Australian Retail Outlook 2013

April 3, 2013

Aust Reatail Outlook cover photoHere’s an excerpt from this year’s Australian Retail Outlook magazine with my thoughts on the year ahead for retail:

Aust Retail Outlook 2013

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Tomorrow’s Shopping

October 17, 2012

The retail industry is dealing with an economic downturn and simultaneously going through a revolution, the problem is that we are over hyping the economic and under valuing to the revolution.

We are definitely facing difficult economic times and pragmatically we have do everything we can to keep the doors open (that makes short-term sense), but unless we understand that retail is going through its greatest upheaval in the last 60 years, when we moved from strip shopping centre to malls and forever changed the way we shop, the where, the why, the how and the what we shop for we are missing the medium to long-term profitable possibilities.

There are great retailers large and small coming to terms with this new retail landscape and finding innovation and profit amongst the emerging possibilities.

This week David Dowsett of Radio ABC Wide Bay and I pick up on this and chat about the future of retail, what it might become, how we might shop and what new technologies are on the horizon.


The future of Retail under moonlight

April 3, 2012

Wow, last night’s segment on Nightlife with Tony Delroy on ABC Local radio was a hoot.

We stripped back the hype, doom and gloom to take a look under the hood to see what is really going on with retail to discover that we are living through an evolutionary phase, like many industry’s across our planet, in which new elements of purchasing and retailing are emerging such as online, and as we transition through this we are experiencing the usual change mentality of “in my day this would never have happened” and “the world as we know it, is over”.

We will have casualties in this journey and nothing good can be made of that, but we will also have new heroes and experiences come out of it and in a few years this brave new retail / consumer world that we are building will seem ordinary and the way we used to shop will be another folk story we tell our children.

Online retail, even in the most ambitious statistics, is set to only account for about 15% of all retail purchases in the next 10 years, this leaves much buying and selling to be done in a physical store and in this newish world, the physical store will still account for the majority of retail experiences, but within that store there will be totally new expectations and interactions.

We are currently taking our first tentative steps into this new retail experience with mobile device apps, QR (quick response codes), NFC (near field technology) and in store technology such as magic mirrors.

Consumers will come laden with these new technologies, at first in their mobile devices and then beyond into other devices and discreet objects they carry on or with them as well as new in-store technologies. They also come laden with information, insights and prejudices provided by their online social networking tribe.

We are also seeing crowdsourcing websites such as groupon, scoopon, catch of the day and many others that have an initial flurry of excitement and success and are now having to rebuild their business models and broaden their offerings for long-term sustainability.

We also put shopping into context to see it as an 8 stages process, only one of which is the actual purchase, and that it is the way the consumer travels through these stages, using a blend of traditional and virtual engagement, that is changing.

We also chatted about the changing consumer, consumption patterns, global / national / local markets, bespoke and hyper-personalised purchasing.

A tonne of interest and great questions from our many call in listeners, so all in all a great interview and well worth a listen if you want to make sense of what lies ahead in retail (47 minutes):


The evolution and revolution of retail

November 16, 2011

Retail is going through an evolution on the back of a revolution.

In line with the rest of the planet and on the back of the internet, retail is going through its awkward teenager like years full of pimples, self doubt and uncertainty about tomorrow and what may be ahead.

Like a typical prepubescent the 10 years prior to the economic downturn many retailers were full of self importance, saw themselves as invincible and the centre of attention.

Come the economic downturn, consumers had less to spend and became very determined to spend it wisely.

The days of spending excess are in hiatus. Retailers have to work hard now to prove their worthiness to us and many couldn’t and can’t.

Mixed into this backdrop is the evolution of online shopping; the growing number of online shopping business models, sites and opportunities and hey presto we have a new retail environment growing out of the virtual ground.

These two factors, what’s in it for the consumer and what retail might evolve into are the topic for this weeks discussion between ABC Radio Australia’s Adelaine Ng and myself as we explore the evolution and revolution of retail.

Listen now:


The Future of Retail – ABC Radio Local – Nightlife – Monday 17th January

January 17, 2011

Tomorrow’s retail is decidedly different from what we have been used to. The first large format supermarket in Australia launched in the early 1960’s and caused a revolution and an outcry as we questioned what it meant for the local milk bar and strip shopping centres. Fifty years on, replace supermarkets with online shopping and you have the same debate raging.

Leon Compton of ABC radio local’s Nightline program and I take a look at what’s ahead in retail.

Will the rise of online retailing herald the demise of physical stores? How will we be shopping online? How will we be shopping in physical stores? What part will our mobile computers play in the retail experience? What might bricks and mortar retail stores need to do if they are going to survive? and what’s ahead on the Australian retail horizon.

This, plus caller questions and more, make up this lively and far reaching on-air tour into the future of retail.

Listen now