Tag Archives: forecast

Preparing for the consumer economy of 2020

In a recent super session at Retail’s BIG Show, Ira Kalish, Director of Global Economics for Deloitte Research, gave an all-encompassing overview on the state of the global retail industry ten years from now, as well as his take on what the consumer of the future will look like.
Kalish kicked off with a run through of recent developments in global retailing, noting that it’s always useful to think about the future by reviewing the past.
In particular, Kalish highlighted some of the paths that lead towards the economic crisis of 2008 and 2009 and the lessons that were learned from that crisis: massive consumer leveraging in the U.S., U.K. and Spain; the collapse of the asset price bubble; emerging currencies rising; U.S. consumers paying down debts and saving more; housing no longer being seen as a source of economic growth; China’s move towards consumerism and consumer spending rising as a source of GDP; and the challenges faced in Europe due to imbalances between countries like Germany and Portugal, Ireland and Spain.

As for what retailers can expect in the consumer economy of 2020, Kalish pointed to a number of challenges and opportunities retailers should certainly have on their long term radar, such as the massive increase in emerging middle classes and the disproportionate share of growth in emerging areas of the world like Indonesia, Colombia and Africa.

The effects of an aging population in an increasingly affluent world will also be a key consideration for retailers of all shapes and sizes, while hot markets with younger demographics (India, Middle East and Africa) will also keep global retailers on their toes.

Kalish also noted, the impact of obesity, changing global food market dynamics, an ever-increasing focus on sustainability and the possibility of a social media revolution could play a heavy role within the consumer economy of 2020.

So what can retailers do to prepare for this new consumer outlook? Kalish believes that aligning company values with those of consumers will be critically important, as will leading and listening to customers. Taking care of your brands, your people and your investments will also pay dividends when it comes to engaging with consumers, something that will be fundamental for 2020’s consumer – and not a bad idea for 2011. (Source: NRF)

Multichannel customers, profits and mobile technologies

This post is about a kind of customers that my clients know very well: multichannel customers. Since I started DESITA‘s business, I’ve always believed in multichannel marketing, and now I always advise my clients to use web and mobile as much as they can to keep customers informed and “tied up” to the brand.

It seems that this strategy will be the winning one in the future too, reading what Urban Outfitter’s CEO Glen Senk revealed during his keynot at last fall Shop.org. Urban Outfitter’s multichannel customers spend in fact two to three times more than single-channel shoppers. Additionally, consumers who engage with the company across three or more channels spend six times more than the average consumer. “Mobile may ultimately impact the in-store experience more than it impacts the online experience,” Senk said during his keynote. “We believe mobile technology will boost e-commerce, but I believe it will absolutely revolutionize the brick-and-mortar retail business.”

Josh Herman, multichannel marketing innovation leader at Acxiom, says that mobile needs to become an integral part of the in-store experience, for example offering customers personalized deals and tailored suggestions. “I think what we’ll see this year is a focus on getting the mobile marketing infrastructure more closely tied to the rest of the marketing intelligence assets. This will help fortify spending in mobile marketing,” Herman says.

Carsten Thoma, president of Hybris U.S. and COO of Hybris Group, believes that mobile is the glue that bonds online and brick-and-mortar operations, but he still sees confusion from retailers on where to start. In addition, many companies riddled with legacy systems that prevent the integration of mobile, he says. “That complete fusion of offline and online in a seamless environment is the most important thing in 2012. I’m 100 percent sure that customers are expecting this experience,” Thoma says, and I do agree with him