Almost half of Australians are switching to cheaper brands as cost-of-living hurts wallets, according to new research in dentsu’s Retail Evolution Report.

The report reviews the events of 2022 and the future implications for retail success and innovation in 2023 and beyond. 

More than half of Australians surveyed (56%) are moderately to extremely concerned about their current financial situation, while 71% are moderately to extremely concerned about the strength of the Australian economy at this point, with women showing higher levels of concern about the local economy.

It is against this backdrop that retailers are responding to four critical trends that will shape the industry:

Pragmatic Sustainability: In 2023, sustainable actions will be a lifestyle choice but also an economic necessity.

Subtle Tech: Retailers are turning to technology to future proof their business, cut costs, and deliver better CX. However, moving forward it is important to find the right balance between human and automated experiences.

Battle of Titans (for the customer, their data and the media): Titan brands continue their battle for consumers, their data and the media in the quest for growth and diversification.

Seeking a human touch: Consumers are returning to in-real-life retail post-pandemic. Savvy retailers are offering them sensorial experiences and a preview of the store of the future.

“The retail industry has faced some of the biggest challenges of any industry in the past few years with Covid forcing many brands to pivot to an online strategy, to now needing to embrace a more hybrid model as customers’ expectations for a superb online and physical shopping experience become table stakes,” dentsu Intelligence head, Christine McKinnon said.

“This research is designed to help retailers, marketers and brands associated with the retail industry better navigate how emerging tech, changing consumer expectations and the push for more sustainable options will shape the industry in the next decade, against a backdrop of an unpredictable economic landscape.”