next year as way to combat inflation and deal with seasonal demand. Consumer response to the trend will be critical; however, if it is implemented through personalized applications, they could be more receptive to it. We will see more stores use apps as a means to combat supply and labor shortages. These problems will continue to hamper operations and personalized applications can direct consumers to online storefronts and alternative locations when their local stores are facing a shortage. We are unlikely to see many fully automated grocery or retail stores next year, yet advances like app based checkout lanes and pick-up areas will reduce the strain on an already stretched workforce.

Connecting to customers on a more personal level through the omnichannel experience is going to be one of the major trends we see next year. Consumer spending has not been what most businesses had hoped it would be this year and they know that innovation is required to bring consumers back. Consumers are never going to like paying higher prices, yet they do place considerable value on convenience. By improving the relationship between their physical and online offerings, companies can reduce their own costs while providing deals and accessibility that consumers are willing to spend on. 2023 will be intriguing year that could bring solutions to many of this year’s roadblocks.