Insight: Centre:mk report highlights future trends in retail
A new study has identified a range of consumer trends that it predicts will have a significant impact on the future of retail and leisure destinations.
Commissioned by Centre:mk joint owners Hermes Investment Management and AustralianSuper, The Future Shopper Report says a new breed of consumer will be visiting shopping and leisure destinations by 2025 and that their behaviour will be led by three distinct trends that retailers will need to embrace.
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The report predicts that shoppers will increasingly visit retail destinations in search of communal experiences where buying products goes hand-in-hand with social interactions to drive loyalty. It says stores will be more likely to offer rewards such as exclusive products, immersive experiences, and lifestyle services that offer solutions for busy modern lifestyles. According to the study, 75% of Generation Z consumers already prefer to visit stores that offer a memorable and encouraging experience, with 50% of 20-year-olds searching for an enhanced retail offering from bricks-and-mortar spaces.
The study also forecasts that shoppers will place more emphasis on brands’ ethical behaviours. It highlights the Edelman Trust Barometer which last year identified that 56% of consumers already regard ethical and open business practices as important in building belief in a brand. According to The Future Shopper report, this trend will grow significantly and will shape how retailers and shopping destinations look to attract shoppers.
Finally, the report identifies the changing way in which customer service is perceived and valued by consumers. It predicts that shoppers will expect staff to be knowledgeable and enthusiastic collaborators in their purchasing experience after research found that 78% of consumers regard sales staff with a detailed product knowledge and confidence with in-store technology as key in driving brand loyalty. For retail and leisure destinations, this will mean employing emotionally intelligent, highly motivated, well paid ‘brand fans’ that are knowledgeable about brands, stores and the experiences available.
The report was written by foresight consultancy The Future Laboratory.
Kathryn Bishop, deputy foresight editor at The Future Laboratory and the report’s author, said: “Over the next ten years, a series of powerful new social, cultural and technological driving forces will reshape consumers’ expectations of retail and leisure destinations. Tomorrow’s consumers will seek a greater sense of belonging, which malls can facilitate, complete transparency from brands, and to have engaging experiences with staff. The smart destinations are those that recognise the changes are happening now and respond, rather than waiting, which will be too late.”
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