Yesterday, Online Retailer showcased its first hybrid event - Online Retailer FUSION. If you were unable to attend, here are some of the key takeaways we learned from the Online Retailer FUSION event.
The day was filled with insights from some key people within the retail industry. Although Power Retail wasn’t able to attend in person, we tuned in via the livestreams. Here are some of the biggest lessons we learned at the day’s event, and what retailers can expect to see in the next few months.
The Christmas season is fast-approaching, so retailers must act fast, so they don’t get caught int the tidal wave of sales coming their way.
Gary Starr, the Executive Manager, Business, Government & International at Australia Post, gave the audience three vital tips for staying ahead of the holiday rush this year:
1. Start your sale prep early
2. Offer a gift-wrapping service at checkout
3. Think about shipping thresholds and delivery choices
According to Starr, at least 74 percent of Australian shoppers plan to shop at least four weeks before Christmas. Moreover, one in four shoppers intent to send their gifts directly, so retailers should offer gift-wrapping services to accommodate these customers.
What will COVID-19 recovery look like? According to Matthew Hassan, Senior Economist at Westpac, there are three distinct stages:
1. Initial Re-Opening Pop
2. Difficult Transition
3. Above Growth Trend
“After the Difficult Transition, we’re going to see ‘Above Trend’ Growth,” Hassan told the audience. Moreover, the next few years offer enormous potential for businesses that can survive this transition and get the ‘medium-term’ view right.
The key take away points for the consumer, according to Hassan, include the following:
- The course of COVID-19 remains critical – both outbreaks and developments of vaccines and treatment – some clear positives for Australia but highly uncertain.
- Reading economy will be very tricky near-term – virus disruptions mean sentiment is not a great guide, timely activity indicator are more helpful.
- Recovery will have three distinct phases: 1) Initial Re-Opening Pop; 2) Difficult Transition, and 3) Above Growth Trend.
- The key difficulty in Phase Two will be judging medium terms prospects/viability growth remained positive but expected upheaval/turmoil as key sectors confront last impacts of COVID shock.
- Next few years offer enormous potential for businesses that can survive this transition and get the ‘medium-term’ view right.
Woke Branding in 2020
What is a woke brand? Dr Abas Mirzaei from Macquarie University told the audience that it’s all about a brand’s purpose. The key ingredients of being a woke brand are authenticity and being inclusive.
While it’s im[prtant to have a purpose, Zoltan Csaki, the Co-Founder of Citizen Wolf, reminded the audience that you can’t do it all.
“It’s important not to do everything. Choose the topics that matter; that makes sense to you, your brand and customers,” he said.
The Next Gen Shopper
Are Millennials and Gen Z really so different? According to Nick Molnar, the Co-Founder of Afterpay, yes.
How are Millennials and Gen Z different?
– Gen Z expects low-commitment, straight-forward solutions for what they need.
– Gen Z want lo-fi images with real people
– Privacy matters, but Gen Z will accept data being used for personalised experiences.
– 95 percent of Millennials would switch brands for a good cause.
– Millennials have a global annual spending power of $2.5 trillion.
– 85 percent of Gen Z employees believe companies have an obligation to help solve social problems.
So, how can retailer appeal to the Next Gen shopper? According to Julie Stevanja, the Founder & Brand Director, Stylerunner, you don’t have to be perfect all the time. ‘Natural is okay,” she explained.
“You’ve got to see the changes that are happening in the market, but make sure they’re true to your brand purpose and message,” Stevanja explained to the audience.
The Rise and Rise of TikTok
TikTok is one of the fastest-growing social apps in history. While it’s generally seen as a NextGen tool, the fastest-growing content category are users aged above 35, explained Brett Armstrong, the General Manager for TikTok.
So, how can retailers appeal to users on the app? “Brands have to understand the development of user behaviour to connect with people,” Armstrong said.
Here are the three key tips for retailers that are considering joining the app, according to Armstrong:
1. Get involved now
2. Let the users’ creativity shine (e.g. interactive storytelling)
3. Be at the forefront
“People are on mobile; they watch videos. You need to be where your audience is,” Armstrong explained. “As a brand, it can be scary to let your brand out to the hands of creators. But the world has changed. You may see some amazing things.” His finishing remarks were strong: “Don’t wait.”
Retail Trends in a Post-COVID World
According to the final panel of the day, there are ten key trends that retailers can expect to see in the industry as a result of the pandemic:
1. Purpose is the new digital
2. The rise of robotics
3. Experiential retail, personalisation & curation
4.. Collaborations & partnerships
5. Building loyalty through community
6. Frictionless retail
7. Creating opportunity through data
8. Polarisation of retail
9. Private label expansion
10. Don’t overlook China
The biggest trend retailers can expect to see in 2021 is partnerships. Do you expect to see more partnerships between brands and businesses in the future?
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