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The Future of the Shopping Experience

A look at the changing dynamics of purchasing in person and how to take advantage of a digital-physical hybrid approach.

Jul 23, 2020 · 6 min read

Changing Retail Landscape

The first half of 2020 brought significant changes to shopping patterns and habits. Overnight, Covid-19 shifted the way consumers purchase goods, and though many retailers have reported significant increases in fully online or digitally-supported transactions, the increase in eCommerce revenue has not replaced lost brick-and-mortar revenue for most. And as retailers gear up to resume a more normal state of operations, there are fears that in-person revenue will be diminished for good.

Digital-Physical Hybrid Solutions

Already we’ve seen businesses adapt to the changed retail landscape with a host of new options for customers, ranging from curbside pick-up to pre-scheduled shopping appointments. Those two solutions are just some examples of the new approach to blending digital and real world interactions together and they provide additional opportunities for customer experience enhancement, something every retailer will need to be able to do adeptly in the near future.

Challenges and Opportunities

As we look at the changed landscape, it’s impossible to ignore the impact of marketplace commerce solutions. Marketplaces make browsing and shopping online easier than ever, and early adopters like Walmart and Amazon generate huge revenue because of it. In their “Future of the Mall” study, Deloitte notes that 35% of Canadians have an Amazon Prime account, with 50% of members having increased their spending with Amazon in 2020. This shift in consumer behaviour is bound to impact footfall, which could have a trickle-down effect that causes some companies to have less appetite for investing in their flagship retail stores.


It’s unclear how long the current disruption will last, but the retail world will be forever changed regardless. Malls need to find new ways to meet customers where they are and as they want to be served, and to do this successfully they need to be the ones helping define a hybrid future, asking and answering questions like: What considerations need to be taken into account for the next-wave of digital experience platforms? What’s the best approach for closing the gap between the physical destination and the digital experience? Who do we need to partner with today to ensure we’re spearheading change in the future?

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