Westfield reveals "How We Shop Now"

Retail mall giant Westfield spoke to over 13,000 people across the UK and USA to get a picture of how people shop today for its new report "How We Shop Now: What’s Next?"
Westfield shopping center - Westfield Corp

Its research revealed five key future trends, showing how consumers shop now and how retailers can take advantage of this. The trends are:

*Pay as you go retail: As Uber and Airbnb have made people more appreciative of the "sharing economy," they are looking for retailers to get involved in it. The report found that one in five people in the UK are interested in renting from their favourite store; a figure that rises to one in three within London.  

For millennials, who see renting as the norm, the trend is especially strong: nearly half (46%) of 25-34 year olds are interested in renting. The most popular item to rent was exercise equipment at (19%), followed by cars (16%), consumer electronics (15%), bikes (14% and clothing (10%). Among those interested in renting in the UK, around a fifth would be willing to spend £200 or more per month on unlimited clothing rent subscriptions.

*Classroom retail: Consumers now look at shops at classrooms as well, allowing them to network and learn new skills. About a third of UK shoppers (35%) are interested in attending a lifestyle lesson or club at their favourite store. Health or fitness sessions were the most in-demand at 27%.

*Lifestyle loyalty: Loyalty schemes that reward good lifestyle choices rather than just monetary transactions would appeal to a fifth of UK consumers. They'd like retailers to reward them for recycling (29%), exercising (20%), spending time with family (19%), getting enough sleep (14%), and charity volunteering (10%) 

*Enhanced assistance: Over the coming years, virtual reality is predicted to become ubiquitous, and shoppers will want it to help bring in-store products closer to their everyday lives. More than two fifths, 41%, of people in the UK would like to use new technologies, such as virtual reality headsets, to experience how products will look in their home. A third would be interested in using it to see how clothes would fit them.

*Inside-out retail: So much time spent looking at screens has left customers wanting a sensory retail experience, and all five senses were deemed to enhance the shopper experience. Vision and touch came out top, but just under a third of shoppers also identified smell and hearing. According to 73% of UK shoppers, touch and feel, and trial of the products, is a main benefit of physical stores.

Myf Ryan, Chief Marketing Officer, Westfield UK and Europe, commented: “Fashion stores of tomorrow might look radically different - bringing shoppers through the doors to attend a vintage clothing club, rewarding them financially for recycling their old clothes, helping them pick a new outfit with virtual reality and then loaning it to them for a party at the weekend.”

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