Online shopping is booming. Big traditional retailers like Sears and Macy’s have eliminated stores and cut jobs. Amazon seems to continually grow and expand. Online shops take market share away from brick and mortar stores. Thanks to the development of mobile devices such as all inclusive cameras, alarm clocks and communication tools with social media that we carry with us 24/7, online shopping is a no-brainer. Mobile devices become the most important shopping partner for price comparisons, product reviews and recommendations. Does that mean there will be no physical stores in the future?
Regarding indifferent commodity products like toilet paper or cleaners it is likely that these products will be bought increasingly online in the future. But what about products that need to be selected more carefully like fresh produce, fashion or higher class furniture? These products still need to be seen, smelled, or tried out by the customer. The purchase of these products itself provides an essential experience that can’t be replaced with virtual or augmented realities.
Classic go-to stores will always be there in the future. But they will probably look not like the ones we used to know. Here are some major trends for the next years: