Technology targeting the citysumers

FACT: eMarketer predicts that smartphone ownership will reach 43% of the US mobile population by 2015.

FACT: “Echo” Boomers, defined as the 12- to 29-year-old age group, spend five times as much as their parents, and are exceptionally brand-conscious with high retail expectations.

FACT: Online sales in the UK grew by 18% in July 2010, a 33% increase compared to July 2009. Shoppers spent an average of £81 online.

In our second edition of MORE Vision, we looked at Citysumers, the new generation of Europeans choosing to live and work in urban areas. As people head to the cities, the retail real estate industry is focusing more on the modern urban mall. But how can we engage with this finicky, demanding and connected group of consumers?

Some retailers are finding ways…

Smartphone technology and the younger generation

In China, smartphones are not just for adults. Apple stores are targeting the new smartphone users with a three-day summer camp in China for children aged 8-12. Hosted in Shanghai, the camp teaches children about Apple software iMovie, as well as the history of the company and its products.

With the population of Smartphone users exploding, it is no wonder retailers are combining new technologies with online shopping

Don’t ask – just go online

Australian mall developer Westfield recently added the Google Commerce search feature to its free mobile app to save shoppers time. Shoppers can now search and compare prices from 200 retailers in 55 Westfield shopping malls across the US. Users simply search for the product they want, select the retailer, and then call the local store to check availability in a single click.

It’s happening in the UK as well, where leading supermarket Tesco launched a series of print ads in September 2011 that featured interactive, digital content, accessible by smartphone. The print campaign was part of a larger initiative called the ‘Big Price Drop’, with the ads also available to view online. 

French retailer Chronodrive has embraced online shopping innovations, by introducing designated pick-up depots at its stores. With over 7,500 products to choose from, customers can have groceries brought to their vehicle within five minutes of arriving at the store.

Combining online shopping with appealing physical locations

But online shopping isn’t the be all and end all. In a surprising reversal of the online shopping trend, one online retailer found huge success with a new physical retail location. Children’s social networking game Moshi Monsters  launched its first attempt at retail in February 2011 with a small pop-up store in London. The store experienced greater demand than anticipated, and the original plan for a one week run was extended as a result.

Watch this space for the next MORE Vision!

Every two months, MORE Vision by MAPIC will contribute to the retail real estate community’s knowledge base by exploring a key trend influencing retail property strategy today. Each issue of this multichannel and multi-tool service will include a presentation of a trend, with history, key figures and useful links. Questions raised will be opened up for debate on our social media platforms – the best comments and discussions will be summarised and published here on the MIPIMWorld blog.

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Image: phogel

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