The retail market is showing signs of recovery amid changing customer behaviour, giving retailers some hope of respite from the tough conditions of the past four years, according to AMP Capital Shopping Centres’ latest Recommended Retail Practice Report.
The eighth annual report has also found the most successful retailers will be the ones who embrace trends such as the rise of consumer power, the internationalisation of the Australian retail market and an increasingly urban population.
Titled The New Consumer Paradigm: Embracing the Evolving Retail Landscape, the report examined five of the major structural shifts set to influence and shape Australian society from a macro level – globalisation, generational evolution, urbanisation, technology and innovation, and consumer behaviour.
Bryan Hynes, MD of AMP Capital Shopping Centres, said that retail is of fundamental importance to the Australian economy, and while consumer confidence has suffered since the global financial crisis, the report has found Australian consumers are ready and willing to spend if the product and experience are right.
Five key out takes
Be internationally competitive
Michael Baker, a retail and retail property consultant, argues that with international retailers predicted to capture six per cent of the Australian fashion market during the next five years, it’s essential the local industry responds seriously with tactics such as critical investments in mobile and e-commerce, assortments and pricing.
Understand your audience
Tony Dimasi, retail research expert, recommends an understanding of generational cohorts to help build a better and stronger business although this is no magic bullet. For example, Gen Y loves Mexican food and are also significant purchasers of fashion, although at low price points.
Support the New Great Aussie Dream
Gavin Duane, market and economic retail expert, says the retail industry can react to more Australians living in dense inner suburban areas. Retailers and shopping centre landlords should consider services such as 24 hour trading and a greater food and entertainment offer.
Seamlessly merge the digital and analogue world
Anders Sörman-Nilsson, futurist and innovation strategist, advises retailers on how to best provide informational value to consumers’ increasingly digitised, rational minds while still connecting experientially with their enduringly analogue, emotional hearts.
Help your shoppers boost their ‘Status 2.0’
Dr Amantha Imber, innovation psychologist, investigates how retailers can differentiate themselves by supporting their customers in improving their social media status. Embracing customer desires is key to success in remaining relevant in this changing retail landscape.
Hynes emphasised the crucial role of the research to the business and retailers around the country.
“This significant piece of research comes at a time when AMP Capital Shopping Centres has embarked on a remarkable $2.5 billion redevelopment pipeline of its key shopping centres to create the next generation of Australian retail.
“As the industry has evolved during the past eight years, so have our Recommended Retail Practice Reports. They have developed from an index of spending intent through to last year’s fascinating indepth interviews with some of Australia’s leading retail success stories. We are focused on providing the most relevant and timely insights as we create true retail, leisure and entertainment destinations that are world class,” he said.
The 2013 Recommended Retail Practice Report can be downloaded from ampcscresearchhub.com.au.