Pay as you go retail: Consumers are already accustomed to the ‘sharing economy’, tapping into Uber for transport, and Airbnb for accommodation. People are increasingly interested in retailers adopting this trend:
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.
This trend is particularly strong among millennials for whom renting is the norm, with nearly half (46%) of 25-34 year olds interested in renting.
Exercise equipment topped the list of what people wanted to rent (19%), followed by cars (16%), consumer electronics (15%), bikes (14% and clothing (10%).
Around a fifth of UK shoppers who expressed an interest in renting would be willing to spend £200 or more per month on unlimited clothing rent subscriptions.
Classroom retail: Shoppers are increasingly seeing retail spaces not only as places to buy new things, but as classrooms where they can learn new skills and build social networks.
About a third of UK shoppers (35%) are interested in attending a lifestyle lesson or club at their favourite store.
Shoppers in the UK want health or fitness sessions first and foremost (27%), followed by inspiring learning sessions such as creative cookery (25%), expert sessions (20%) and then clubs (19%). UK shoppers have greater appetite than their American counterparts for digital up-skilling, with more than a sixth of Brits interested, compared with only 12% of Americans.
Lifestyle loyalty: There is a new consumer demand for loyalty schemes that reward good lifestyle choices rather than just monetary transactions.
A fifth of UK consumers have said that a lifestyle reward scheme would appeal.
They’d like to be rewarded by retailers for recycling (29%), exercising (20%), spending time with family (19%), getting enough sleep (14%), and charity volunteering (10%)
The youngest, 16-24 year old, audience in both the US and UK particularly crave rewards for having a work-life balance with time spent with loved ones (30%).
Enhanced assistance: The report predicts that virtual reality will become ubiquitous over the coming years, but shoppers increasingly want virtual reality technology to help bring in-store products closer to their everyday lives.
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 (33%) agreed they would be interested in using virtual assistance to see how clothes would look on them.
Inside-out retail: All this time spent engaging with screens plays havoc with our body’s sensory system. A sensory retail experience is becoming increasingly important to consumers. We don’t just want to smell the flowers or hear birdsong in-store; we want to overload their senses with extraordinary experiences that re-awaken all of their senses, all at once.
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.
Taste was also important to more than a fifth of shoppers (28%).
A massive share of UK shoppers said that touch and feel, and trial of the products, was a main benefit of physical stores (73%).