We partnered with Swinburne Business School for an extensive literature review of what’s being said about the role of shopping centres today and tomorrow.
Like you, we want to make sense of the rapidly evolving retail landscape, to focus our efforts, support our retailers and future-proof our business.
The insights may be familiar but now it’s all in one place. The next step is to form a robust view on the future of retail. Join our conversation on LinkedIn.
Shopping will need to be easier and more streamlined for the increasingly time-poor consumer. Retail must fit in with peoples’ lifestyles and routines. It means making the process of shopping more accessible at different times, in different locations and through different channels.
Scan and go, self-checkouts, mobile payments and the like will shape the future. More efficient stock control systems will mean retailers can more rapidly meet consumer demand. Here are the questions we’re asking ourselves:
We’re fostering a conversation on the future of retail on LinkedIn, and we’d welcome your perspective. Add your comments at @FrasersPropertyAustralia.
Will the hyper-personalised shopping of tomorrow mean privacy is dead? The balance between providing a deeply personal experience with privacy concerns, in a fluid regulatory environment, will be a critical one. This tension will require us to re-think existing assumptions about customer service and supply chain.
One thing we know about the future: there will be more information available to consumers and retailers alike. Technologies will help retailers and shopping centres gather better data such as real-time consumer behaviour, product stock levels, spatial information and supply chain operations. Increased intelligence could enable adaptive pricing, micro-targeting product offers, budget allocations, and personalised offers and promotions.
An inert or stagnant shopping experience will quickly become a dull one. Flexibility in the design of physical spaces can keep the experience fresh and engaging. Beyond providing consumer experience, retail spaces will need to evolve to include mixed-use and temporary installations like pop-up stores.Balance will be key. Centres must deliver the consistency that consumers depend on with the flexibility to offer new and exciting experiences in an efficient way.
With an unprecedented amount of information in their pockets, consumers do extensive research before they make a purchase. They’re influenced by reviews. They demand transparency, so in the future, retailers will need to offer it voluntarily. They will need to ensure their processes, including their supply chain, stand up to social scrutiny. How retailers tackle this demand could be the difference between success and failure.
As the industry fragments, the idea of the small niche retailer and the large online operator being in direct competition is neutralised. It opens up opportunities for collaboration through complementary offers or services, information sharing, shared logistics programs and even shared loyalty programs.
Evidence suggests increased collaboration among consumers too, such as through buying groups and co-ops, building on existing daily deal and group-buying sites. The popularity of consumer reviews is plain to see.
There’s no getting round the need for all businesses to look at the impact they’re having on the environment. Retailers will need to act sustainably and responsibly even when consumers’ eyes are turned the other way. A commitment to sustainability will not only be necessary, it might unlock competitive advantage, help retailers engage with consumers, and aid the creation of strong communities around the centre, retailer or brand.
Retail will increasingly need to serve local communities. Seems obvious. The local shopping centre must be an enabler of community services, linking existing operators to the community by giving them the framework to operate in. The challenge will be to show a triple bottom line benefit.
Small retailers which focus on specific product categories or offers will increasingly emerge in niche spaces, while larger, predominantly online retailers will continue to flourish in mass markets. The fragmentation between large mass market retailers and small niche players can be expected to widen.
We must move beyond a simple transactional focus towards a more compelling shopping experience. On top of their core products or services, retailers will need to come up with ways to engage and inspire their customers through storytelling, education, entertainment and relationship building in order to develop deeper connections. Sounds simple, but it’s all in the execution.
In-store experiences like cooking or exercise classes can enhance the customer experience. But transactions are a retailer’s lifeblood.
Following a comprehensive literature review undertaken in partnership with Swinburne Business School, we’re fostering a conversation on the future of retail on LinkedIn, and we’d welcome your perspective. Add your comments at @FrasersPropertyAustralia.
We believe that life’s best experiences are created by people connecting in memorable places. Our leasing team makes this happen, right across Australia.
Executive General Manager - Retail
Leading the fastest growing Division within FPA, Peri’s role is underpinned by a focus on mixed-use precincts and the neighbourhood retail sector. Prior to joining FPA in 2008, Peri held senior property roles at Coles
General Manager Retail Leasing
A retail property professional with more than 30 years experience, Tim has worked on over $2B worth of projects and brings considerable knowledge in leasing, asset management, project management and retail