A new guide for cross-channel fashion and footwear retailers reveals key insights into the Australian retail sector in 2019 and the big challenges that lay ahead.
According to the 2019 Ultimate Retail Guide: Fashion and Footwear, developed by Retail Express and Sharley Consulting, the Australian fashion sector is expected to grow by 2.9 percent in the next 12-months. The footwear category is expected to see even stronger growth at 9.4 percent.
While the role of bricks-and-mortar retailers are still as relevant as ever, one of the biggest challenges facing the fashion and footwear retail sector over the next year is reportedly bridging the gap between online and offline channels, the guide says.
“To say the current retail landscape is dynamic is an understatement. The pace of change is quicker than it’s ever been, whilst exciting and inspiring it can be challenging and difficult for businesses to keep up. Retailers must deliver exceptional experiences in every single moment. Customers expect seamless and intuitive shopping experiences at every step along the way,” said Emma Sharley, the director of Sharley Consulting.
Keeping staff up-to-date with digital and technological changes have also been identified as a hurdle for retailers in 2019, as well as optimising data collection and analysis and raising the performance of individual bricks-and-mortar stores.
“Research shows that data-driven businesses are 23 times more likely to acquire customers, six times more likely to retain customers, and 19 times more likely to be profitable as a result,” the report says.