The Future of Shopping Centers: 7 Innovations That Will Change the Way You Shop
If you enjoy shopping, you're in for a real treat in the near future. Shopping centers are going through a major transformation, and it is all for the better. Shopping centers will adopt new technologies, sustainability measures, and innovative ways to improve your shopping experience over the next few years. This blog post will look at 7 innovations that will change the way you shop.
Read more: Top 6 Luxury Shopping Malls in the World
1. Augmented Reality Shopping
Augmented reality shopping is one of the most exciting innovations in the shopping center industry. Customers can virtually try on clothes, accessories, and makeup using this technology. Consider standing in front of a virtual mirror and seeing yourself in a new outfit without changing your clothes. You can also use augmented reality shopping to see how furniture or home decor would look in your home. Multiple brands have already embraced augmented reality as a way to provide a more immersive and interactive shopping experience for their customers. Here are a couple of examples:
The Sephora Virtual Artist app, which uses augmented reality, allows customers to try on different makeup looks and shades before purchasing. IKEA has an augmented reality app that lets customers place virtual furniture in their homes to see how it would look. Ray-Ban has an augmented reality app that allows customers to virtually try on different frames. Adidas has an augmented reality app that let customers to see how different shoes would look on their feet.
2. Interactive Displays
Static displays are becoming outdated. Shopping centers are now using interactive displays to engage customers and provide them with a memorable experience. These displays have touchscreens, sensors, and motion detectors that respond to the actions of shoppers. You'll find interactive displays where you can explore product features, scan barcodes for more information, and read product reviews.
Nike is one of the brands that uses interactive displays. The sportswear company has designed interactive in-store displays that allow customers virtually explore product features and try on different shoes and colors, adjust the fit and sizing, and even learn about the shoe's technology features. Customers can interact with the product in new and exciting ways thanks to the displays' use of motion sensors and touchscreens.
3. Smart Shopping Carts
Your shopping cart will be getting a high-tech upgrade. Smart shopping carts let you to scan items as you shop and receive real-time information about your purchases, such as total cost and nutritional information. You'll also be able to pay for your purchases directly from the shopping cart, eliminating the need to queue at the checkout.
Amazon Go uses similar technology to smart shopping carts. Customers can simply walk into an Amazon Go store, scan their Amazon Go app, pick up the items they want, and walk out. There are no checkout lines or cashiers. Items are automatically added to their virtual cart as they shop, and they are charged through their Amazon account when they leave the store.
4. Contactless Payments
The COVID-19 pandemic has sped up the transition to contactless payments, and shopping centers are getting on board. More shopping centers will accept mobile payments, digital wallets, and contactless cards now. Contactless payments allow you to pay for your purchases quickly and securely without having to touch a payment terminal.
Starbucks is one example of a brand that accepts contactless payments. The coffee giant has added a "Starbucks Card on Apple Watch" feature to their mobile app, which allows customers to pay for their drinks by holding their Apple Watch near the payment terminal.
Biometric technology, such as palm scanning, is another example of a contactless payment method. Amazon has launched Amazon One, a new payment method that allows customers to pay for purchases with the palm of their hand. Customers must first link their palm print to their Amazon account before hovering their palm over a payment terminal to make a purchase. The technology identifies the unique patterns and ridges in a person's palm using a combination of computer vision and machine learning algorithms, ensuring that only the authorized account holder can make a payment. This technology enables a quick, secure, and contactless payment method, making shopping more convenient and hygienic.
Read more: 7 Tips to Save Money While Shopping
5. Sustainability Measures
In the shopping center industry, sustainability is becoming increasingly important. Shopping centers are reducing their carbon footprint by implementing energy-efficient lighting, recycling programs, and eco-friendly building materials. More retailers will also offer sustainable products, such as clothing made from recycled materials and products packaged with biodegradable materials.
Customers can bring in used clothing to be recycled and repurposed through H&M's garment recycling program. The brand also has a Conscious Collection, which features sustainable and eco-friendly clothing made from organic cotton, recycled polyester, and other environmentally friendly materials.
Another example is The Body Shop, which is dedicated to using environmentally friendly ingredients and reducing its environmental impact. The company's products are free of animal cruelty, and many are packaged in recyclable or biodegradable materials. The Body Shop also contributes to social and environmental causes like fair trade and forest conservation.
Chipotle has committed to sourcing only organic and locally grown ingredients, reducing packaging waste, and using energy-efficient equipment in their restaurants. The brand's commitment to sustainability has helped it become a fast-casual industry leader, as well as a loyal customer base.
Sephora is another company that has incorporated sustainability practices into its operations. Sephora has launched the Clean at Sephora program, which highlights products free of potentially harmful ingredients such as parabens, sulfates, and formaldehyde. In addition, the company has pledged to reduce its carbon footprint and waste by using energy-efficient lighting and recycling programs in its stores and offices.
6. Voice Assistants
Voice assistants are making their way into retail environments. These virtual assistants can give you information on store locations, hours of operation, and product availability. Voice assistants can also be used to place orders and make payments.
Macy's is one of the well-known brands that uses voice assistants in shopping centers. In some of its stores, the retailer has launched "Macy's On Call," a voice-activated shopping assistant. Customers can use the system to request directions, product recommendations, and information about upcoming events in-store.
7. Artificial Intelligence Security
Shopping centers prioritize the safety and security of their customers. Artificial intelligence is being used to improve security by detecting potential threats, monitoring for suspicious behavior, and forecasting criminal activity. More shopping centers will likely use artificial intelligence security measures to keep customers safe.
In China, for example, the Alibaba Group's Hema supermarket chain uses facial recognition technology to identify customers as they enter the store and track their movements as they shop. Customers who have previously visited the store can also be identified and personalized product recommendations can be made.
The adoption of these innovative technologies and sustainable measures will improve the shopping experience for everyone in the future. These innovations will change the way we shop, making it more convenient, personalized, and enjoyable, from augmented reality shopping to contactless payment. It's an exciting time to be a shopper, and we're looking forward to seeing what the future holds for shopping centers.