Shopping is set to become even more enticing for Australians over the coming years as brands and retailers are implementing new ways to appeal to consumers with in-store innovations such as theatre, sound, new technology, digital media and the integration of sustainable retailing.
POPAI Australia and New Zealand general manager, Karen Spear, said these trends are evolving the global retail marketplace and permanently shifting consumer behaviour.
“The economic climate has made consumers not just cost-conscious but also focused on every aspect of the shopping experience,” she said.
“The world’s strongest retailers are responding by becoming more customer-focused in order to deliver a better retail experience for the shopper.”
Retail chains are now making an effort to customise the shopping experience and tailor merchandise assortments to different markets.
“The Adidas flagship store in Paris developed the ‘mi Adidas’ concept which allows consumers to create their own shoe or jersey in-store, enhancing the shopping experience and long-term engagement with the brand.”
Green has become the new black in retail with mainstream brands such as L’Oreal and Etnies adopting green retailing strategies to help reduce their carbon footprint and cut display production and set-up costs.
“There is great innovation in the use of different materials with a particular move towards sustainability where designers are re-working disused materials into life, creating amazing display units.
“POPAI has been focused on sustainability for the past few years as this will become the future of retail and marketing at retail,” she said.
In the US and Europe, there has been an increase in interactive displays and digital screens providing consumers with a rich source of information and helping them better understand the product or service they are seeking.
POPAI board director and Pepsico’s trade marketing manager, Debbie Schubert, said Nestle Maggi demonstrated the evolution of technology into mainstream grocery environment through home activation.
“A simple LED screen was incorporated into its in-store display, which interactively showed shoppers recipe ideas and cooking tips using Maggi products,” said Schubert.
“The information can be updated and changed to suit the market and timing.”
Brands worldwide are also implementing in-store theatre to help increase sales and improve customer loyalty while creating a vibrant retail atmosphere and stronger in-store presence.
“In-store theatre is essential for creating eye-catching displays and no one does this better than the cosmetic houses where budgets and sheer artistry are combined to tempt and seduce the shopper,” she said.
Before Australians even begin to see these innovations hit stores, brands and retailers need to shift their focus from just selling their products and think more about shopper-centric solutions.
“A strong global trend is the need to link occasions with brands rather than focus simply on what the brand has to offer. Triggering occasion stimulates the shopper and offers solutions to an existing need when they are ready to purchase,” she said.
The current global trends offer potential insights for brands and retailers in Australia that will enable business growth and prosperity in an increasingly competitive retail environment.
“There are plenty of opportunities for Australian retailers to engage customers further with creative in-store marketing,” she said.
“The integration of a marketing at retail strategy is vital to the success of the overall brand marketing campaign, because marketing at retail provides the horse power that turns positive purchase intent into a sale.”
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