September 20, 2017

The future of retail

With technology developing at an unprecedented pace and customer expectations constantly evolving, business survival is dependent on understanding and adapting to this changing landscape.

Welcome to our September 2017 Client Insights publication, Future of Retail. The Australian retail sector has had more than its fair share of challenges over the past 12 months – none more so than a consumer who, through the power of technology, has become far more discerning and value-conscious.

Technology continues to evolve and drive rapid change to the way consumers and businesses interact with each other. The gap between organisations that deliver great service and those that deliver poor service is growing.

Customer expectations for immediacy have created an environment where consumers want to make payment and receive goods without delay. Traditionally, the quickest and easiest way to do this has been via retail stores, however shifting behaviour driven by digitisation, a ‘mobile-first’ consumer, social media, emergence of new digital channels and new platform business models and access to global information has fundamentally altered customer expectations and behaviours.

The economic landscape has created an innate conservatism amongst consumers but the reality is,

year-on-year people are spending more – they’re just not spending it in areas where they’ve traditionally spent their disposable income as new channels and products/services emerge. The savvy Australian consumer can take responsibility for some significant challenges encountered by retailers.

However, many businesses are tackling this situation head-on and coming up with new enhancements to the shopping experience, supply chain initiatives and shifts in channel strategy, and their broader customer value proposition to remain relevant.

In this Future of Retail report we explore many of these industry developments.

We have been very fortunate to obtain some wonderful insights from FTI Consulting on the trends shaping the US retail sector, AsiaLink Business on emerging Asian eCommerce, World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) on web browser shopping carts and various Australian business case studies which highlight customer-led innovation.

Blended with these external contributions are some interesting observations from NAB Group Economics together with our Retail Industry Coverage team which we hope will provide our readers with a unique compilation of major trends, challenges, insights and opportunities in the Australian retail sector.

The interplay between technology, changing customer expectations and new business models are creating both opportunities and challenges.

NAB remains committed to supporting and providing insights that enable and support our customers and the broader community to navigate these emerging trends.

For full report, please see the attached document.