What do shoppers want? A lot of different things, depending on their ages, but some preferences cut across all age groups, according to a JLL survey released today at RECon.
First of all, consumers overwhelmingly prefer physical retail, given that online shopping still only makes up about 10 percent of total retail sales, notes the report, The Future of Retail. And while retailers are falling over themselves to adopt the latest technology, it is human interaction that most customers value, the report says. An efficient customer experience is critical to all generations, with more than half of respondents saying that a skilled customer service employee is the biggest factor determining the quality of their shopping experience.
What do shoppers want from their centers? Good food and green space — both abundant at Easton Town Center, Columbus, Ohio
“The use of technology will be most appreciated by shoppers when it advances store efficiency — like improvement in inventory management or logistics that allows for same-day delivery,” the report said.
And what do shoppers want out of their retail centers? Nearly 40 percent of the 1,500 shoppers surveyed said their choice of shopping center is determined by its food offerings. More than 40 percent want to see open green spaces at their center, while another 40 percent are seeking stores that offer healthy food and drink.
Interestingly, just 17 percent want a gym at their center, despite the 13.8 percent growth of fitness tenants at retail centers from 2017 to 2018. Nearly 20 percent of respondents want to find healthcare providers at shopping centers, and while there are clinics at just 10 percent of retail properties currently, this is expected to double by 2022, says JLL.
“We’re living in a world of chaotic consumer behavior,” said Greg Maloney, CEO of JLL Retail. “They shop around the clock, are in control, collaborate and share their experiences — good and bad — more than any other time in retail. Getting their experience right is going to be critical to retailers and shopping centers as they compete for time, energy, and money.”
By Edmund Mander