In the Spotlight: Demographics, Retail Trends

When it comes to success in retail, the old mantra of “location, location, location” has been largely replaced by “customer, customer, customer.” That was one of the themes of the SPECS workshop session, “It’s All in the Demographics.”

“Yes, it’s about demographics, but it’s more than demographics. It’s about the lifestyle embedded in the demographics,” explained Bill Stinneford, executive VP retail, Buxton, Fort Worth, Texas, which provides customer analytics for site selection, marketing and e-commerce.

Stinneford explained that a retailer can have the best location in terms of visibility, access and other factors and the most beautiful building, but if it doesn’t have the right kind of customer living in close proximity, nothing else matters.

“You have to look beyond the surface of the demographics,” he said, “and look at behavioral characteristics, utilizing all [the information] that Big Data feeds into your company’s network. The data allows you go to deeper.”

And instead of a top-down approach to understanding the data, you have to look at it from the bottom up to assess the trade value of customers in a particular area, the speaker added.

RETAIL CHANGES: Jeff Green, president and CEO, Jeff Green Partners, addressed the critical issues that will impact brick-and-mortar retail during the next several years, including the shopping behavior of the 80 million strong millennial generation. He noted that retailers need to regain relevance given the shift to online shopping.

“Retail needs to become more experiential,” Green told attendees.

Green also did some future-casting, outlining the 10 shopping changes expected in the coming years. Here are his predictions:

  • Mobile will go mainstream.

  • Delivery times will decrease.

  • Retail will be personalized.

  • Outlet shopping will continue to increase.

  • We will use our cellphone as our wallet.

  • Big boxes will continue to shrink.

  • Couponing will go high-tech.

  • Buying/sourcing local will go beyond food and restaurants.

  • In-store experiences will get better with digital engagement.

  • Retail pricing models will become more dynamic.

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