The world of retail is changing fast. Technology is redefining what has always been among the most adaptable of British industries. Robots. Drones. Augmented Reality. Virtual Reality. Checkout-free stores. Automated smartphone payments. Chatbots. These are all future advancements shaping the aisles, shelves, stockrooms and shopfloors of retailers nationwide.
But how can the retail industry take customers with it on this long, but ultimately exciting, journey? How will it win the hearts, minds and wallets of different generations of consumers, each with their own likes, dislikes, needs and demands when it comes to the retail experience?
To find out some of the answers to these questions, and a few more besides, we commissioned research into the perceptions, thoughts, hopes and fears of two distinct groups of people. They were the Baby Boomers, also known as the over 55s, and Generation Z, those aged between 16 and 20.
Using the respected research company YouGov, we used an online survey sent to more than 2000 people across both generational segments. It asked them a variety of questions to unearth their views on the retail industry; their opinions of what it is like right now while also trying to understand their reactions and feelings to various changes on the horizon.
From this survey, we developed our latest report, entitled Retail Redefined: How understanding the digital divide between Baby Boomers and Generation Z can shape the industry’s future. You can download it here.
Within its pages we lift the lid on the key things any retailer or anyone working in retail needs to know; from how comfortable people are at having their data used to how worried they are about automation, AI and robots taking over. The report is packed full of interesting and useful insight that will influence and inspire those going through the process of digital transformation within retail companies both in traditional bricks and mortar stores and also online.
Among its 12 pages, there is much evidence to pinpoint how both age groups - while being excited and intrigued by technological innovation - still fully prize human interaction and do not want to see it lost. Their answers give us all much to consider about how advances in digital technology can be implemented seamlessly without alienating traditional older customers or giving those who predominantly like to shop online more reason to shun the high street.
It is clear there is a lot of work still to be done across the retail industry. Our report outlines both the challenges and also the opportunities if digital transformation is done right, and the basics are covered off first.One of the most telling results from our online research showed 78% of Baby Boomers surveyed and 59% of Gen Z surveyed believed the retail industry took customers' loyalty for granted.
We hope anyone with an interest – professional or personal – in traditional retail or online ecommerce will find it a fascinating and eye-opening read. Download your copy here.