Written by Julie Vens - De Vos

In a few months’ time, we’ll be holding the next edition of our Future of Shopping Tour. One of the reasons is that every perspective of our shopping experience is fundamentally changing and we want to inspire organisations with some of the most successful retail champions out there. As consumers, we don’t really notice it consciously but Bol.com and HelloFresh weren’t our favourite brands 10 years ago. Every single step of the path to purchase is being increasingly disrupted by new technologies and business models. 

If you ignore these shopping experience evolutions, you won’t make it to the ‛Day After Tomorrow’

WHAT we shop for is changing.

Not only HOW we shop, but also WHAT we actually buy or rather…consume, is changing. In today’s platform economy, everybody can be a seller. ‛Access’ is the new ‛ownership’.

I love Bruce Sterling’s question (from as far back as 2015): Why can’t I google my shoes?

Why not indeed? Even today we still can’t. Perhaps because Google is no longer a search engine but rather a Q&A service . Google Lens already proves how Google facilitates our questions rather than actually finding something. However, projects like the Jacquard technology show how products are becoming truly interactive. Anyone who still thinks that clothing won’t become connected, is not paying attention. 

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg if you imagine the possibilities of different technologies working together. Last year, our nexxworks’ ‛Innovation Tour’ visited Carbon 3D – one of the most revolutionary 3D printing companies in the world. They recently announced a partnership with Adidas in which they will create and produce a faster, stronger and completely personalized product. Lean prototyping has just gone old-school. So, here’s a call to all the makers and manufacturers out there. ‛Creativity’ really is the new literacy

HOW we shop will continue to change

Technology impacts how we search, buy, pay, use, get things delivered, etc.  Have you noticed how ‛unboxing’ has actually been an ‘in’ thing since 2014? Even back then, it would have taken you 7 years to watch all the available videos of people taking their stuff out of a box.

it’s like a crazy hybrid form of the nostalgic teleshopping of yore! You know, those weirdly enthusiastic looking people promoting completely useless products on TV on a Saturday morning. The question is, what does it mean for you, if even those wacky product promoters have gone digital? And cannot be controlled, because you didn’t hire and pay them. Scary...

Eatsa is another jewel of ̀‛simplicity shopping’. This healthy food chain might seem like just another on-the-go outlet but actually is a massive data-collecting machine. The order and delivery process happens without any human interaction and is extremely focused on customizing your bowl.   

This company is not out there to robotize your lunch break. It’s there to make it as convenient and easy for you to get food whenever you want it. In time, they’ll change consumer routines, mark my words. If I were a supermarket today, this is the kind of competitor keeping me awake at night. Eatsa will know when you love breakfast, whether you eat alone, how you like your snack, which days you’re out for lunch and when you’re on a diet. Because they love technology and know how to build a data plantation. And they are really serious about it:

One bird doesn’t prove summer is here but recent examples like Zume Pizza and habit are truly revolutionizing the shopping experience. And that’s merely a few examples from the food industry. 

WHERE we shop has changed

The Google search engine tells me a shop is a building or part of a building where goods or services are sold

Weird, right? Turo, bol.com or other e-commerce platforms have never showed me their front door. Being able to sell directly to each other and without an actual physical place, has changed everything. We all know booking.com and Airbnb as the Eatsa’s of the hotel room. Making your experience convenient, while eating your data in the meantime. One of the biggest reasons you’d book at a hotel like 1hotel is because they have a storyline, an experience that is worthwhile. This story below is what convinced me the most to choose this hotel during the Future of Shopping Tour

Speaking of stories, Story is more in line with what shoppers expect from their shopping experience. Rachel Shechtman was right in following her heart rather than a retail textbook. She created a store according to the principle of a magazine. Every 6 to 8 weeks a ‘new edition’ is ‘published’ which means a completely redesigned shop, a new assortment and many, many events to wow shoppers. A shop is no longer about sales / m² but about experience / m². 

When studying Marketing Management a few years ago, we were asked the question: ‘Will a shop still exist within 5 years?’. My answer was, and still is YES! What has changed however, is my vision of how many awesome things a shop can be today. And I just love how many shops, retailers, distributors, product makers, … out there are already breaking their current routines with awesome new experiences that continue to surprise me. Though many still have a long way to go... 

This fall nexxworks is going west again. The Day After Tomorrow Tour in September will be fuelled by the theme of technology: the awesome, crazy and truly disruptive techs like blockchain, AI and quantum computing.

Want to know more? Join us for an exciting journey in October to New York City and San Francisco during the Future of Shopping Tour