If we were to predict how the retail experience was going to change throughout the next decade – what would those changes look like?
We believe the future of retail shopping will change drastically over the next 12 months. In this blog we will be discussing our ideas on this subject.
Given that 2020 has been a challenging year, could we have ever predicted how the unprecedented changes would affect how we shop? As the retail sector has had to adapt to remain afloat, what does the future hold?
With the new technology that is available and/or in development, will the shopping experience change forever?
We think it will. No doubt, there will come a point where all businesses will need to adapt to these new technological advancements. Consequently the customer experience will become a key part to the success… but what does this look like?
We believe that we will see smaller stores, but with more in-store technology. An example of this would be allowing you to access vast online warehouses and smart mirrors that allow you to virtually ‘try on’ clothes before buying. We can also see smaller businesses becoming more personalised to their visitors through digital messaging boards and mobile phone integration.
Whilst it feels a bit Blade Runner… this technology is already available and given the recent crisis, there is a lot that could impact the future of retail shopping.
Will they develop even further to become the ‘norm’ for shopping experience?
In a recent Forbes article, Melissa Gonzalez, founder of the Lion’esque Group and a pop-up retail strategist, suggested that shopping will become more of an event and less of a ‘to do’ activity. She predicts that businesses will still need a physical presence. However, not on the same scale as we currently see. Businesses will streamline their floorspace and look more towards the customer experience of their products.
She also advises that Dropship shopping will become a preferred retail concept, where smaller amounts of stock are held and the customer can view, order and purchase larger ranges online. This might include touch screens dotted throughout the store, virtual reality headsets, mobile phone integration and seamless checkout facilities.
At the beginning of 2020 Deloitte substantiated the lean more towards an emotionally heightened shopping experience, advising “Customers expect unique experiences, both in store and online. Whether that be through curated marketplaces, connected spaces or digital journeys, customers are wanting to have an emotional connection to their shopping experience.”
Direct to customer (D2C) selling is also on the rise, where brands remove the need for third party retailers, wholesalers or middlemen. The benefit of this approach means brands retain control of their products, how it’s supplied and ultimately how it’s priced.
Smaller brands, who rely on larger stores and retailers to market their products, may struggle in the short term. D2C will allow them to invest in how customers are treated right at the source and meeting the customers’ expectations. This method will pay dividends in the long term, especially if the buying experience is seamless. This is where we might see more of the pop-up shop idea, both physical and digital options.
Do we think that the new shopping experience is going to be something that emulates the future scenarios?
Similar to those depicted in Altered Carbon; where advertising holograms reach the skyline – probably not yet. The technology is already there, but on a smaller scale.
Will our shopping experience become more personalised to the individual?
We believe it will, yes! This may come with the appetite of the store to become smaller and more compact, but with an interactive experience.
We also think the future of retail shopping will become more of a social event. Shopping centres, in partnership with the retail stores, will almost create a day out for you! Sounds exciting right? Providing you with shops to visit, coffee break ideas, lunch and dinner offers… all contained within the centre as it makes smart business sense to keep your audience on site!
Either way, there will be some huge strides forward in the digital space. Digital payments, personalisation via immersive shopping experiences, NFC marketing and advertising to mobiles, will all form part of the ‘new’ shopping experience of the future… the future of retail shopping.
For more on the subject of retail technology, check out our blog! More specifically, finding success online with the 7 tips.