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Retail Revolution: New Data Reveals Next Generation of Shoppers Ready for AI, AR, and Robots

New data released today by Klarna, the global payments and shopping service, reveals how retailers will need to adapt their offering to win shoppers in the future. With recent advancements in technology, AI, AR and robots are likely to dominate the in-store and online landscape with shopping services like Klarna already integrating AI personalisation into their products.

Over the past 18 years, Klarna has been instrumental in driving transformative change within the retail industry, during which time the online retail industry in the US grew as a percentage of retail sales by 484%*. To celebrate the brand reaching this milestone year, Klarna spoke to more than 5,000 consumers across 5 countries and teamed up with retail expert Kate Hardcastle, MBE, aka the Customer Whisperer, to explore how the future of shopping could evolve. The Future of Retail report also includes future-gazing predictions from some of the world’s leading retailers and ChatGPT, the artificial intelligence chatbot developed by OpenAI, which recently teamed up with Klarna to bring smoooth shopping to the hugely popular ChatGPT.

The study examined shopping habits 18 years from now, when Gen Zers will turn 40 and together with Millennials be the dominant consumers. Results revealed their predictions on how emerging technologies will influence future shopping experiences, such as:

  • More personalization is top of the wishlist.
    65% want the shopping experience to become more personalized in the future, and 36% are sure it will be, both in-store and online.
  • Most fashion shoppers won’t try clothes on physically.
    Only half believe they will try clothes in the same way as today (53%). Instead, 48% want to use virtual dressing rooms, 28% Augmented Reality (AR), and 23% will rely on Artificial Intelligence (AI) to advise which clothes best fit their body and fashion style.
  • Well-mannered robot fashion advisors and virtual personal shopping assistants are in high demand.
    More than half (59%) are open to the idea of a robot approaching them in-store to take their measurements and recommend styles, with an additional 18% considering it depending on how the robot looks and behaves. In addition, 34% want access to virtual ‘personal shoppers’ which can provide recommendations based on their fashion style and taste when they shop online
  • Augmented Reality (AR) will elevate the future in-store shopping experience.
    The vast majority (81%) expect Augmented Reality (AR) to enhance their in-store shopping experience and one-third (37%) think that this technology will eventually become standard across retail stores.
  • Virtual Reality (VR) won’t replace the real-life shopping experience.
    Less than half of Gen Z’ers (43%) believe that shopping in Virtual Reality (VR) will come to surpass the real-life shopping experience within the next two decades.
  • The future is cashless.
    Gen Z’ers and Millennials (64%) agree with the prediction that the majority of physical stores will be completely cash-free in 18 years time, and 31% of them believe that shift will take place already in 5 years time.
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