The Future of Luxury Shopping

Angela Wood

Senior Contributor

The world is changing rapidly, with technology becoming ever more embedded into our daily lives. Multimedia-style shopping malls are springing up across the world, signalling that we are on the precipice of a brand new retail experience. In years to come, we might be able to window shop and scan QR codes with a mobile phone to have the item delivered directly to our homes, we might also see pop-up stores with limited edition subscription-based items and locations where everything in sight is for sale. So what exactly does the future hold for luxury shopping?

Multimedia Infused Malls

Imagine walking along the entrance of a shopping mall in the future. On either side of you, giant multimedia screens change colours and visuals as you press a button on an app. The walls are replicating the colours you desire, the shapes, objects and sounds. Products are advertised in new, innovative ways and you are in control of it all from your smartphone.

Shopping malls of the future will be infused with all of these multimedia, augmented reality elements, offering a unique blend of advanced technology, entertainment and retail experiences.

Outernet Global already sees where the future is going and is ahead of the curve. Launching in 2021, the first venue of its kind, Outernet London, is a state-of-the-art building for art, music, gaming, film, fashion and storytelling. A place where multi-sensory experiences and technology combine to bring all these elements to life in inspirational, ground-breaking ways.

The venue boasts four-storey high, 360-degree, wraparound 8K screens with 4D interactive capabilities. There are places to dine, drink, dance, record music and watch live concerts, plus, with pop-up stores promoting iconic brands, you can sample new products via VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality), give your feedback and gain free goodies in the process!

One Click Window Shopping

Over the past few years, QR codes have become more prevalent in our daily lives, and when everything is linked to the blockchain they will be utilised even further. When we shop in the future, it will be possible, using Augmented Reality (AR) to see what a store product looks like against our home décor on a tablet or smartphone screen prior to purchasing. Using dedicated apps, we will be able to see what items of clothing will look like on our bodies and choose hair colours based on a virtual colour chart held against our skin tone.

It will be possible to stand at a shop window, click on a product through a viewfinder app, pay digitally and instantly through our phones and have the item scheduled for delivery to our home address all within a matter of seconds.

The age of interconnectivity is among us, not just at home, but also when we are out on a shopping expedition - an exciting time where everything is convenient and available at the very touch of a button.

Pop-Up Stores & Events

Brand advertising will change in years to come, with companies opting to promote new products at pop-up stores and during launch events in interactive multimedia-style malls and in other public spaces.

Products and merchandise will easily be purchased from the pop-ups via your smartphone, and instead of asking a sales assistant for product details, you will be able to tap an information button and have all specifications at your fingertips in real-time.

In the future, there may also be pop-up spaces from which to rent items ranging from sustainable clothing to white goods and electrical items.

Items once utilised within the linear economy such as washing machines, kettles, dishwashers – used and discarded when they cease to function will, in the future, be available on subscription-based services for short or long-term use. By operating within a circular economy, the white goods are instead used, repaired and recycled, before being reissued to yourself or another party. This process saves on resources, thus, having a positive effect on climate change and our planet.

Product Placement

Product placement is everywhere we look, but we have become so immune to constant advertising we don’t realise it. However, in the future, new, innovative ways can be applied to product placement.

Reality TV shows have been doing it for years, but imagine a hotel or restaurant being sponsored by a large brand and every product in those venues is on sale to customers.

Michelin star restaurants could be sponsored by a cutlery or crockery brand or a supplier who provides locally sourced foods. Hotels could gain sponsorship from artists, furniture stores, mattress companies or even shower gel and shampoo manufacturers.

The possibilities are endless, as the brand gets to promote their product to thousands of transient people each week, through a range of different mediums, increasing sales and enhancing recognition in the process. The venues displaying and selling the products will, in effect, become the shop windows, in addition to already existing online stores and physical retail outlets.

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