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New research: Australian and New Zealand retailers invest in AI

New research: Australian and New Zealand retailers invest in AI
New research: Australian and New Zealand retailers invest in AI

The latest shoppers report by the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) and Salesforce reveals how Australian and New Zealand retailers and shoppers adapt to the new retail landscape.

Businesses are discovering new ways to build customer loyalty through the power of generative artificial intelligence (AI).

Significant disruptions

The study has found that the industry is again on a cliff of significant disruptions. Generative AI is what 91% of retailers in Australia and New Zealand are investing in. “These findings demonstrate the industry is already adapting to meet the evolving wants and needs of consumers,” according to the statement.

Millennials are most likely to jump on the technology bandwagon, with 52% of this age group confirming they’ll be turning to the internet to source gift ideas.

“However, the hype isn’t limited to this age group, with 31% of all Australian and New Zealand shoppers admitting they’d be interested in using generative AI to get inspiration for product purchases,” confirms the study.

Social media’s influence

Stores now function as e-commerce fulfillment centers more than ever. Many Australian and New Zealand retailers offer services like buy-online-pickup-in-store. 24% of store associates in Australia and New Zealand use mobile devices to complete tasks away from the register.

Loyalty programs are less popular compared to previous years. 67% of Australian and New Zealand retailers offer such programs. Only a few have expanded beyond tried-and-true points-based schemes. There is ample opportunity for companies to expand into newer models, such as tiered or coalition programs.

Consumers react

“Consumers are traversing a number of physical and digital touchpoints throughout the shopping journey – from browsing in stores to buying on social,” says Rob Garf, vice president at Salesforce Retail. “Our research shows that generative AI is a game changer for retailers to increase personalization and decrease friction – ultimately driving loyalty and increasing share of wallet.”

ARA boss Paul Zahra says high-tech and high-touch are vital tools to entice the modern shopper. “Today’s customers want it all. A tailored, fast, frictionless shopping experience and artificial intelligence tools certainly have the potential to improve that experience.”

Zahra says that overseas markets are already seeing the uptake in interactive technologies. “Such as the virtual fitting room. It’s only time before these reach the Australian retail landscape.”

The Australian Retail Association believes social media has become an intrinsic part of the shopping experience. Those who use social media in their broader marketing strategies will be best off on their way to success.

“Likewise with loyalty and rewards programs. Advancing these incentives is critical to entice and retain customers amid the cost-of-living crisis,” says Zahra.

About the author

Mia is a multi-award-winning journalist. She has more than 14 years of experience in mainstream media. She's covered many historic moments that happened in Africa and internationally. She has a strong focus on human interest stories, to bring her readers and viewers closer to the topics at hand.

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