The next generation of shoppers will prefer real-life shopping over virtual reality but crave tech innovation to elevate their shopping experience. That is according to new data released by Klarna which reveals how retailers will need to adapt their offering to win shoppers in the future.

The Future of Retail Report shows that 81% of Gen Z’ers & Millennials expect Augmented Reality (AR) to enhance in-store shopping while 65% believe that more personalisation is key to their purchase intent.

On the back of recent advancements in technology and an increasing likelihood that AI, AR and robots will dominate the in-store and online landscape of the future, the study examined what shopping habits will be like 18 years from now, when Gen Zers will turn 40 and together with Millennials will be the dominant consumers.

Among the results, the majority of consumers want more personalisation as part of the shopping experience. Most fashion shoppers won’t try on clothes physically while well-mannered robot fashion advisors and virtual personal shopping assistants are in high demand. In fact, of the 5,000 consumers surveyed, 48% said they want to use virtual dressing rooms while more than half (59%) are open to the idea of a robot approaching them in-store to take their measurements and recommend styles

“In the western world, approximately 80% of all online purchases are made through search, while the remaining 20% are based on personalized recommendations. In contrast, in China, 80% of online purchases are driven by personalized recommendations.” David Sandström, Chief Marketing Officer at Klarna, said:

He added: “The next generation of consumers will expect a highly personalized shopping experience where products find them instead of the other way around.”

While less than half of Gen Z’ers believe that shopping in Virtual Reality (VR) will come to surpass the real-life shopping experience within the next two decades, 64% of consumers do agree that the majority of physical stores will be completely cash-free in 18 years time.

“Retail and shopping trends have evolved significantly over the last decade and it’s clear there are more changes to come,”said Kate Hardcastle MBE, The Customer Whisperer and independent expert.

She added: “Technologies like augmented reality have the potential to transform rundown physical shops and revamp the in-store experience for shoppers. Klarna’s latest research shows that consumers want greater convenience and a more personalised shopping experience – and seamless technology must be at the heart of this.”