NEW YORK–()–After a strong 2021, retailers are generally optimistic about digital sales this year and are looking to build lifetime value with customers through loyalty programs and better, more personal customer experiences to mitigate rising social media advertising costs, continuing supply chain challenges and increasing inflation. According to a recent survey of 118 digital marketing and e-commerce executives conducted by CommerceNext in partnership with CommX, developing more meaningful customer relationships through loyalty programs is a top priority for brands, with 52% of respondents planning to either launch a loyalty program in 2022 or expand their current one. The survey also found that many retailers think investing in buzzy technologies like crypto payments and AR/VR is a much lower priority than investing in personalization, navigation and discovery, and search in order to keep customers coming back.

“Paid social will remain the top acquisition channel in 2022, but its high costs have retailers looking for models that will generate higher ROI in 2022,” said Scott Silverman, Co-Founder of CommerceNext. “Brands looking to endear their customers to them are prioritizing loyalty, experience and personalization and we’ll see retailers focusing their money and marketing efforts on either launching or expanding loyalty programs in 2022 in order to build better, more enduring brands.”

Among all executives surveyed, supply chain challenges continue to be seen as the primary risk to achieving desired sales results, cited by 61% of respondents, while 75% of digital-first retailers surveyed said rising customer acquisition costs were their primary concern. Inflation concerns are top of mind, too, with 56% of respondents anticipating a minimum 6% increase in prices and 20% expecting an increase of over 10%. In terms of opportunities for 2022, retailers see the on-site consumer experience as a high-impact priority and are ramping up personalization efforts and upgrading site search and product discovery tools. Added revenue streams, like international e-commerce, are clear areas of focus as well, while brand executives’ views on social commerce are mixed, with 45% of respondents saying they are still “considering it,” but not prioritizing it.

“With a number of headwinds ahead for retailers in terms of the supply chain, inflation, and world events it’s now more important than ever for brands to invest in opportunities that allow them to own their own data and build that lifetime value for customers,” said Brian Walker, Chief Strategy Officer of Bloomreach, a founding member of CommX. “The more brands prioritize the customer experience, and retention through diversified efforts beyond acquisition and paid social, the better they’ll fare throughout the year and the more sustainable their business will be.”

Download the report to see all the key findings from the survey here.


CommerceNext surveyed 118 digital marketers and e-commerce executives at top retail, wholesale and direct-to-consumer brands across verticals that include apparel, beauty, footwear and home. The survey was fielded online between December 15, 2021 and January 7, 2022.

About CommerceNext

CommerceNext is a community, event series and conference for marketers at retail and direct-to-consumer brands. Now in its fourth year, CommerceNext has grown to include webinars, virtual summits, industry research and an online community, in addition to the annual CommerceNext Summit and the esteemed CommerceNexty Awards. Inc. magazine named the CommerceNext Summit one of the Top 5 e-commerce conferences for 2019/2020. To learn more about CommerceNext, visit

About the Commerce Experience Collective

The Commerce Experience Collective (CommX) is a cabinet of hand-selected leaders from across the industry, joined in their mission to define, build, and set best practices for the commerce experience as a discipline. CommX founding members include: Bloomreach, the world’s #1 Commerce Experience Cloud; Fast, the world’s fastest online checkout experience; Mirakl, the leading provider of marketplace solutions; ShipBob, the leading global omnifulfillment platform; and Sinch, a global leader in cloud communications for mobile customer engagement. CommX is fueled by exclusive research and insights from CommerceNext, a community for marketers at retail and direct-to-consumer brands. For more information, visit: www.commerce

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