AFTER being left behind in the initial move online, Australian retailers are finally catching up to their international competitors, albeit slowly.
That is the view of CBRE national director retail services, Alistair Palmer, on the release of the company’s Retail and Digital Technology survey.
Palmer says offshore retailers have been more sophisticated and much more advanced with their online platforms.
“In the digital age, it is more important than ever for Australian retailers to understand their brand and the way it engages with consumers,” says Palmer.
“Advances in technology provide an increasing range of tools to do this, and consequently those retailers that do embrace digital technology will have the best chance of success. This is true throughout the retail spectrum, from food to fashion and from luxury to value.
CBRE surveyed 50 leading international retailers to identify strategies for multichannel retail and how they see it developing in the future.
The results show just how important online and multichannel retailing is to retailers in Australia today.
- 87 per cent believe digital strategies are a key to driving revenue.
- 80 per cent expect increased foot traffic in stores.
- 40 per cent anticipate a need for more stores.
- 85 per cent have a dedicated resource to run digital strategies
- 87 per cent operate a transactional website.
- 40 per cent have a heightened need for warehouse space
By definition, new technology is always evolving and the use of smart phone applications and geo-localisation are set to be the next big thing. Most retailers are also looking to create larger, more experiential stores as part of multichannel retailing.
Stephen McNabb, Head of Research for Australia, says digital technology could lead some retailers to focus on smaller stores that would operate more as showrooms.
“Successful digital strategies clearly require investment; not only the cost of technology, but also for hiring and training staff to implement this, and the reorganisation of the business model in line with this.
This in-store investment in new technologies is essential in order to ‘stay ahead’ of the competition.”
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