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Research reveals the retail experience of the future

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30th Sep 2011
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The shopping experience of the future needs to be connected, fit-for-purpose and always available, according to new research on the future of retail in 2025.

Research commissioned by Oracle in July to examine the views of the digital native generation born after 1980, has found that price, product, choice, promotions and technology are all key to creating a winning shopping experience.
Digital natives love to shop but they are discerning, wanting differentiated products, pricing and services based on their preferences, to interact with retailers when and how it suits them, and for this experience to be seamless and connected whatever channel they choose.
And although price is the most important factor for this group, retailers are missing a trick by failing to target digital natives with personalised promotions.
Mike Webster, senior vice president and general manager of Oracle Retail said the research findings highlighted considerable opportunities for retailers: "To drive long-term growth, retailers need to provide superior experiences that consumers are demanding. The research supports the importance of creating a solutions platform that provides a connected multi-channel shopping experience."
      
Technology is the key to expediting the shopping experience, whether in-store to facilitate a sale, or using online channels to research and compare price, promotions and choice, suggesting that retailers must optimise their operations in support of customer priorities and operate in a connected 24/7 environment.
German consumers are the most internet savvy using online channels to shop and research more than their international counterparts, while British digital natives are more likely to use self-service technologies in stores, and in particular are keen to be given the opportunity to do so in fashion stores.
The study also found that stores remain the channel of choice for digital natives and will remain critical to the shopping experience of the future, which has meaningful impact for bricks and mortar retailers.
When it comes to online shopping however, this group prefers pure-play internet retailers over multi-channel retailers who have expanded their businesses online, suggesting that the latter must continue to invest in developing their multichannel strategies from an organisational, operational and technical perspective to meet the growth of online commerce.
Price is expected to remain the most important purchasing criteria for this group for the foreseeable future, along with promotions; and while product range is also a key motivator, brand appears to be less important than price, range and assortment.
The study is based on interviews with 1,514 young consumers between 19-23 years from the UK, Germany and France. A whitepaper ‘The Future of Retail: Through the Eyes of Digital Natives' is available at www.oracle-retail.com/digitalnatives

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