Why retailers need to get real: Gen Z prefers in-store experiences
In the retail world, luxury shoppers are calling the shots.
But today’s luxury shopper is not necessarily the shopper you knew from decades past. New research suggests that luxury consumers are now more tech-savvy than ever, using mobile phones more often in stores and opting for cashless, convenient checkout experiences. For their part, luxury retailers are responding, saying they plan to set a new high bar for high-tech experiences in their stores in the next 12 months.
Online shopping has shifted shopping fundamentally, and the crossover innovations are everywhere. From an immersive Diane von Furstenberg experience fueled by Salesforce to smart mirrors at Neiman Marcus, retailers are upping their technology game in stores to give customers a little something special.
A survey by 451 Research, commissioned by Adyen, explains the demographic shifts behind these trends. The study, Retail Reimagined, surveyed more than 1,000 US consumers and 250 US retailers earlier this year. It found that, compared with other verticals, luxury retailers have overwhelmingly seen a rise in customers who demand the latest tech. Luxury retailers reported an 85% increase in mobile phone usage for shopping in their stores, vs. 67% collectively among beauty, fashion and hospitality businesses. Luxury retailers said they also felt much more pressure than other kinds of stores to offer customers assistance using iPads, tablets, or other mobile devices. The result: a more dynamic, fluid, and informed sale.
Paying in cash? Not luxury shoppers. As the physical and digital worlds continue to merge, 74% of luxury retailers (compared to just 46% of beauty, fashion, and hospitality businesses) said they are considering cashless stores that accept only cards and digital payments.
When it comes to their plans for the next 12 months, the differences were even starker. Some 76% of luxury retailers plan to install mobile Point Of Sale systems within the year, with nearly all saying they will consider it at some point in the future. While self checkout is two times more prevalent with mainstream retailers today, 58% of luxury brands are considering adopting this technology.
Ordering via messaging app — once thought to be reserved for low-budget items like pizza — will accelerate with luxury retailers in the coming year. In fact, luxury stores plan to adopt the technology at a rate 1.8 times faster than general retail stores, with nearly half implementing the capability sometime in the next year, according to the research.
Luxury shoppers have always cultivated a taste for better shopping experiences. But the modern twist is a technological one, and retailers are scrambling to upgrade their capabilities. To stay at the cutting edge and compete more effectively with online sellers, retailers must give consumers what they want: fast, easy, convenient shopping experiences.
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