Retail has changed significantly and is still changing, thanks to digital. Now this disruption is fueling changes to the physical environment. A new report from Westfield—"How We Shop Now: What's Next?"—surveyed shoppers in the U.K. and United States and uncovered five trends they want from retailers.
Pay as you go retail. U.K. shoppers are interested in paying as they go, basically renting products from retailers rather than owning. It's a trend fueled by Uber and Airbnb and is particularly strong among millennials, with nearly half (46 percent) of 25-34 year olds interested in renting.
Classroom retail. Shoppers are interested in using retail spaces as classrooms to learn new skills and build social networks. Lifestyle lessons or clubs offering health, fitness, or cooking sessions all rank high with U.K. shoppers looking to learn new skills.
Lifestyle loyalty. Shoppers increasingly want to be rewarded, not just for shopping but for lifestyle choices. Recycling, exercising, spending time with family, getting enough sleep and charity volunteering are all considered prime reasons for retailers to reward customers.
Enhanced assistance. Shoppers are interested in immersive technologies to enhance the retail experience. Roughly 41 percent of people in the UK would like to use new technologies, such as virtual reality headsets, to experience how products will look in their home. A third (33 percent) said they would be interested in using virtual assistance to see how clothes would look on them.
Inside-out retail. Shoppers are also looking for greater sensory experiences in stores, including enhanced vision, touch, taste and smell to better test products in stores.
"Fashion stores of tomorrow might look radically different—bringing shoppers through the doors to attend a vintage clothing club, rewarding them financially for recycling their old clothes, helping them pick a new outfit with virtual reality and then loaning it to them for a party at the weekend," Myf Ryan, Westfield's chief marketing officer said.
-See this report from Westfield
Westfield sells 5 malls for $1.1 billion
Westfield adds analytics chief to boost innovation
Mall operators Simon, Taubman introduce digital upgrades
Macy's, Nordstrom pilot 7-ft. 'digital storefront' inside mall
The Mall: Destination Entertainment