102015 RETAIL & SHOPPER MARKETING TRENDS
Malls will continue to be the places where more South Africansgather to shop, eat and play. Understanding how individual malls pluginto their local communities will be key to attracting shoppers andbuilding programmes that create value for shoppers, retailers andbrands.
The corollary to the growth in malls - and their inherent "sameness" -is the quest for authenticity. Hipsters have shown us the way, andnow more mainstream shoppers are discovering the joy of buyingartisanal margaritas at 10 o'clock on a Saturday morning. The successof the Maboneng Precinct, Neighbourgoods and the Old Biscuit Millare testament to a hunger for more tactical, personal shoppingexperiences built around discovery of the local and the handmade.
The success of something as simple as putting names on Coke cans isa reminder of how even a very basic level of personalisation canimpact on sales. South Africans are queuing to try out personalisedice-creams at the Magnum pop-up store. Personalisation does notonly apply to product, loyalty programmes will be part of this, asretailers look to make their loyalty programme knowledge bases workharder to influence shopper behaviours. Finding ways to personaliseproducts, prices and offers while driving profit and withoutexcessively complicating the rest of the business, will continue to be amajor trend in 2015 and beyond.
The digital device that almost all shoppers have with them all thetime. Finding ways to integrate mobile into the shopper journey willcontinue, whether it's about providing coupons or making theprocess of finding the things you want just a little easier. Snapscan,the Payment Pebble and other mobile-enabled payment devices aremaking it easier for shoppers with credit cards to purchase outside offormal retail spaces.
SITES SET UP SHOP OFFLINE
In 2014, we saw a number of ecommerce-first businesses expand into the offline realm. Former online pure-play Birchbox, for example, opened its first physical shop in Soho last July. The majority of overall retail sales are still taking place offline, and ecommerce sites have realized that they need to set up physical shops if they want to gain significant market share. Additionally, the need to provide seamless online to in-store experiences continues to grow, and successfully pulling this off requires both a digital and physical presence.
PHYSICAL & DIGITAL INTEGRATION
The solution for integrating the digital and physical worlds lies infinding a real shopper need and answering it. For example, onlinegrocery retailing remains tiny in South Africa. Rather than isolateonline retailing as a specific vehicle for growth outside of physicalretailing, the key in online will be retailers who can help shopperswith particular tasks, such as making routine replenishment ofregularly purchased items easier. The investment into home delivery(Pick n Pay TukTuks) and Click and Collect (Walmart/SASOL) services isa strong indicator that 'making routine replenishment easier' isgetting attention in online strategy discussions.
BABY BOOMERS & MILLENNIALS
Retail in 2015 will continue to be driven by the needs and preferencesof two prominent generations: baby boomers and millennials. Mostboomers will be in their 60s and 70s next year, and retailers that caterto these consumers would need to adjust to make shopping easier forthem. On the flip side, Gen Ya young but equally largemarketsegment will also be a major influence in retail. Merchants who wantto reach millennials will need to invest in mobile, as they arethe largest group of smartphone owners (and adoption is stillgrowing). Speed is also an essential factor when it comes to reachingthe Gen Y market.
Over the last several years, brands have used social media to markettheir products, talk to customers, and even make merchandisingdecisions; but in the coming months, we anticipate merchants to addselling to the list of things they can do on social sites. The recentlaunches of shopping functionalities in the social realm(i.e. Facebooks and Twitters buy buttons and Curalates Like2Buyplatform for Instagram) tell us that social is going to get a whole lotmore shoppable in 2015.
CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Consumers these days are more drawn to retailers that invest inCorporate Social Responsibility (CSR). In 2015, we expect moremerchants to launch ethical and good deed initiatives. How does CSRimprove the shopping experience? Simple. It makes customers feelgood knowing that theyre contributing to a worthwhile cause.
As expected, retailers embracing multiple channels to serve customers will be some of the most successful ones in 2015.