Nowadays, no one is shocked when a 60-70-year-old woman is reading an e-book while on train or when a man of similar age is paying for parking or his purchases in a suit shop with a mobile app. People in middle age and seniors are aware of their needs and, at the same time, follow the latest technologies. According to the results of the research “The future of Shopping. Key Trends in Retail Today and in 2030” conducted by Comarch and Kantar TNS, representatives of generations X and Y are aware that digitalization in stores is of key importance.
Like the Millennials, they expect introduction of digital services and mobile payments. Moreover, older customers (compared to people in their 20ies and 30ies) are more convinced that in 2030 there will be fewer brick-and-mortar stores than today, and that traditional shop assistants will be replaced with personal virtual advisors.
The research on current and future customer behaviours and expectations has been conducted in 6 European countries: the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and Italy. There have been over 3,000 persons surveyed, aged 18 to 65.
Sensory sales advisor
A vision of bots and virtual assistants in stores appears to be even more feasible. This is confirmed by the results of the report “The future of Shopping. Key Trends in Retail Today and in 2030”. 61% of the respondents believe that within the next 13 years shop assistants will be replaced with personal digital advisors. Representatives of the age group of 55 and 65 year-olds seems to be most convinced. 62% of the middle-aged people believe that with time they will be assisted by bots instead of traditional shop assistants at stores. Only 57% of the Millennials, aged 18-24 and 61% of the respondents 25-34, 35-44, and 45-54 years of age are of a similar opinion.
There will be no grocery shops in front of the block...
The survey authors have also asked the respondents if brick-and-mortar stores will disappear from the market. 77% of those surveyed responded positively. Above the European average are customers of 35 years old and more. The biggest group that believes in such market phenomenon are those 45-54 year-olds – 79% of them are convinced that there will be substantially fewer brick-and-mortar stores in the future than at present. The same answer was given by 78% of the respondents born between 1972 and 1981 and between 1951 and 1961. The Millennials were below the average: 76% of the age group of 25-34 year-olds and 72% of the group of 18-24 year-olds believe that the traditional sales channel will go out of date.
“The results are surprising because people who were brought up in times when all goods and services were available at traditional points of sale believe that soon there will be fewer and fewer of such places. In part, it is a consequence of not sufficient amount of leisure time. At present, people in their 30ies, 40ies, and 50ies spend a lot of time at work, in addition have home chores, therefore, they more often opt for on-line shopping and use on-line services. In turn, young people strongly stress their own needs and individualism. Therefore, they look for original stores, often times with personal collections of a fashion designer. And such collections are mainly available in brick-and-mortar stores,” notes Piotr Budzinowski, director of the Product Management Department, Comarch ERP.
Digitalization is the key to business success
All surveyed age groups have agreed on the fact that most of the stores will provide digital services to their customers. 87% of the respondents from 6 European countries believe that most of stores will be digitalized. Respondents who are 35-44 years of age are the most numerous group among digitalization enthusiasts. 89% of them think that customers will be able to use IT systems and electronic devices in most of the stores. The remaining age groups are not too far from the average and 88% of the respondents between 18-24 years of age and 86% of the surveyed aged 18-24 and 55-65 are of a similar opinion. Consumers aged 45-54 are the least convinced to digitalization.
No more queues
The future of electronic and mobile payments has been another issue of the survey. According to 86% of the respondents, traditional check-outs will be replaced by mobile devices. Above the average are only customers aged 35-44 (88%), whereas an opinion of the rest of the age groups reflects the European median.
“The least numerous group of enthusiasts of electronic payments are the Millennials, even though there are 84% of them. It might result from the fact that they do not have any recollection of several kilometres long queues in which people had to spend several or a dozen or so hours”, sums up Piotr Budzinowski, director of the Product Management Department, Comarch ERP.
The full report by Comarch and Kantar TNS on “THE FUTURE OF SHOPPING. KEY TRENDS IN RETAIL TODAY AND IN 2030” is available at: https://www.comarch.com/retail/future-of-retail/