Trends Impacting the Australian Retail and Consumer Industry Sector
As the retail and consumer industry evolves, businesses need to adapt alongside. And it seems in the last decade or so there have been many drastic changes that have had a major impact on the sector. And while technology has played a key role in the consumer goods industry’s growth, it will be truly disruptive in the coming decade.
Marketing is constantly evolving and challenging the status quo, implementing change and leading on innovation is something that senior marketing leaders are always looking to do. When a market toughens or there is a drastic change in consumer behaviour, marketing perspective is thrust into the forefront of a business’ objectives. This helps increase innovation and can create some very exciting market trends.
Consumer expectations will always need to be monitored and acted upon, but when change occurs, so does the way in which consumers need to be reached, the message that needs to be delivered, and also the frequency in which it needs to be communicated.
Digital is more prevalent now than ever before, especially as the world moves to a more remote lifestyle - not only working but also consumers' personal lives and inevitably their relationships with brands that they are loyal too.
In just a few months, the coronavirus crisis has rapidly reshaped the consumer and retail industry and has accelerated the rise of e-commerce, reshaped the brick-and-mortar retail landscape, and created new operational concerns for businesses. Even just a year ago, it would have been hard to imagine such sweeping change.
One such change is that of the beauty products sector, which has seen a surge in its digital consumers, due to brands having to adapt in innovative and exciting ways. Online tutorials have taken off on social media platforms with beauty demonstrators who would normally work in-store now driving learning through videos, and promoting how products can be used and then purchased.
A big challenge for the beauty industry going forward is the removal of all testers in retail stores e.g. lipsticks, foundations, perfumes and aftershaves. How do you allow customers to trial products in a new COVID-19 secure environment?
One way is through Artificial Intelligence (AI). Last year some manufacturers introduced AI mirrors allowing customers to trial makeup using smart software product palettes and once they have completed their preferred look it can be saved, emailed and an order place for all the products used. This is now emerging in some forms on smart-phones and is likely to expand as a way of interacting with end-users.
Australia has always lagged behind its US and UK counterparts on ecommerce, however, 2020 has sky-rocketed the growth in this section due to the pandemic. The Australian ecommerce sector saw a YOY growth of over 80%, with over 73% of Aussie households now shopping online. Across the world, people are shifting buying habits and the lock-down has even hit boomers by forcing them to shop online – some for the first time. The competition is getting steep with more and more businesses joining the e-commerce business revolution, and online shopping behaviours changing faster than ever before.
At the same time, this has also created short-term issues for some suppliers where maintaining the supply chain has proved challenging as sales were not forecasted initially and parts of the supply chain globally were shut down. As this has changed the pressures have eased for supply but sales continue to grow.
With the world accelerating even more towards digital, the increase in demand for data-led roles within marketing, communications, sales and BD, will continue leading into 2021 and over the course of the next 12 - 18 months.
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