Consumer behaviour analyst, Stylus, has released a report exploring the most significant shifts in consumer attitudes, technological innovations and business strategies it claims will shape the industry throughout 2012 and beyond.
Ryan Ross, chief creative officer at Stylus, said: “A new generation of tech-smart consumers is demanding a seamless shopping experience where choice is king and all retail platforms work in perfect synergy. Consumers should be able to begin a transaction on one platform and finish on another, if desired.
“In such a fast-moving digital age, the consumer has more choice than ever. Retailers must therefore be creative and engage with their consumers by slowing the retail process down, building communities in-store and online, and addressing specialist consumer needs.”
Among some of the recommendations to retailers in Stylus’ Future of Retail report are:
- Adopting multi-channel commerce – retailers should enable their customers to start and finish the buying process in different locations eg in-store, online, or through a mobile phone
- Slowing down the retail journey – maximise the face-to-face human aspect of their proposition, in order to defend their customer base
- Using technology – retailers should use technology to enhance in-store experiences
- Being responsive – adopt a less rigid, responsive mode of retailing, which is more readily able to adapt in an increasingly volatile retail landscape
- Consumer-powered retailing – the choice to ‘slow down’ or ‘speed up’ the retail experience must be the consumer’s.
The report also highlights a boom in mobile commerce, and recommends retailers make preparations to tap into this new method of buying.
“Smart phone commerce currently makes up 10% of online sales,” said Ryan. “This is a relatively small number, but smart phone usage is facing a boom. Retailers need to recognise smart phone transactions will increase drastically in the near future, and should be incorporating this into their sales strategies.”
Stylus tracks consumer behaviour and cultural shifts across technology, media, retail, travel, leisure and spaces and is used by product, design, marketing, branding, strategy, innovation and business development departments across the world to stimulate ideas, tap into the latest consumer obsession and push innovation and design to a new level.