During the next seven years — that is, by 2015 — retailing will become an industry that must tailor its offerings to individual customers as opposed to the mass approach of the 1980s.
So says the report, “Retailing 2015: New Frontiers,” by TNS Retail Forward and PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
This must be done in order to win over customers and to foster greater customer loyalty, according to the report.
Among several factors that will impact retailing between now and 2015 is the baby boomer generation — the demographic group that will not stop demanding attention. The boomers have always been a defining generation, and that will not change as they approach age 70, write the authors of the report. They will tax manufacturers to adapt products to their needs, and they will require retailers to respond to their changing needs.
“Do not expect baby boomers to go conventionally into maturity,” the report says. “Expect them to redefine older age and retirement, remaining active and involved.”
Their new needs will be driven by smaller households and new emphasis on health and welfare. Their demands for service will increase, with boomers replacing “do-it-yourself” with “help me.” Compared with previous retirees, they will be more educated, more economically empowered and more self-focused.
“The biggest difference will be among female boomers,” the authors write. “As the first retirement generation of women who have had significant careers, strong earning power and confidence in their abilities — driving high expectations for productive senior lifestage.”
2015 sounds like a long way off, but it really isn’t. Retailers should begin now thinking of how to adapt and therefore survive. Next week, we will look at more factors highlighted in this report.