What’s happening in retail? How can retailers keep up with recent changes in shopper behaviour? What technologies and marketing strategies can retailers use to stay ahead of the curve?
Our recent Retail Masterclass in Soho’s Groucho Club got under the skin of the current situation to investigate what’s going on and what’s in store for retailers in the coming years.
During the morning-long session, our team of experts, including guest speakers Jeremy Dodd from Go Instore and Andy Drake from Tobii, focussed on what retailers need to do to survive and thrive in these challenging times.
REASONS FOR OPTIMISM
It’s true, 2018 saw 40% net more store closes than 2017 and it’s predicted that 27 UK stores will close every day in 2019. However, when you include online in the equation, the retail sector looks healthy. The sales value of retailing in the UK is on the up and, globally, the value of retail sales is expected to grow by $2.8 trillion.
Bricks and mortar stores aren’t dead, it’s just that their role is changing. While online shopping is convenient and accessible, visiting a store still clearly offers the potential for a richer shopping experience.
CHANGING SHOPPER BEHAVIOURS
Consumers are increasingly channel and brand agnostic and are making purchase decisions based on convenience. So much so that, by 2020, customer experience will overtake price difference as a key brand differentiator.
Brands need to be there for customers when they want price checks, product comparisons, expert advice, prompt deliver and exceptional customer service. It’s all about letting your customer shop when they want, how they want, using the channel they want.
As Justin King CBE, Former CEO, Sainsbury’s noted, “In 2020, 20% of retail is occupied online. So, in 2030 I predict 30% of retail will be online…BUT in 2030 we won’t recognise the distinction between an online and in-store sale, it’ll all blur into one. So, as a retailer, you need to be more mobile, more agile to cope with change.”
TECHNOLOGY AND CUSTOMER PERSONAS
Other illuminating topics covered during the session included how convenience stores are evolving and experiential centres are on the rise.
We investigated how technology is continuing to play an increasing importance in the sector with 86% of retailers investing in AI and Machine Learning this year.
We also considered customer personas and their value in understanding buyer behaviours so we can target the right person at the right time with the right message..
SIGN UP FOR THE RE-RUN
Feel like you might have missed out on a session that could have been relevant to you? Don’t worry, we’ll be re-running the Masterclass in September and you can reserve your place below.