The Future of Retail: Shopping Mall Experiences in 2030?

Published on
June 3, 2024
February 8, 2024

Future Retail Trends

Retail property repurposing

Large retail properties such as the likes of malls and shopping centers are undergoing an asset class conversion in which they are integrating with other asset classes and shifting focus from "shopping" as the primary function of malls.

Mall Redevelopment Uses and Key CES Categories
Mall Redevelopment Uses and Key CES Categories

The retail industry is undergoing a transformation as new technologies and consumer preferences reshape the shopping experience. From online to offline, retailers are looking for ways to enhance convenience, personalization, sustainability and security for their customers. Here are some of the trends and innovations that are shaping the future of retail. We present clients global, data-driven insights through our market intelligence platforms.

The PTC Retail Insight Wheel
The PTC Retail Insight Wheel

Virtual try-ons

One of the challenges of online shopping is finding the right fit and style for clothing and accessories. Virtual try-ons use augmented reality (AR) or artificial intelligence (AI) to allow customers to see how products look on them without having to physically try them on. This can reduce the need for returns, which have a high environmental impact due to transportation and packaging. Virtual try-ons can also be used in physical stores to offer more variety and options without taking up space.

New-age wayfinding

Navigating large and complex retail spaces can be frustrating and time-consuming for customers. New-age wayfinding uses digital signage, mobile apps, voice assistants or smart glasses to guide customers to their desired products or services. This can improve customer satisfaction, loyalty and spending. New-age wayfinding can also help retailers optimize their store layout, inventory and staff allocation.

Security and theft reduction

Retail theft is a major problem that costs retailers billions of dollars every year. Security and theft reduction technologies use sensors, cameras, biometrics or RFID tags to prevent, detect and deter shoplifting and fraud. These technologies can also enhance customer safety and trust, as well as reduce operational costs and losses.

Click & collect

Click & collect is a service that allows customers to order products online and pick them up at a convenient location, such as a store, locker or kiosk. This can save customers time and money, as well as reduce delivery emissions. Click & collect can also drive more traffic and sales to physical stores, as customers may browse or buy additional items when they collect their orders.

Click & Collect Examples and Value
Click & Collect Examples and Value

Smart leases

Smart leases are flexible and dynamic contracts that allow retailers to rent space based on their needs and performance. For example, retailers can pay rent based on sales, foot traffic or occupancy, rather than fixed amounts. This can help retailers adapt to changing market conditions, reduce risk and overheads, and access new locations and customers.

Mobility and autonomous parking

Mobility and autonomous parking solutions use smart vehicles, apps or robots to transport or park customers' cars. This can improve customer convenience, accessibility and satisfaction, as well as reduce congestion and pollution. Mobility and autonomous parking solutions can also create new revenue streams for retailers, as they can offer value-added services or advertising to customers while they shop.

Data + predictive analytics

Data + predictive analytics use big data, AI or machine learning to collect, analyze and act on customer behavior, preferences and feedback. This can help retailers understand their customers better, anticipate their needs and wants, personalize their offers and recommendations, and optimize their pricing and promotions. Data + predictive analytics can also help retailers improve their operations, supply chain, inventory and merchandising.

Energy management

Energy management is the process of reducing energy consumption and costs in retail spaces. Energy management technologies use smart meters, sensors, lighting, HVAC or renewable energy sources to monitor and control energy usage. This can help retailers save money, comply with environmental regulations, enhance their brand image and attract eco-conscious customers.

Energy Management & Sustainable Energy Sourcing
Energy Management & Sustainable Energy Sourcing

Online shopping

Online shopping has become a popular and convenient way of purchasing goods, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this trend also has a high carbon footprint due to its reliance on inefficient supply chains and logistics. The supply chain is extremely carbon intensive, from product design, through to disposal and supply chains account for more than 90% of an organization’s greenhouse gas emissions. E-commerce requires additional packaging, customers purchase fewer items per online transaction, and multi-item orders often result in multiple deliveries.

These factors increase the greenhouse gas emissions of online shopping, especially during the last-mile delivery from a shipping depot to the final destination. To counter this, supply chains can be decarbonized by adopting green supply chain management practices, such as using renewable energy sources, reducing waste and packaging materials, optimizing delivery routes and modes, and encouraging consumers to make more sustainable choices.

Online sales by category

Online Sales by Category
Online Sales by Category

Conclusion

The future of the retail industry is marked by a dynamic interplay of technological advancements and evolving consumer expectations. From virtual try-ons and new-age wayfinding to security measures and services like click & collect, retailers are embracing a multifaceted approach to enhance the shopping experience. Smart leases offer flexibility, while mobility solutions and autonomous parking contribute to convenience and sustainability. Harnessing the power of data and predictive analytics enables retailers to understand and cater to customer needs effectively. Additionally, a critical focus on energy management and the adoption of green supply chain practices are essential for mitigating the environmental impact of the booming online shopping trend. As the retail landscape continues to transform, those who adeptly integrate these trends and innovations into their operations thrive in the market and contribute positively to a more sustainable and customer-centric retail future.

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