Monday, March 4, 2013

Australian retail trends 2013

I recently answered a series of questions for the Australian Centre for Retail Studies monthly newsletter looking at the Australian retail landspace for 2013. Below are my responses. (You can sign up to the newsletter here).

What are the key retailing trends for 2013?
Multi-channel retailing, the globalisation of retail, and consumers seeking experiences not just products when they shop will all continue to be significant trends in 2013. 3D printing will continue to advance but it has a few more years to develop before we start to see the massive impact it will have on the retail industry in the future.

How do you anticipate market conditions locally and internationally changing over the next 12 months?
International retailers love the Australian market, and more of them are likely to invest here over the next 12 months. Amongst the big online retailers ASOS and Net-a-Porter both put their first people on the ground in Australia in 2012 and there are rumours Amazon are gearing up to launch here. Of the big offline players Costco, Aldi and Ikea all continue to invest in more stores. This trend will continue. Australia isn’t an isolated retail island anymore, the retail market has opened up globally and we need to be in a position to compete with the international players. It’s also a fantastic opportunity for Australian retailers to sell our products globally. We now have a market of 7 billion people on our doorstep, not just 22 million!

What is your omni-channel strategy for 2013?
The big move for us is going to be offline. As a pure play online retailer we can see the significant advantages that exist to being able to offer our customers an offline retail experience where they can try the shoes on, see and touch the materials and receive help from someone working in the store. Watch this space for us in 2013!

How will the increasing number of international retailers entering Australia change the retailing landscape?
More competition = more innovation. 10 years ago one of the exciting things about travelling overseas was the different, amazing shopping experiences you could have. Today we can have those same experiences in Pinkemba, Preston or Penrith - we just do it online! As Australian retailers we need to be more innovative to compete in this environment.

What are the key consumer trends that are emerging at the moment?
Consumers shopping habits are changing. They want to be able to be able to interact and shop from a retailer through any channel they choose; offline, online, mobile. We as retailers need to be able to offer a seamless experience across all these channels. If someone wants to try our shoes on, we need to provide an offline environment for them to do this. If they want to design online, we need to be there. If they want to design on their couch we need to offer a great tablet and mobile experience. If we can offer this, we’ll grow our base of happy customers.

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