By Retail Doctor Group, in association with Ebeltoft Group

Australian Retail Predictions for 2024 and Beyond

The Retail Doctor Group produces not only our trends in retail, but our predictions for the next 12 months, 3 years and 5 years in a yearly report. These predictions underpin our advisory and consulting work, our proprietary content for our RDG community, our keynote presentations, and wherever it can assist growing Business Fitness for the foreseeable future. 

Read more about the ‘Australian Retail Trend Predictions for 2024 and Beyond’ here. 

A Day in the Life of the Future Consumer

Consumer journeys have become fragmented, one part digital, and the other in person. In true omnichannel environments, this fragmentation goes unnoticed, like Patrick’s shopping journey below. 

With an internet penetration of 96.2%, Australian consumers are certainly more tech-savvy about digital technologies and the role they play in the shopping journey. Our hero, Patrick, is one of the 90% of consumers who use search engines to do their own research into a product or brand before making the final purchasing decision. 

Trends Influencing the Future Consumer’s Purchasing Decisions 

Patrick’s demographics as a Millennial means he also features as one of the 91% of 25-to-34-year-olds who use social media to connect and interact with retailers and brands. This digital dependency is a growing trend that’s set to blow up big in 2024 as consumer expectations for enhanced shopping experiences, convenience, and efficiency crystalise. 

Driving this trend is the post-pandemic emergence of standards that are strongly tied to the consumer’s shopping journey. Things like peer reviews, shopper opinions, brand testimonials, and satisfaction-related feedback have become the norm. But our hero still needs that human touch, a real connection with an actual human being, to set his mind at ease. 

As a retailer, your #1 strategic priority should be to accelerate the use of digital technologies in your business model. However, your physical store will still be the most important channel you can focus on in the next 5 years. 

Personalising the Future Consumer’s Shopping Journey 

Another norm that emerged post Covid-19, personalised interactions that enhance customer experiences and build brand loyalty now have the potential to substantially increase retail revenue.  

Within this personalisation, the emotional aspects of what appeals to your customer (or does not) drives up to 95% of consumer purchasing decisions. To increase your brand’s sales conversions by as much as 71%,​​ use neuroscience to help you understand your consumers’ emotional behaviour-based purchasing decisions. 

Frictionless checkouts and innovative subscription services now eliminate inefficient retail interactions which traditionally wasted the consumer’s time. 1 in 5 Australian consumers now have a retail subscription, a trend that’s predicted to grow substantially as subscriptions offer more and more value for money. 

Retailers need to understand just how precious a consumer’s time is perceived to be. More importantly, retailers can also not afford to waste their own time by targeting consumers who won’t buy from them. 

The Future Consumer’s Technological Journey 

Voice-based shopping, AR and VR technologies, and robotics are futuristic concepts that have become integral to the retail experience. These technologies help retailers create immersive experiences, both online and in-store and have transformed the way consumers engage with brands and retailers. 

Driving this transformative behaviour is Retail Media, brand-specific advertisements that speak to just a handful of targeted consumers. Certainly the pinnacle of personalisation, the improved customer experiences reported mean that an additional $1b in revenue lies ahead for Australian retailers who take advantage of this trend. 

Artificial Intelligence (AI), automation, and data analytics will play a critical role in brand growth. The technology behind these trends is how retailers and brands will create personalised shopping experiences, while also streamlining their supply chains so they’re better able to stay competitive by implementing more dynamic pricing strategies.  

We’ve now seen how retailers need to respond to growing consumer needs, but what does all this mean for our consumer, Patrick? 

The Shopping Life of the Future Consumer 

This is the shopping journey of the average consumer in the future omnichannel environment: 

Within this omnichannel environment, we see the future trends discussed above and how they will impact the emotional decision-making in a shopper’s journey. Retailers need to be aware that the physical store is still core to the consumer journey for almost 1 in 3 consumers who want human interaction in their shopping journeys. 

1. Conversational Commerce 

Patrick video chats with a retailer’s avatar. The assistant reviews his needs, makes recommendations, and offers him a discount for shopping with their store. Patrick comes away from the interaction feeling positive that he’s found what he needs to complete the purchase. 

2. Frictionless Commerce 

Patrick then navigates to the retailer’s webstore through his smart device, where he places an order for a t-shirt that originally caught his eye on the retailer’s social media pages. 

3. Hyper Personalisation 

Based on Patrick’s electronic journey so far, the retailer’s website shows Patrick a broader personalised product selection than just the original product he’s added to his cart. Patrick navigates through the personalised selection and selects a second product, a pair of shoes. 

4. Virtual Try-ons 

To see how the pair of shoes would fit him and which colour he would prefer, Patrick uses the retailer’s 3D body scanning app on the holographic model of himself to customise his product choice. 

5. Metaverse Integration 

Patrick switches to a VR Headset to shop in-store in a metaverse mall. The store’s virtual avatar assists him with the products he’s chosen to view. 

6. Crypto Wallets 

Patrick’s journey earns him cryptocurrency as loyalty rewards that he stores in his digital wallet. He later uses his digital wallet to buy the retailer’s NFT through their metaverse store. 

7. Instore Experience 

Patrick enjoyed his virtual shopping spree and would like to view the products in a real-world setting, so he decides to visit the physical store. He wants to touch the products and speak to staff for some additional advice. 

8. Omni-channel Experience 

When Patrick enters the store, GPS identifies that he’s on site. Patrick’s smart device lights up with personalised push notifications about today’s offers.  

9. Facial-Recognition 

The retailer’s facial recognition software picks up that Patrick has entered the store and begins to display personalised product choices on lightboxes and displays in Patrick’s immediate vicinity. The software also notifies sales staff that Patrick is in the store. 

10. Product Information 

Patrick uses his mobile app to engage with the personalised displays and products in-store, grabbing additional product information about the items that pique his interest. 

11. Gamification 

Patrick earns loyalty points by linking his in-store experience and online experience through social sharing and instore challenges. The gamification makes Patrick feel like he belongs to a like-minded community, and emotionally, he’s reassured that he’s shopping from the right place. 

12. Delivery your Way 

Patrick purchases the products he decided on in-store, and requests delivery to his home. By the time Patrick gets there, his delivery is waiting for him on his doorstep. 

Patrick considers the day a success. He doesn’t even think about how long the whole shopping experience took him because not a single part of his shopping journey could be considered a waste of time to him.

Is your company Business Fit enough to give your consumers the same shopping experience that Patrick had? 

Contact the Retail Doctor Group, a retail advisory and consulting practice that builds retail channels and increases the performance of retail and FMCG businesses through our customised & transformative ‘Business Fitness™’ methodologies. 

Since 2005 we have partnered with our clients to build powerful, award-winning, sustainable, and “fit” implemented retail. Ensuring our clients consistently achieve above benchmarks, build sales and margin results. We stay with our clients to ensure success. 

As the Australian elected member of International Retail Experts, Ebeltoft Group, we have more than 20 years of experience as retailers and consultants in all retail channels, segments and regions. Today, members of the Ebeltoft network advise 80 of the 100 largest retail companies in the world. 

Want to know more about the Future of Retail and prepare your retail strategies? Schedule an appointment with our Insights division by e-mailing us at or calling 02 9460 2882.