What Retail Will Look Like by 2030


Learn more about the technology we can look forward to in the retail space by 2030. 

The retail landscape is changing at a rapid pace. Not only did we not think that when the first online transaction took place in 1994, but we also didn’t think we’d be able to shop for just about anything online in 2021.

While the major shift was from in-store shopping to online, we have looked at the emerging trends we will see dominate the retail space for the decade and other fun facts you should know.

We can unpack the ever-changing retail landscape but are the important questions answered for consumers? What is in it for the consumer and what do they want to see?

And what can we expect in the next nine years? One thing is certain the typical bricks and mortar store will need to up its game as technology’s greatest focus is on online shopping, so stores need to differentiate themselves and think out of the box.

The importance of the physical store

The important thing to remember is that physical stores will continue to play a critical role even as technology advances and despite the online retail space growing practically overnight. However, we have seen a shift in mainstream in-store shopping evolve into a more experience-based event.

Retailers are going to be forced to re-think and possibly completely transform the shopping experience and completely change the market, pretty much as the internet did. One thing is certain, the increase in omnichannel needs in store is cited as the biggest challenge to modernise the shopping experience.

Again, physical stores must reimagine their offering and push harder when developing new concepts for both online and physical stores to further promote customer loyalty.

What’s predicted to take place by 2030

All things digital

Even though e-commerce is continuously growing, physical stores will advance through technology.

It is also important to note that Millennials and Gen Z consumers are far more tech-savvy in comparison to Baby Boomers and Gen Xers since the former generations practically grew up with digital devices at their fingertips.

For this reason, Millennials and Gen Z’s buying power will increase as they age, which can create a problem for retailers. These two generations push the boundaries in terms of technology, but this can also be a great thing for retailers if they develop and cater to their audiences’ specific digital needs.

An emerging trend we are likely to see is that customers will be allowed to own their data (a major win if this happens) and their experiences.

Analytics is a great way to analyse customer data which includes shopping patterns (both online and in-store) that allow retailers to customize each customer’s shopping experience even before they know what they want to do. 

Virtual spaces

Now when we say that stores will become virtual it does not mean they will be sitting online. Simply put, virtual stores will offer a fully immersive experience that will incorporate virtual reality and your smartphone as well. Reimagining retail stores through digital technology is not going to be easy.

However, there are instances where smartphone technology is already incorporated into the physical shopping experience. Some retailers have incorporated QR code scanning for certain items so that customers can use their smartphones to find the same product at a different store, check the pricing, and more.

By 2030, it is predicted that retailers will get creative by adapting the visual in-store experience by using something as simple as the store window. The plan is for the visual content on the window to change per a customer’s mood and shopping behaviours. 


It comes as no surprise that robots would eventually make their way into the retail space.

In some parts of the world, robots are already a major part of the retail space, welcoming customers into the store and directing them where they need to be. It’s simple yet groundbreaking. Another trend we will soon be seeing is the introduction of smart mirrors. So, what are smart mirrors? 

Many of us have experienced this one time in our lives, you are in the changing room, and you discover you have the wrong size BUT you are not in the mood to undress yet again to get the correct size.

This is where a smart mirror comes in. Interestingly, with smart mirrors, you will be able to scan your clothing item to check if there is a bigger or smaller size in-store while you are in the changing room. While this seems minor, it is a major help when it comes to convenience.

But that’s not all. Customers can also alert store staff to bring them certain items by touching the mirror. Also, with just another touch of the mirror it will guide and suggest items of clothing and accessories that will work best with what you’ve already selected, so smart!

Source: Retail Technology Innovation Hub