Four UK trends businesses need to know for 2022

For businesses, understanding the climate in which you are operating is fundamental to maintaining a successful brand. Simply choosing to exist without understanding the marketplace makes it impossible to deliver a clear message for consumers. 

Now that the dust has settled on the recent business insights and impact on the UK economy report, we’ve outlined the main points. Marketing teams that understand the challenges their businesses faced last Q4 will be better equipped to create effective strategies for the new year.

1 | Trading holding firm

The percentage of businesses currently trading stayed largely stable throughout November 2021 at 91%, while the percentage of businesses that temporarily shut down remained at 5% during the same period. Of course, pausing trade is never good news for any business. But given the broader context surrounding Brexit and COVID-19, this remains a largely positive sign going into 2022.

2 | Recruitment is a challenge

15% of businesses reported staffing shortages last November. The hospitality industry was hit particularly hard, with up to 40% of businesses in this sector reporting staffing problems, leading to 65% of employees working overtime.

Plus, also in November, The Guardian reported that “almost a quarter of workers are actively planning to change employers in the next few months.” This suggests that “The Great Resignation” period, in which large numbers of employees hand in their notice to employers, will continue into 2022.

3 | Price increases continue

The cost of running a business—including the price of materials, goods, and services—increased again in November, with 38% of companies reporting that they’re spending more than the previous month. But this spike is in line with the increase in price in goods or services sold in the same period, with wholesale, retail and motor vehicles industries reporting price increases up to 32%. 

4 | Supply chain disruptions remain

Businesses are still reporting the same supply chain issues that have been going on since July 2021. Nearly 20% of companies say that they’re still not able to get the goods or services they need from UK suppliers. Additionally, the number of businesses that have reported stockpiling goods and materials has doubled since the question was first posed back in February.

Bonus trend: Keep your existing customers

Businesses face challenging times going into 2022. The most important thing to focus on—regardless of what unexpected problems may pop up—is keeping customers happy and invested in your brand. The people who shopped with your business over Black Friday and now in your January sales might have come for the shiny discount, but 2022 is the time to drive customer loyalty.

Want to drive business growth that outlasts annual trends? Learn how to drive long-term customer loyalty.

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