The biggest trends that will shape the retail industry in 2015 aren’t new, however a willingness from both customers and retailers to experiment marks an exciting time for the industry, says a new global report.
The 2015 Global Powers of Retailing report from Deloitte identifies the top 250 largest retailers based on revenue and examines global trends.
Deloitte Australia retail leader David White said, “While these trends are not new, what is interesting for 2015 is that even though the advances in technologies available to consumers and retailers have been exponential, we are seeing both consumers and retailers as more willing and quicker to experiment, adopt and move onto the latest technologies in more creative and innovative ways.”
According to Deloitte, 37 of the world’s top 250 retailers are now operating in Australia (up from 30 last year) with more likely to arrive in the future.
“With a weakening Australian dollar and ever increasing competitive pressures, we expect to see further interest by overseas retailers in the Australian retail market,” White said. “As major global players continue to enter the Australian market, and existing global retailers expand their store footprint, Australian retailers across all segments will continue to face significant challenges and increased competition. The ability to innovate, drive improved processes and to connect with the consumer will be critical in order to remain competitive.”
At the pace the retail industry is evolving retail trends could soon become the minimum level of service that customers demand.
The top five retail trends for 2015 according to Deloitte are:
1. Travel retailing
Retailing to travellers while they are in transit is “redefining notions of customer base and transforming the role airport retail plays in a company’s strategy. Around 15 per cent of the global population travel each year, spending the equivalent of a trillion US dollars in the process,” the report states. Dick Smith is one retailer honing in on this market, opening Move stores in Sydney Airport and looking for sites both nationally and internationally to continue its expansion plans.
2. Mobile retailing
“A projected 65 per cent of the global population will be using a mobile phone by 2015 and an estimated 83 per cent of internet usage will be through handheld devices.” This means that more e-commerce or m-commerce transactions will be conducted on handheld devices and retailers need to make sure their websites are mobile-friendly.
The report also cited the increasing popularity of wearables as providing new opportunities to engage consumers, including as a payment method. “The smartwatch sector is currently estimated at US$1.4 billion to US$1.8 billion but is expected to surge to US$10 billion by 2018. The full range of the wearable technology market is projected to hit US$30 billion in sales during the same period. Some predictions have shoppers purchasing via wearable devices as early as 2015.”
3. Faster retailing
Life isn’t slowing down in 2015; speed to market, speed to respond and speed to deliver will become more and more important for retailers and suppliers to distinguish themselves from competitors. “Millennials prefer fast response times and immediate gratification and successful retailers will cater to that (e.g. same day delivery).”
4. Experience retailing
“Experience retailing takes shopping and adds entertainment, emotion, deeper engagement, and sometimes even an entire environment.” Bringing a product to life in creative and engaging ways combined with a frictionless shopping experience will build your customer base. Personalising this experience is increasingly important and retailers should be examining the data they collect on customers to provide them with individual curated offers.
5. Innovative retailing
Breaking down these buzzwords, the fifth and final trend concerns embracing technology in a creative way to do things differently, with no one formula for success. It could mean retailers becoming importers, blurring of sectors (e.g. supermarkets as banks), mobile POS or pop-up stores.
“The near future of the retail industry is about adaptation and embracing change. The speed of innovation and the disruption it causes won’t cease, and the demands of customers will continue to escalate. To thrive in this environment retailers will respond quickly to threats and opportunities with innovations of their own. This requires connecting strategy, capabilities, and specific initiatives, guided by the insights provided by market data,” the report states.
It’s unlikely retailers will have the staff with these skill sets on hand so will have to look further afield to recruit staff that can benefit their business.
The report also recommends retailers pay close attention to the risk of cyber security threats in 2015, making sure the data the collect and share with third parties is securely stored, both to protect revenue and reputation.
The World’s Top Retailers
1. Wal-Mart Stores, U.S.
2. Costco, U.S.
3. Carrefour S.A., France
4. Schwarz Unternehmens Treuhand KG Germany
5. Tesco PLC, UK
6. The Kroger Co., U.S.
7. Metro AG, Germany
8. Aldi Einkauf GmbH & Co. oHG, Germany
9. The Home Depot, U.S.
10. Target Corporation U.S.
Australia’s Top Retailers
18. Woolworths Ltd Australia
22. Wesfarmers Limited Australia