It appears the average consumer is no longer happy with an average shopping experience.

Forget simply buying online or having a casual browse in-store.

Now, shoppers expect one-click purchases and super-fast delivery, wrapped up in a multi-sensory, personalised and perfectly memorable experience.

Try sticking that in your supermarket trolley.

Ovum and Criteo’s Future of Ecommerce report recently predicted the biggest trends to impact retail in the next five to ten years.

Brace yourselves as we take a look at some of the biggest:

1. Shopping as an immersive experience

From virtual changing rooms to in-store selfie competitions, brands are becoming more intent on creating a shopping ‘experience’ to remember.

With the rise of virtual and augmented reality, this looks set to explode on a whole other level. 

In future, technology will allow us to build on the likes of Ikea’s AR app and Dior Eyes VR, creating experiences both at home and in-store that blur the lines between the digital and physical world.

Of course it is important for brands to ensure an intrinsic benefit for the consumer, otherwise there is the risk of this technology being used as merely a sales gimmick.

Advantages also lie in resolving practical issues, such as reducing the likelihood of returns by allowing us to ‘try before we buy’.

2. Brands know where you live

Thanks to the likes of Uber and Deliveroo, we’re used to giving away our location on a regular basis.

In future, the world of ecommerce looks set to utilise this behaviour to build on the ultimate curated shopping experience.

As well as using algorithms to monitor what we’re browsing, brands will be able to find out where we are doing it, meaning timely and ultra-targeted marketing being sent direct to our mobiles.

So, if you regret not buying that shirt you saw on sale, don’t worry, Bluetooth Low Energy technology (BLE) means that the brand will know exactly how long you spent debating it.

In turn, this means you will probably receive a reminder or even an offer tempting you to make the purchase long after you’ve left the shop.

3. Pop-ups are here to stay

Pop-up shops have been popular for a while, however until now they have been seen as the hallmark of the new or independent boutique brand.

In future, both online retailers and established brands will utilise physical space to maximise resources and build awareness around a particular product or release.

A great example of this is Lidl’s ‘Duluxe’ restaurant – a pop up designed to promote the supermarket’s Christmas range.

During its short run, diners were invited to sample the food without prior knowledge of where it was sourced from.

With both surprise and interactive elements, the pop up succeeded in attracting new audiences as well as creating hype.

4. Mobile-first for advertising

Further to brands marketing directly to mobiles, it is predicted that by 2019 global mobile advertising revenues will increase from $22.64bn dollars to an impressive $63.94bn.

Why the big leap? Up until now, most of this revenue has stemmed from basic mobile web advertising, however in future it will continue to be integrated into messaging platforms.

With this type of in-app advertising, direct conversations between the brand and the consumer will become the norm.

And the good news is that it won’t only benefit the retailer – it could also help improve service, delivery and general levels of customer satisfaction.

On another note, the use of mobile for payments is also predicted to sky rocket, increasing from an estimated $452.78m to $2.07bn global users by 2019.

5. The rise of digital assistants

If your feelings towards Siri or Cortana are neither here nor there, you might grow to appreciate the digital assistants of the future.

In an ever-expanding world of online retail, it can often be hard to find exactly what we’re looking for. Do we even know ourselves? 

By filtering out wrong sizes or products we’re unlikely to purchase, digital assistants will be able to help us hone our shopping activity in a more streamlined and ultimately successful fashion.

Of course, with concerns over privacy, initiatives like GSMA’s Mobile Connect – a tool that allows users to control how much data they share – are likely to also gain in popularity.

For more information on the future of ecommerce, check out our report on Digital Transformation in the Retail Sector.

Nikki Gilliland

Published 4 May, 2016 by Nikki Gilliland @ Econsultancy

Nikki is a Writer at Econsultancy. You can follow her on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.

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Pauline Ashenden, Marketing Manager at Eptica

There are some great predictions here, but before they can be successfully introduced, retailers need to ensure they are delivering the right customer experience to customers – otherwise they won’t trust brands enough to engage. Eptica research found that top UK retailers could only answer 45% of questions asked on Twitter, for example, – something that needs fixing before transformation can take place. More in this blog post at http://www.eptica.com/blog/uk-retail-customer-service-failing-move-forward

over 1 year ago

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