Digital Natives – the evolving consumer

Tim Berners-Lee launched the first World Wide Web server and browser in 1990.  It opened for commercial use in 1991.  In 1994 German company Intershop pioneered the online shopping system and Amazon followed hot on their heels in 1995.

In 2012, children born in 1994 will turn 18, becoming the first adults to have lived their entire life in the presence of online retailing.  Of course, many consumers both older and younger than 18 have grown up with the internet and computers being an inherent part of their social development.  Known as ‘Digital Natives’, these consumers are driving the way that retailers adapt the way they sell their products.  They represent an ever growing proportion of the consumer population, particularly those with disposable income.  Between now and 2025, the population of Digital Natives in Britain alone will have increased by roughly 9.5 million people (based on figures from Office for National Statistics).

So what do these Digital Natives expect from their shopping experience?  They have grown up in a world where they can find an answer to any question in less than ten seconds on Google; they can research products online before deciding what to buy; they are used to a marketplace vastly larger than their local high street; they share their likes and dislikes with hundreds (or thousands) of people through social media, and in turn depend more and more on social trends to generate demand rather than just advertising.  How will these trends develop in the next 14 years?  Where will the retail world be in 14 years’ time?

Oracle Retail is currently conducting a survey of about 1,500 Digital Natives aged 18-23 across three countries to explore how they perceive the retail world and what they expect from their shopping experience.  We will be finding out how they make their purchasing decisions, how price-conscious they are, what media they pay most attention to and how they use social media and mobile technology to shop. 

The results of the Digital Natives survey will be launched at a special seminar at this year’s World Retail Congress in Berlin by Mike Webster, Oracle Retail’s Senior Vice President and General Manager.  In this session, Mike will explore the implications of the research and pose questions on how retailers in 2025 will have adapted their business models in response to the development of digital technology and social media.  The presentation will take into account the impact of Digital Natives on stores, commerce, price, communication, marketing and promotions.  To find out more about the session and how to book your place, visit the World Retail Congress website here: http://www.worldretailcongress.com/programme-day-three.cfm

We will also be publishing our findings on this blog.  Subscribe to the blog to stay up to date with the findings.  

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Everything Retail.


Principal contributors:

Sarah Taylor, Senior Industry Director, Oracle Retail.


Marie-Christin Hansen, Senior Industry Campaigns Manager, Oracle Retail.


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