Shopping with the Future Generation | Report By Mark Kirkland for AMP Capital

In 2017, achieving success in the retail industry involves accepting that the future is here and in full force — just look at your customers! Generation Z are your Future Shoppers and it’s critically important to keep them top of mind as they’ve emerged as the key contributors towards change in the retail space.

Future Shoppers, our leading, adult Gen Zs, are the next generation of shoppers who have provided us with their key insights. They’re between 18-22 years of age, are already earning an income, but are one step away from starting their full-time careers. Ultimately, they’re the future consumers who will influence the direction of retail.

In 2017, to develop the annual AMP Capital Shopping Centres (AMPCSC) Recommended Retail Practice Report, we gave the power to young Australian and New Zealand shoppers, who provided insights into their current spending habits, experiences and expectations, with the aim of understanding where the future of shopping is headed.

“Gen Z, they’re the future consumers who will influence the direction of retail.”

Despite the hype around e-commerce, traditional shopping is not dead. Future Shoppers have told us how important the internet is for their lifestyle and the benefits it can bring to the in-store retail experience. We’ve also uncovered their expectations for brands and retailers to remain authentic and relevant to them. By thinking outside the box, smart retailers can prepare themselves for the road towards success, continuing to engage Current Shoppers, who are Australian and New Zealand shoppers over 22 years old, while developing a long-term relationship with Future Shoppers too.

Don’t panic! traditional shopping is not dead, Nothing beats shopping in a shop!

Despite the lure of online shopping, Future Shoppers still prefer to shop in-store just as much, if not more than Current Shoppers. This is because they’re social creatures, drawn to the face- to-face, touch-and-feel contact that in-store shopping provides.

Yes, Future Shoppers are still avid e-commerce customers, but smart retailers are attracting Future Shoppers by focusing on the tangible benefits of in-store shopping. This includes making shopping a social event through fun experiences like Snapchat  filters and in-store photo booths, to exclusive workshops groups can enjoy in-store.

The Australian Circular Fashion Conference 2018

Best practices

Beauty retailers, Mecca Cosmetica and Mecca Maxima, provide valuable in-store experiences that bring the products to life through its highly personalised customer services. Make-up artists, skincare specialists and fragrance experts are located in every store, so that customers have access to bespoke beauty advice and expertise. Mecca also hosts exclusive social events, including group make-up lessons with global make-up artists, masterclasses and product launches, inviting loyal customers to get up close and personal with the world’s leading experts.

Many individuals use shopping in store as a means of socialising with one another.

The Australian Circular Fashion Conference 2018

Online and brick-and-mortar work together. The internet, your optimistic friend.

Future Shoppers, who are time-poor, use the internet to support their busy lives. In fact, the internet plays a role throughout Future Shoppers’ entire shopping experience – they’re ‘pre- shopping’ in their spare time, even continuing their research in-store. Smart retailers are embracing the internet by aligning their in-store and online offerings, leveraging the information shared by shoppers to create new and inspiring relationships with them. This includes sending geo-targeted alerts from the brand’s app to remind customers of products saved in their online wish-list, or surprising shoppers with in-store offers that are reflective of their online behaviour.

“As a guy, it can be a bit awkward going into a shop.”

Best practices

Using radio-frequency identification technology, tablets and TV screens, Nike has created an engaging, omni-channel in-store experience through its Action Sports digital installation. Showcasing the product when placed on a sensor platform, shoppers are given access to more product information, images and stock availabilities. If a particular product isn’t available at the time, shoppers can share their details to be notified through email or SMS when the product has arrived.

Don’t just sell me something – mean something to me Be part of their world.

Highly engaged with global issues, Future Shoppers value strong ethics and companies whose purpose goes beyond just selling products and services. For them it’s important to show authenticity in everything you do and be a sustainable and ethically conscious brand. Smart retailers have achieved this by identifying and supporting social and environmental causes through partnerships with like-minded charities, introducing sustainable and/or ethical products or employing sales assistants who are passionate about the same social causes.

Best practices

LUSH is a handmade cosmetics brand recognised for its ethical work and ongoing campaigns that spread awareness for animal cruelty. Its products are created using vegetarian or vegan recipes and feature ingredients from companies that do not commission tests on animals, but test on humans instead. The brand also remains true and authentic to the words “fresh” and “organic” not only through its products but through its marketing, using its employees to be featured in its in-store campaigns.

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Male future shoppers are a whole new ballgame. The new trendsetters have arrived.

In 2016 we found that men love shopping. This year, our research found that young Australian men are more interested in staying ahead of popular trends than young Australian women! Male Future Shoppers love shopping in-store and online equally and are ready and willing to buy whenever they can. Although they’ve admitted they feel uncomfortable shopping in shopping centres, and prefer to shop with friends to feel more con dent. To address this, smart retailers have focused on their customer service offering, ensuring their team provide a welcoming approach when engaging with this target market.

“Lush’s customer service & products are amazing – they’RE environmentally & socially conscious.”

The Australian Circular Fashion Conference 2018

The Australian Circular Fashion Conference 2018

By considering the above, brands, retailers and shopping centres can create an inspiring, exciting and convenient shopping experience for not only their Current Shoppers, but their time-poor, digitally connected Future Shoppers. We look forward to seeing how retailers and shopping centre owners adapt to the future and evolve into leaders in the retail space.

The Australian Circular Fashion Conference 2018The Australian Circular Fashion Conference 2018