The economic outlook for retailing in Australia is looking more positive after suffering during 2010 and 2011, according to a Deloitte report titled ‘Global Powers of Retail 2013’.
Recent slashes in interest rates have helped to relieve conditions over time, with better levels of spending present amongst Australians. Levels of consumer confidence have also improved, however it can vary from month to month as many people nationwide are worrying about job security and employment rates.
The report states that consumers are taking a more cautioned approach to spending and borrowing than they have previously done in the past, so growth this year will be quite slow moving.
To combat the sluggish year that Deloitte has predicted, it is imperative for retailers in Australia to review their retail strategy, in order to keep up sales volumes and see more benefits from the interest rate cuts.
Deloitte’s report has suggested that in order to meet consumer demand, retailers should begin to provide their customers with an integrated shopping experience. This means adopting the use of mobile technology – such as mobile and tablet shopping apps, and a better social presence (through social media).
In order to reach customers across all channels and communicate with them, it is important to use technology in store and online. This means being coming up with a comprehensive strategy, and being able to reach your customers through a number of channels – whether it’s in store or online.
The social sharing opportunities that online retailing has to offer has created competition for traditional brick and mortar stores, and retailers need to get creative to match or exceed that competition.
However, it’s not as simple as just creating a webpage for your retail store. As with brick and mortar stores, customers are after a unique shopping ‘experience’. This means that shopping across all channels should offer a pleasant experience for customers, and make them want to come back again in the future.
When creating a new and updated retail strategy, it’s extremely important to consider not just your business goals, but also the wishes of the value-conscious consumer and the condition of the market. A retail specialist can help you to create a comprehensive plan to help you align your business goals with the realities of the Australian market.