Now that innovations like eWallets and social media “Buy” buttons have been introduced to the modern retail landscape, consumers are evolving as quickly as the stock they’re buying. In response to these shifts, Westfield Group has released a study on five up-and-coming consumer trends that are changing the game for retailers worldwide.
1. Paying as you go
With an increased demand for convenience and personalization, retailers are now following a strategy similar to Netflix, Airbnb, and Uber. “In the UK, a fifth of the shoppers expressed interest in spending 200 pounds or more a month on an unlimited clothing subscription,” Fashion United contributor Vivian Hendriksz said in a recent article. This “pay-as-you-go” model allows shoppers to change their closets without as much of a financial commitment.
2. Learning while you shop
In this study, almost a third of surveyed shoppers in the US and UK expressed interest in taking workshops or classes inside their favorite stores. After all, what’s a better way to test athletic wear than an in-house yoga class?
3. Rewards for good choices
Similar to collecting loyalty stamps from your local coffee shop, there’s a growing demand for retail store rewards programs for lifestyle choices instead of transactions or money spent. According to Westfield’s study, “one fifth of UK consumers revealed they would like to see a lifestyle reward when spending money at a brand which would give them something in return for making a good choice.” Survey participants also said they would be interested in receiving rewards or credits for recycling, exercising, volunteering for charity, or even getting enough sleep.
4. Virtual reality
Some stores have started incorporating virtual reality into the customer shopping experience. With this technology, shoppers have access to a three-dimensional view of ensembles offered in the store (a la Cher in Clueless). In response to this idea, Westfield discovered that “a third of US and UK shoppers questioned would be interested in suing virtual assistance to see how clothes would look on them.”
5. Shopping with the senses
With online and mobile shopping rising in popularity, many customers have become used to a purely digital shopping experience. However, online shopping can only provide a visual experience – which only tells one side of the story. According to Westfield’s report, “engaging all five senses – vision, touch, sound, smell and taste – enhanced the shopping experience.” Consumers are now reverting back to more physical, brick-and-mortar shopping. Everything from an item’s texture to a store’s background music soundtrack can affect a customer’s decision to purchase a product or spend more time looking.
Learn more at Fashion United.
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