Looking back at the past decade, Australia’s retail landscape has transformed rapidly and consumers have adapted very quickly to these changes. This rate of change will continue over the next decade to 2030, driven by technological advancements and the ability of customer demands to shape the retail market and the way retailers operate. CBRE’s Future of Retail report identifies 30 predictions for what retail in Australia will look like in 2030. Three key drivers have been identified as having largest influence on the retail environment by 2030: sustainability, experience and convenience.
By 2030 consumers will prioritise environmentally sustainable products and retailers. This will include zero-plastic packaging for delivery and returns processes, use of efficient delivery algorithms and more information on the source, ingredients and journey of a product. The sharing economy will boom as consumers look to recycle and reuse high-quality products rather than making short-term, poor quality purchases that end up in landfill.
The automation of appliances and growth of in-home assistants and technology will mean that buying many products such as groceries, personal care products and basic apparel will be a completely automated process. Consequently, when customers venture in store, experience will be vital to retailer success. Augmented reality will enhance the physical buying experience and retailers will engage with customers through unique instore experiences. Stores will sell less but invest extensively in offering experiences. Customer loyalty will be key and big data analytics to track customer behaviours will also enable retailers to be more engaged with their customers through personalised services such as tailored sales and promotions and loyalty programs and rewards.
Time savings and efficient retail operations that cater to a specific customer’s needs will be a key driver in retail service components such as online grocery shopping, flexible delivery and dining out. Smaller apartments with less or shared kitchen space and increasingly longer or non-traditional working hours will drive this. Courier services will be more technologically advanced to allow delivery of all products at a precise time and place, and virtual stores will allow the physical browsing experience but without the need to carry products after purchase.