AMP Capital Shopping Centres and Australian Fashion Chamber host second event from the Talking Shop series in Sydney

Thursday 24 September 2015: Today, over 100 retail industry experts turned out for the second Talking Shop Retailer Engagement Series workshop — ‘Digital – The Modern Customer Journey’. The event, held by AMP Capital Shopping Centres (AMPCSC) and the Australian Fashion Chamber (AFC), shared leading-edge research, knowledge and insights into the Australian retail market.

Hosted by Pacific Magazines Group Publisher of Fashion and Health Titles, Jackie Frank, speakers Alistair Leathwood, Executive Director at TNS Global, Ana Maria Escobar, General Manager & Creative Director at Oroton Group, Alex Macoun, Head of Media at Quantium, and Kate Box, Head of Global Marketing Solutions at Facebook Australia, collectively agreed that it is vital for Australian retailers to embrace digital technology and ensure they are accessing the data available to them to understand their target market, engage with their customers, communicate their brand personality and share content with their audiences.

Kate Box said of the event, “While there has been an enormous buzz over the last decade about online shopping, it’s not the be all and end all of the Australian retail environment. It’s vital that bricks-and-mortar retailers understand that a solid digital strategy can help drive foot traffic to stores in addition to growing their digital and mobile offerings. Facebook is really pleased to be able to work with the AFC and AMPCSC to help retailers understand the tools that are available to them through our platform as well as through our partnership with Quantium.”

Alex Macoun, Group Executive of Media at Quantium, said “Unlike general store owners of the past, retailers today don’t know the faces of their customers, their needs, and the details of their lives. But customers still provide many clues to help us understand them, and increasingly they expect retailers to act on this understanding. Working together, AMPCSC and Quantium have used customers’ shopping data to understand changing customer profiles, trade areas and market opportunities, helping identify the most appropriate retailer mix to meet demand. Additionally, through Quantium’s partnerships with Facebook and other media companies, we can now help retailers speak directly to the customers whose real purchase behaviours align with their brands. We can at last re-establish the same level of customer understanding that we have had in the past and treat each customer differently, in accordance with their needs, delivering superior customer experiences and business results”.

At the event Ana Maria Escobar gave insights into the “Rose Byrne effect” and how Oroton’s digital and social strategy harnessed these assets and drove results for the brand, stating “our most important take on social media was and is to remain focused and stay true to the brand, so our message is engaging and enhances the overall brand experience”.

AMP Capital Shopping Centres Head of Shopping Centre Marketing, Belinda Daly said that the Talking Shop event series gives retailers the opportunity to hear from experts on how to enhance their marketing strategies and achieve success for their brands.

“At AMPCSC we recognise the importance of digital and social technology to retailers’ marketing strategies. Through companies like Quantium retailers can access online data assets that provide valuable information on how to tailor their offline experience to appeal to their audience and drive shoppers in-store. The Talking Shop workshop today was a great opportunity to bring together retail and digital experts to offer key insights into this rapidly expanding world of opportunities,”said Ms Daly.

AFC General Manager, Courtney Miller said, “We know the online world of fashion is relentlessly changing and we want our members and the Australian fashion community to know what’s happening and how they need to change, adapt and utilise.”

Key themes that emerged from the TNS Connected Life 2015 report presented by Alistair Leathwood included:

  • Smartphone penetration in Australia is at 85% – that penetration is highest amongst younger consumers, but even amongst the over 50s, its more than 60%. In addition, the average Australian owns five different online enabled devices. And they use them all.
  • Checking your mobile device is the first activity of the day for many – Australians are connected to their mobile devices almost constantly, but peak times are first thing in the morning and in the evening.
  • Adoption of fitness-related devices is growing fast – ownership of new smartwatches or fitness bands such as the FitBit has grown fast and shows no sign of slowing down. Expect to see a plethora of brands releasing devices to cater for this market.
  • We no longer just consume content – while 97% of people regularly consume content, 96% of people are regularly interacting with content and a further 89% are regularly creating content. However when it comes to brands, consumers are less willing to jump in and be involved – around 50% of consumers consume brand content, while just one third interact with brand content, and only one in ten create brand content.
  • Online shopping is not going to kill bricks and mortar stores any time soon – the Connected Life 2015 report revealed that the biggest barriers for consumers to purchase online include: they prefer to be able to touch products (61%); they are unsure of the quality (57%); high delivery costs (52%); they find it easier to buy in-store (51%); they want the product right away (49%); and they don’t believe it’s cheaper (37%).
  • Online shopping varies widely by category – the highest levels of online sales come from travel (82%) and music (66%), while the lowest levels come from medicine (6%) and groceries (21%). Mid-point categories include baby care (28%), apparel (32%), consumer electronics (39%) and financial services (49%).