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Blis Research: The Real Retail Story in Australia and Singapore
Premanjali Gupta
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Access the #RealRetail reports here: Australia and Singapore

For the past few years, we’ve been hearing about a retail apocalypse – the end of retail as we know it thanks to ecommerce giants like Amazon and Alibaba. In news story after news story, examples are shared and stats provided, detailing the number of brick-and-mortar retailers that are shutting their doors forever. Photos are posted of abandoned shopping malls in the USA, proof positive that retail is indeed facing its final days.

But is it?

Nick Ballard, managing director asks, “It’s easy to point to technology and online shopping as the main culprits, but is bricks and mortar truly incompatible with this new world order? Or are we seeing the growing pains of an industry catching up with new consumer habits, behaviours and expectations?…What is the role of bricks and mortar in a (global) digital world of abundance, convenience and deals?”

Decades ago, the local store was the only option for most purchases, but now digital experiences factor heavily into the buyer’s journey. That said, shoppers all over APAC still include the physical store in their path to purchase, whether the journey starts or ends there – with multiple touchpoints on desktops and mobile devices along the way.

In answer to Ballard’s question, Richard Andrew, managing director, Asia writes:

Where customers were once content to shop in local stores exclusively, they now seek more diverse and personalized shopping experiences. Physical stores are still part of the shopper’s journey, but they no longer comprise the entire journey. That journey now includes touch points on multiple devices, including desktops, tablets and mobile phones.

So, bricks and mortar are not incompatible with today’s changing retail landscape. Actual stores still play a critical role in the shopper’s journey, however, as consumer expectations change, retailers must adapt to demands for better, faster and always-on service across devices and touchpoints. It is a global shift, and stores everywhere are clamoring to keep up with expanding shopper demands. The consumer wants the ability to shop anytime, anywhere, on any device, and to have their merchandise in-hand within 24 hours.

Retailers must therefore focus on the dual goals of driving footfall to their stores and designing experiences that delight shoppers while reducing friction. Real-world intelligence culled from location data can play an important role in achieving both goals, helping marketers to understand customer behaviours and deliver personalized, relevant experiences and offers.

To shed some light on this retail evolution, Blis and Sapio Research reached out to 5,935 consumers globally in a global study to uncover the motivations, preferences, and behaviours of shoppers. The result is a series of reports that focus on global markets and offer valuable insights to retail marketers. These reports look at shopping behaviours, trends and major sales events across the region. In APAC, we’ve released reports focusing on retail in Australia and Singapore.

Overall, the news is promising: In APAC in particular, consumers love to shop. Singapore is actually seeing new stores open, and shoppers are enjoying the many new retail experiences offered to them. Australians also love shopping, especially in stores.

Ultimately, the right combination of insights will offer a recipe for success as brands adapt to – and attempt to stay ahead of – rapidly-shifting shopper behaviours.

The Australia report looks at four key trends:

  • Getting physical: Tapping into the visceral and tactile thrill of shopping
  • Savvy shoppers and Bargain hunters: How marketers can take advantage of new shopper behaviours
  • Under the influence: Leveraging the best of online to drive footfall offline
  • Best of both worlds: Fusing online and offline for a more seamless, memorable shopping experience

Download The #RealRetail Story Australia here.

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The Singapore report also focuses on four trends in the region:

  • Singapore loves to shop: While many retailers are struggling globally, Singapore is seeing new stores open and shoppers are enjoying the myriad retail opportunities before them. For retailers here, this is where understanding the profile and motivations of your consumer really comes into play; by using mobile location data you can identify who your target audience should really be and how they prefer to shop.
  • Where digital and real world collide: In this section we explore how digital trends have shifted demands in user experience.
  • Influence and the psyche of the impulse buyer: Where providing the right message to the right consumer at the right time can make the difference in driving them in-store.
  • Sealing the deal: Coming to grips with the consumer behaviours when it comes to paying for products.

Download The #RealRetail Singapore report here.

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Get in touch today to find out more and watch out for The #RealRetail Story EMEA report, launching 25th June.

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Premanjali Gupta

Head of Marketing APAC | Blis Premanjali is responsible for leading APAC marketing efforts through intelligent, innovative, integrated and impactful campaigns that drive thought leadership, demand generation, sales acceleration, exec engagement and customer retention. Besides work, she loves travelling, painting, and consuming (almost concerning!) quantities of wine and cheese.