I went shopping at the weekend…  into actual shops and I thought it felt a bit ‘retro’… and it got me thinking….

What is in store for retail in the next  5 years?

With the news about Wilkos ringing in my ears – another potential blow for the High Street, I visited a local shopping mall over the weekend and it was mostly occupied by school age children & families, which makes sense at this time of year and the rest were mainly people shopping for a summer holiday but, I wouldn’t say it was busy. It got me thinking – is retail as we know it now a seasonal event? Do people only go to the shops for summer holidays and the Christmas period?

Love it or hate it, Amazon and other online retail options are cleaning up all year around. Marketing on social media, paid for reviews, celebrity endorsed products and marketing using well developed algorithms is adding to the continued online shopping big boom.

The decade started with COVID 19 which changed the face of shopping and I wonder if it will ever be the same again or if the transformation of how we shop will continue to evolve as technology gets even more intelligent.

Shopping local is still well backed but, in my area, a number of the smaller retailers are struggling to cope with price rises and the uncertain economy. Local suppliers into larger shops is becoming noisier – I feel that online shopping to incorporate smaller, bespoke retailers will continue to be popular. 

How will retailers differentiate themselves? How will AI and VR be further used to boost the customer experience? Technology will play a huge part in the evolution of retail – we know that.

In the last few years of this decade, I would expect to see a much more seamless shopping experience connecting social platforms to online purchases.  A continued growth in same day delivery of online goods. Smaller, independent retailers could partner with tech focussed companies to boost their reach.