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These are the characteristics of the shopper of the future and the evolution of purchasing habits according to the Expo Riva Schuh & Gardabags talk - the first in a series promoted by the event.

Optimistic, aware, always connected: this is the identikit of the shopper of the future, according to the Expo Riva Schuh & Gardabags talk entitled The Future Shopper – part 1. Customers will have all-round characteristics that the market cannot ignore and to which it will need to adapt with an increasingly phygital reference model where the shopping experience, influenced by digital, does not exclude the physical one, with all that it entails.

The fashion industry intercepted this trend way before anyone else to get ready for new challenges and anticipate new needs and habits, in order to be able to satisfy them. The result is a multifaceted portrait, analysed in every little detail during the talk that saw key players from retail marketing and fashion system trend analysts: Maria Eugenia Errobidarte - Senior Consultant at WGSN, Enrico Cietta - Fashion Economist & CEO of Diomedea and Karin Zaghi - Associate Professor of Practice of Channel and Retail.

What emerged was the predominance of a number of new factors driving purchasing habits that profile an equal number of consumer types: the logical equation of the change in the world scenario goes hand in hand with the modification of new forms of consumption and the emergence of figures who are more attentive to what they buy and how, and who interpret a system of values in which topicality is of prime importance. Maria Errobidarte is certain about this and identified five different purchasing habit drivers and just as many identities for the shoppers of the future, in a complex, lively examination that brought together the elements of the fashion world, creating a model that can easily be replicated in any sector.

Starting with these drivers, the most apparent aspect to emerge was the slow progress of the local vs global trend as a direct consequence of the current emergency, joined by another aspect more closely linked to sustainability, which brings to the fore the greater purchasing awareness that rewards the transparency of brand values. An informed consumer, who knows what he or she is looking for and seeks confirmation of their purchase, filtered by clear messages delivered by the product itself, is what the market will increasingly have to deal with. Also, especially given that the scenario is increasingly dominated by e-commerce, where the speed of purchase is contrasted by a more extended timing, allowing you to build a more careful perception of the product.

Despite the still uncertain economic situation, optimism towards the immediate future is nevertheless a dominant attitude, above all amongst those who belong to the Z-Generation, as well as the certainty of the rapid speed of changes globally, that are faster than ever and which identify Asia as the pulsating centre that will drive 40% of consumption by 2040.

Within this ever-moving framework are the profiles of the five types of consumer that emerged from the discussion, starting with the Value Shopper, whose decision-making process regarding purchases follows clear dynamics that affect the entire identity of the brand involved. Then there is the Local Shopper whose purchasing capacity, when not web-oriented, is geared towards local shops that he knows and that are nearby, led by his emotions as well as the qualitative features of the product and which become a guarantee of what he buys. This same quality is also key for the Slow Shopper, attentive to sustainability as well as the return to a less frenetic dimension when shopping and someone who loves to savour the moment and share it with the community. Next we have the Autonomous Shopper, who has turned the isolation of lockdown into an autonomous, and preferably online, shopping experience. On the opposite side there is the Optimistic Shopper, whose imaginative and creative energy leads him or her to consider the opportunities generated by the pandemic in a positive way, but, at the same time, hopes for a return to the physical dimension of shopping.
This interesting and moving framework, which demands further reflection, will constitute the starting point for the next talk, scheduled for 11th February on Swapcard, the digital platform recently adopted by Expo Riva Schuh.

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