The ARA has launched the 2023 ARA Retail Insights Report, an annual overview of the retail outlook. 2023 brings with it a ‘new era of ecommerce', with consumers shopping cautiously, thoughtfully, and repetitively.
According to the annual 2023 ARA Retail Insights Report, the ARA believes that for ecommerce retail in 2023 there should be a focus on building strong relationships with customers, increased sustainability practices and meeting growing expectations on delivery and returns processes.
“The challenge for retailers will be maintaining a healthy profit margin amid the increasing cost of doing business,” said ARA CEO Paul Zahra in the report introduction. “There are emerging trends that are crucial to continued success.”
As also identified by Power Retail in our Trajectory Report #59 late last year, the report highlights how loyalty programs are key to success in an unpredictable market. In the ARA Retail Insights Report, the organisation identifies that shoppers are searching for businesses they can trust, with a focus on stability and positive relationships.
“Consumers are shopping cautiously, thoughtfully, and repetitively – spending on items from companies that align with their values and beliefs,” said Zahra. “We are moving from the disposable economy to the circular economy – where one sees value in the goods they are purchasing beyond their initial ownership – driven by a concern about waste and sending goods to landfill.”
According to research in partnership with Australia Post, the ARA has identified that two in five Australians plan to spend more on sustainable products over the next three years.
The report identifies that 70 percent of Australians intend to be more mindful of how they spend their money in 2023. With recently released ABS statistics showing that consumers spent more in the November sales events period and Boxing Day than in December, participation in sales events is a key strategy for retailers to remain profitable throughout this period of economic uncertainty.
Another key strategy for retailers this year is meeting customer expectations for efficient delivery. According to the report, consumer expectations show a strong trend towards fast delivery and multiple collection options, with almost a third of consumers now expect deliveries to come faster than they did in 2019.
“Price, product assortment and convenience have historically been a focus for retailers when thinking about how to capture loyal, repeat customers,” said Zahra.
“While that’s not changing, factors like personalisation, sustainability and ethics are increasingly influencing which retailers and brands consumers pick. People are becoming more values-driven when it comes to their shopping and resonate more strongly with the brands that reflect the social issues that are important to them.”
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