- The shopping experience of the future will be more about the experience than the product
- Brands should balance being technology driven and personalised
- Butcher shops will still be there as showrooms to give an immersive experience
What will the shopping experience look like in the next 10-15 years?
It’s an important question for brands to consider as they develop forward-looking customer experience strategies.
Think how far we have come in the last 15 years. Instead of shopping in person at supermarkets like we used to, today’s shoppers can buy items from almost any device or app and have them delivered almost instantly.
The future will take those advances and develop them even further to create shopping experiences that combine the best of both worlds: convenience and personalization.
Transactions – Not Products – Will Be the Deciding Factor
The shopping experience of the future is much more about experiences than products. Customers will pay less attention to physical products and more to the information provided by the products. If a brand can’t deliver an easy or memorable experience, customers will go elsewhere. That means the companies leading the competition won’t necessarily have the best or cheapest products—they’ll have the best experience.
The shopping experience of the future will be personalized and technology-driven. Customers will be able to see things instantly, try and test them virtually, and customize them to their liking. The shopping experience will move seamlessly between the physical and digital worlds to give customers exactly what they want when they want it.
We are already seeing that with the growth of phygital an experience that blurs the lines between online shopping and in-person shopping. Many retailers are using AR and VR to create immersive experiences.
Beauty retailer Lush operates packable “Nude Stores” where customers scan bath bombs and items with the Lush Lens app to see ingredients, directions, and the story behind the product. Nike is creating an immersive experience in select stores as customers have custom shoes built right in front of them using augmented reality.
And as wonderful as these feelings are, they only scratch the surface of what we will see in the future.
Brands Must Find a Balance Between Technology and Human Service
Technology will become ubiquitous and make it possible for companies to automate common parts of the customer experience while increasing and scaling their personalization efforts. It will be a good balance between two sides: customers who want technology to make the experience easier and simpler, but they also want to personalize it. Companies will need to find a balance between automation and innovation with technologies like AI, VR, and connected IoT devices while also adding a human touch.
What does all this technology mean for the virtual stores of the future?
Bricks and mortar will not go away, but it will change to meet changing customer needs. The stores will become experimental showrooms where customers can interact with the products in new ways. It will be less about shopping and more about experiencing the product—touching products, seeing how they work, then having them personalized and delivered quickly to their homes.
The shopping experience of the future will be just that: an experience.
Blake Morgan is a customer futurist and author of The Customer Of The Future. Sign up for his weekly email here.