Three dimensional change rooms where you don't have to get undressed, smartphone apps that recommend what to buy and robotic assistants who speak every language – welcome to the future of shopping!
Shopping in the digital age
In response to our changing retail habits, shopping centres have been evolving over the past few years, offering "mixed-use experiences", like comfy common areas and childcare facilities." In fact, in a survey conducted earlier this year, McCrindle Research
found that "the main connection point Australians have with their local community is not the community centre, park, school or club but the local shopping centre".
"A visit to the shops is not just about getting groceries, it is a social experience, an entertainment destination, a café stop-off and of course an opportunity to see, try, and experience what’s new," says social researcher Mark McCrindle
"The shopping experience of the future will start much earlier than the moment we enter a store. It will begin at the time we make decisions about items we buy. Increasingly, these decisions will be socially informed by recommendations made by family and friends as well as our digital communities with whom we share common interests and even available nearby shoppers."
Mark says that by 2026, our in-store shopping will be guided not only by our shopping list but also by smartphone applications which "facilitate our shopping experience".
"They will be able to detect when and where we are in store and provide recommendations and discounts in real-time based on our lifestyle, our purchasing habits, household demographics and our electronically-enabled shopping trolley as we fill it," he explains.
"At home, intelligent appliances in our smart homes will monitor our consumption of grocery items, automatically detecting items we are running low on and, based on past behaviour and clever predictions, this shopping list will be automatically set up for payment and home delivery or available at convenient collection hubs."
With Amazon Go's 'Just Walk Out Shopping' experience, you'll be able to walk into the store, take what you want and then walk out. Instead of waiting in line for the checkout, the app on your phone will automatically scan each product – even when your phone is in your back pocket or buried in your handbag – and added to your virtual cart. Shortly after, your Amazon account will be charged and you'll be sent a receipt.
This high-tech shopping experience was due to open to the public earlier this year but is still experiencing a few technical issues
. So, while the store of the future is yet to arrive, it won't be too long before a cashless, cashierless system opens near you.