Press Release May 2024: Aura Retail Survey Results

Despite concerns about consumer spending, 50% of retailers plan to open new store locations over the next two years

  • Lowered consumer spending is viewed as retail’s biggest challenge over the next 12 months by 49% of retailers
  • 68% of retailers are looking to invest in digital in-store customer experience technology within the next two years to increase footfall
  • Gen Z and Millennials are viewed as the key demographic for securing retail’s future

New research by retail experiences brand, Aura Futures, has revealed that although 49% of retailers view lowered consumer spending as retail’s biggest challenge over the next 12 months, 50% plan to open new store locations during the next two years, with the majority (68%) putting their faith in consumer experiences to revive flagging footfall. 

According to those surveyed, 58% of their retail sales are still conducted in-store, but declining footfall remains a significant problem. The research, which took in the views of 300 retail managers and C-level executives, showed that 66% of businesses view attracting Millennials and Gen Z consumers into stores with immersive, physical experiences as the best way to counter declining footfall, with areas of investment falling into five main categories:

  •  Intelligent Digital Signage (45%)
  •  Immersive Experiences Interactive Displays (35%)
  •  Custom LED Displays (32%)
  •  Sensory Marketing (24%)
  •  Smart Content Integration Company-Wide Content Broadcast (24%)

Three in ten of the retailers polled have already implemented experiential solutions using AI, which they hope will not only increase in-store footfall, but appeal to new demographics – something that is viewed as a challenge by 12%. 

As well as using brand experiences to attract new customers, many retailers are using it to increase brand loyalty, something that 91% of survey respondents agreed bricks-and-mortar stores were vital for. This would explain why they are investing in increasing their number of physical stores by more than a quarter (28%) in the next two years.  

Stephen Todd, Aura’s Operating Board Director, comments: ‘The recent retail survey from Aura further confirms our mindset about the need for digital experience in stores. Many of the retailers in the survey have confirmed they wish to increase in-store footfall and desire to appeal to new demographics. We have proven in the past how interactive, engaging and meaningful digital experiences can assist with this. 

‘We specialise in technology beyond just the display and ensure our solutions are intelligent, interactive, and multi-sensory, to drive a real-world ROI. They’re also scalable on a global basis. And with 68% of respondents confirming that they are looking to invest in digital in-store technology, and 91% agreeing that physical retail stores are vital to building brand loyalty, this drives our strategy. 

Adam Wilson, Chief Revenue Officer at Aura, adds: ‘Retailers are under pressure in an environment where consumers are spending less, and more of what they are spending is going online. The survey highlights the necessity for retailers to consider investment in new technologies to enhance customer engagement and conversion. Either making current investments fit for purpose or considering it for the first time.

‘By creating an engaging and enjoyable retail environment, retailers can make their stores a destination, which will drive loyalty – enhancing sales both in-store and online.

About Aura

Aura Futures works with some of the world’s biggest companies to elevate their customers’ and employees’ digital experiences using leading-edge digital transformation solutions.

Aura has a proven track record of working with leading retail brands, outlining the art of the possible and supporting next-level design innovation, delivering meaningful and engaging hyperphysical customer experiences that drive demand.

With our global capability and broad sector-specific expertise, we help some of the world’s most recognisable brands achieve their corporate objectives.

Read the full survey report at:

Editor’s Notes: Aura Futures surveyed 301 retail managers and c-suite executives in April 2024 via Perspectus Global. 

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