10 Business Trends to Watch for in 2022

Dec 15, 2021

The past year has gone by in the blink of an eye and 2022 will be here before we know it. That means it's time to brush up on the latest business trends to incorporate into your next DECA role-play or prepared event.

DECA’s Competitive Events Specialist shares a look at the challenges and opportunities that businesses can expect in the year ahead.

1. Customer Service Focused on Loyal Customers vs New Customers

Recurring customers are shown to have more value than new customers. Studies show it costs five times as much to attract a new customer than to retain loyal customers. Businesses need to demonstrate extraordinary customer service focused on keeping loyal customers happy.

2. Less Is More

Too many marketing options—both digital and traditional—have resulted in businesses being spread too thin and not making a significant impact on any channel. Marketers must focus on exceeding goals on fewer objectives. Think quality over quantity; it is paramount for businesses to excel in a few marketing goals rather than doing a poor job on too many.

3. Remote Work the Norm

The pandemic resulted in many businesses being forced to offer remote work. One benefit is that it demonstrated that employees are capable of quality work outside of the traditional workspace. This year, hybrid or employee-choice will continue to be an option. With pandemic protocols lifting, there has also been another shift to co-working spaces.

4. Employee Recruitment and Retention

Employers are still encountering challenges in recruiting and retaining employees. Not only are companies using signing and retention bonuses as incentives, but also unique job perks and flexible scheduling. Companies marketing their ethics, values and culture will become a greater trend in 2022 as this has proven to be an important decision-making factor in prospects choosing employment opportunities.

5. Shift to Off-Premise Dining Continues

During the pandemic, restaurants had to shift from on-premise to off-premise dining. Focus shifted to curbside and delivery options made from mobile apps, online-only ordering, websites and third-party delivery companies. Many restaurants rushed to make these needed changes. Now, restaurants have time to polish their off-premise dining operations to ensure best practices are in place. Trends show that off-premise dining options are still favored by customers and will continue.

6. Branded Meal Kits

Grocery stores are selling more packaged meal kits than ever before. Restaurants are now reevaluating their brands to try to enter this popular retail market. This year, many national restaurant chains will unveil packaged meal kits in grocery stores hoping to build their brands and gain new customers.

7. Solo Travel

Leisure travel tends to focus on couples and families; however, solo trips have become more and more popular. Travel industries are aware of this shift and are starting to offer more services for this unique demographic with mixed needs. Some solo travelers prefer to engage in social activities to meet new people while other solo travelers prefer relaxation and solitude without distractions.

8. Travelers Demand Sustainability from Hotels

Large hospitality companies are making pledges to zero-out greenhouse gas emissions, end the use of disposable products, amp up recycling efforts, be energy-efficient and use eco-certified badges to promote their properties. These acts of sustainability are increasingly important to travelers making it a very important trend in 2022 and beyond.

9. Privacy: An Advertising Challenge

Digital ads rely on data for optimization. New privacy regulations like the iOS upgrade and the true potential of removing cookies will reduce the amount of data available to advertisers and marketers. Marketers will need to be proactive to keep up with new regulations and determine how to best collect data to reach consumers.

10. SEO More Integrated

Search engine algorithms have become smarter and more contextual. This means marketers should focus more on excellent user experience rather than Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Look for meaningful user experiences in 2022.


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Discussion Questions

  • 1
    Which of these trends do you think will have the greatest impact in 2022? Why?
  • 2
    Which of these trends do you think will have the least impact in 2022? Why?
  • 3
    Research another trend predicition for 2022 not on this list. Why do you think that trend is important for the coming year?
  • 4
    Check out the "Top 10 Marketing Trends to Watch for in 2021" article on DECA Direct. Select two trends from the article and discuss how the trends came to life (or not) during 2021.

Classroom Connection

Career CLuster:

Business Management and Administration

Instructional Area(s):

Performance Indicators:

Describe current business trends
Describe current issues and trends in the hospitality and tourism industry
Describe current issues/trends in marketing communications
Develop insights using trends occurring in other industries
Describe current issues and trends in the hotel/lodging industry
Explain trends in human resources management