Consumers Prefer In-person, Elevated Shopping Experiences

A new report by Klarna, a buy-now-and-pay-later financial service, finds that while customers prefer in-person shopping, they expect to have advanced technologies such as augmented reality and/or artificial intelligence available.

The study surveyed more than 5,000 people in the U.S., U.K., Germany, France and Sweden and found that 81 percent of Gen Z and Millennials expect to see augmented reality to enhance their in-store experience. Sixty-five percent of those surveyed stated that personalized experiences are vital to their purchase intent.

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Shoppers are particularly seeing a shift in trying on clothes physically. Fifty-three percent of people said that they foresee trying on clothes similar to today, with 48 percent wanting to use a virtual dressing room. Despite this, less than half of Generation Z surveyed think that virtual reality will become the replacement for real-life shopping experiences within the next 20 years.

Nearly 60 percent of consumers are open to the idea of a robot approaching them to make in-store recommendations on style options and take their measurements. Furthermore, 34 percent of people want access to a virtual personal shopper to provide recommendations based on their personal style when they are shopping online.

As previously reported in WWD, cash-free spending will become the norm. Sixty-four percent of Gen Z and Millennials believe that most brick-and-mortars will become completely cashless before the next 20 years’ time, while 31 percent of them believe that the shift will already be underway within the next 5 years.

“In the Western world, approximately 80 percent of all online purchases are made through search, while the remaining 20 percent are based on personalized recommendations,” said David Sandström, chief marketing officer at Klarna. “In contrast, in China, 80 percent of online purchases are driven by personalized recommendations. Shoppers in the Western world desire a comparable shopping experience, which is now available on the Klarna app feed, powered by AI and purchase history data. The next generation of consumers will expect a highly personalized shopping experience where products find them instead of the other way around.”

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