8 Predictions for the Future of Retail in 2030

retail branding

A glance into the future of retail.

Global Retail real estate business CBRE has produced a forward-looking market research, perspectives and industry insights piece called The Future of Retail 2030, an interesting piece of futurist thinking with some well considered suppositions.

The retail industry is rewriting the laws of physics. Change is coming at an ever faster rate each year and 2030 will be upon us before we know it. Explore the world in 2030 and the future of retail 2030.

I’ve highlighted the elements of the report that struck me as most relevant for retail businesses and brands. A link to the full report that contains multiple additional layers is at the end of the article.

01. The Power of prediction.

Data and decision making enhanced by ‘smart machines’ will power retailers. Deeper insights will enable retailers to anticipate the desires and requirements of their customers. Predictive shopping algorithms will auto-replenish supplies direct to consumers’ homes and appliances. Running out of milk will be a thing of the past.

02. Consumer experiences will be specific not generic.

Understanding a customer’s buying habits, interests, style and colour preferences means retailers can provide bespoke, curated offerings. Brands will produce smaller, targeted ranges of products – gone will be the days of ‘designing for everybody’.

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03. Personal Ownership of cars will have dramatically reduced.

This is one of my pet subjects. By 2030 the inefficiency of vehicles being unused 95% of the time will have been overcome by the dramatic uptake of driverless cars and autonomous modes of transport. Cars will be majority owned by large fleet management companies providing an instant/on demand service. Dedicated roadways will mean no traffic jams, no hold-ups and no accidents. Parking space will be freed-up for re-purposing as will the time of the world’s parents who will no longer need to spend 120 hours teaching their kids to drive. Car ownership will be for motor vehicle enthusiasts who drive for passion and for pleasure, not for convenience.

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04. Buy what you want where and how you want.

Smart tech will allow consumers to buy what they see; anywhere, any time. Increased product placement across all media will drive a new style of brand marketing.

05. Stores will become showrooms and experiential brand centers.

Shopping will become an immersive, sensory brand engagement experience. Despite the ease of online shopping provided by technological advancement, many categories will continue to appeal to our human curiosity to see, feel and experience specific products before choosing to purchase. Stores will become experiential brand centers facilitated by highly trained brand experts. Purchases will be delivered same day from centrally located warehouses.

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06. Pure play will no longer be an important part of retail.

Clicks and mortar retailers will not have gone out of business as predicted, at least not those who have invested in online. The successful pure play, online only brands have taken over physical stores to stay in the game. Only the truly niche pure players exist entirely online for specialist products, spares and parts.

07. Robotics and automation will replace many jobs in the retail sector.

70% of roles and processes in retail will be managed by AI driven machines by 2030. Transactions will be automatic using biometric payment systems. Robots will manage every mundane task in the retail store. Robots will control the whole retail supply chain from manufacturing to stock control and autonomous home delivery.

08. Competition for people’s disposable income will increase.

The Millennials and Gen Z will have matured into a powerful market driven more by experience than by ownership, prompting the leisure industry to compete even harder for a larger portion of the retail spend. As a result retailers will offer training and tuition as part of the retail experience.

You can view the presentation of The Future of Retail 2030 on the CBRE website by clicking here.

Dave Ansett
David is the founder of Truly Deeply, a brand agency with 25 years experience working with brands to position them for growth. His deep expertise is in the creation of high engagement brands that attract the attention of their audience and stand out from their competitors. David has extensive experience working with corporate, retail, food & beverage and entrepreneurial clients. Find out more here
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Pics courtesy CBRE

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