What the Next Gen of Shoppers Expect from Retailers.

6 July 2022

The last few years have been a whirlwind – the pandemic, climate crises, new technologies, inflation and the looming fear of recession hitting New Zealand sooner rather than later! With this constant state of flux, especially for retailers, it’s no wonder consumer expectations have dramatically changed.

A new trend report from Inside Retail and Slyp called The Rise of Gen ‘Re’, stipulates that these global influences have delivered a new breed of consumers who are redefining the entire customer experience.

Let’s take a look at some insights from consumers and a number of Australia’s leading retailers on everything we need to know when it comes to understanding the “next generation” (Gen ‘Re’) of shoppers. From comprehending who they are, what they want, and how retailers must adapt to win their hearts and wallets.


Who is the Gen ‘Re’?

“Gen ‘Re’ is a new wave of hyper-conscious consumers characterised not by age, gender or socioeconomic status, but by the redefinition of their values and behaviours as consumers”.

The rise of this new generation of consumers has forced retailers to seriously reconsider and adapt their strategies when it comes to areas such as in-store experiences, sustainability, omnichannel experiences, and loyalty/rewards.

We are in a time where businesses are placing focus on customer-centricity as a strategy that is equally as important as the product or service they offer. Because as we know all too well, it’s never been more important to not only know your customer but ensure your brand is doing everything in its power toexceed their newly defined expectations.


Sustainability: Moving from a ‘nice to have’ to an expectation.

It’s not new news that retailers’ efforts to be environmentally sustainable have always been favoured by the majority ofconsumers, but to what extent? And how does it actually help brands gain a competitive advantage?

According to the report (The Rise of Gen ‘Re’

88 per cent of consumers now take into consideration a brand’s own social and environmental efforts when making purchasing decisions”

Beyond satisfying Gen ‘Re’s’ expectations, it was found that retailers who commit to sustainability will see financial benefits in the long run, with “44 per cent of consumers claiming that they would pay more for sustainable products”. 

However, sustainability alone is not enough to charge customers more for a product. Your brand’s product or service offerings must also add additional value and convenience to your customers’ lives.


Providing a frictionless in-store experience.

The mass adoption of e-commerce has primarily allowed consumers to avoid the friction of an in-store purchase. However, over time it has be discovered that the majority (79 per cent) of shoppers are demanding to have the ability to shop on any channel they want. Only 57% of consumers believe that brands offer sufficient multi-channel shopping. 

Here’s a snapshot from the report of the percentage of shoppers who prefer to shop in-store vs online across a number of retail categories:

With this resurgence, we have observed a lot of brands making moves and investing in new technologies to help create a consistent, frictionless and personalised customer experience across multiple channels. 

For example, Gull Fuel does this by allowing customers to pay and automatically receive itemised receipts via your online account. For customers, this speeds up the checkout process and ensures you never lose a receipt again. For retailers, it provides valuable consumer insights to ensure a consistent, personalised experience.

EXPECTATIONS:

The Next Generation of shoppers now expect a six-star shopping experience to feel satisfied. This includes:

  • frictionless buying across channels.
  • Hyper-personalisation, and 
  • Business practices that align with their ethics and values. 

The challenge for retailers is delivering on all of these simultaneously!


Customer loyalty is more than just points and rewards.

When it comes to loyalty programs, Gen Re is at the top of the pack!

According to the report (The Rise of Gen ‘Re’) – “89 per cent of those surveyed participate in at least one program, with the average person being a member of five loyalty programs“.

However, for Gen ‘Re’ customer loyalty has extended beyond just collecting points and rewards. There are now two main types of loyalty:

  • Functional loyalty: loyalty programs where shopper behaviour is incentivised by some form of reward.
  • Emotional loyalty: Driven by the depth of engagement the customer feels with the brand.

To win the hearts of the next generation of consumers, retailers need to find a balance of both types of loyalty. 

If a consumer trusts a brand:

  • 71 per cent will buy more.
  • 66 per cent will make a positive recommendation.
  • 45 per cent will post a positive online review. 

However, most shoppers also expect to be rewarded through loyalty programs, both online (71 per cent) and in-store (63 per cent).

Ultimately, the key to winning over the next generation of consumers is loyalty personalisation. When it comes to rewards programs:

  • 76 per cent of consumers want theirs to be more personalised based on their interests and purchasing history. 
  • However, only 37 per cent of shoppers feel that the retailers they shop with actually provide them with this experience.

This directly indicates a substantial opportunity for more effective strategies to be put in place by brands in order to optimise every consumer experience!


How can the team at HOED Research help you?

Understanding consumers is our bread and butter! From mystery shopping to consumer insight data collection and more. The team at HOED will ensure that the most valuable data is collected and reported upon, in order to provide you with actionable insights that can be utilised to improve your business (i.e. sales, product/service development etc.)

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