Total Retail 2015
As online shopping continues to grow at the expense of store visits, the premium in the future will be on creating unique, brand-defining experiences that keep customers coming back— whatever the channel.
In last year’s Total Retail report, I referred to the high bar that participants in PwC’s global online shopper survey had set for retailers worldwide. In the 12 months since, that bar has been raised higher still– but customer expectations are really just part of the story for retailers in 2015. In fact, the environment for retailers has never been more complex. In this year’s report, we have reinforced our consumer research with interviews of retailers around the world. Our analysis, both of our survey data and interviews, keeps bringing us back to four waves of disruption facing every retailer, regardless of where they operate: the evolving role of the store, the proliferation of social networks, mobile phone technology, and global demographic shifts. An expanded and deepened survey Our global consumer survey now covers more than 19,000 respondents in 19 territories on six continents. The more we expand and deepen this annual assessment, the more effective it becomes in analyzing and evaluating the international retail landscape. Some of the results from this year’s survey echo a fundamental principle from last year: namely, that achieving “total retail” demands thinking beyond channels. The more shoppers we canvass in country after country—and the more thoroughly we poll them about their consumer habits, preferences, and expectations for a better shopping experience—the more obvious it is that consumers are developing their own approach to researching and purchasing, both online and in-store. They want their shopping needs met in a way that minimizes uncertainty and inflexibility and maximizes efficiency, convenience, and pleasure.