The Shopping Experience of Tomorrow

The Shopping Experience of Tomorrow

What will shopping look like in 2030? The SIX white paper, “Future of Brick-and-Mortar Commerce”, identifies the key characteristics that will define customer journeys around retail in the future and, as a result, future business opportunities that may arise for retail banks in this context.

Digitalization continues to gather pace in the retail sector, particularly since the outbreak of COVID-19. At the same time, more and more online retailers are opening physical stores. Is offline the new online?  

The latest white paper of SIX presents two scenarios for the future. According to the more likely scenario, e-commerce business will continue to grow and constitute around 40% of global retail sales in 2030, but brick-and-mortar commerce will remain. However, its form will change. Stores will survive especially if they offer unforgettable, innovative, exclusive and personally emotional experiences in the context of shoppertainment. The second, less likely, scenario is based on the assumption that sustainability will become increasingly important in the consumer sector and that the majority of customers in developed countries will therefore be influenced by the sustainability of their consumption when making all purchasing choices.

Either way, the future will bring a degree of digitalization, personalization and convenience to brick-and-mortar commerce that goes far beyond what we know today. Previously unknown players will increase competition in products and services and oftentimes raise the bar in terms of innovation, user experience and fees.

However, the physical point of sale will also offer new business opportunities to established retail banks.

Digital Purchase Receipts and Rating

In the context of a smooth shopping experience, seamless registration and payment of the articles will play a central role. This will be an opportunity for the banks to support retail with broadly accepted self-scanning and self-checkout solutions. It will also be possible for the purchase receipts to be issued digitally. They will consist of consumer data at the product level and could at the same time help assess the creditworthiness of buyers and sellers (rating).

Super Apps

Super apps will allow you to organize almost the entire day far beyond what we know today with pure payment apps. For example, customers will be able personalize a product digitally through their smartphone and then pick it up at a store. In addition, super apps will make it possible to book a table at a restaurant, view the menu via the QR code on a smartphone and order directly online. Billing and payment will be automatically carried out on a smartphone. This multifunctional everyday management targeted entirely on customer journeys will bring benefit not only to users and providers, but also to retail banks as operators.

User-Centered Cash Economy

By centralizing the operation of the Swiss ATM network, it will be possible to reduce the number of ATMs by 30–40% without any loss of service. Another option to reduce costs would be to integrate consumers into the ATM infrastructure, based on the wide distribution of digital devices and the ubiquitous connectivity of providers and users (crowd-augmented cash infrastructure). This would allow a further reduction in the number of ATMs without major supply bottlenecks.

Sustainability Information

Sustainability in the financial sector is now mainly related to sustainable investments. However, there are some opportunities for the banks also in the consumer sector. In this way, they could easily use the sustainability data they already store for their investors to provide consumers with additional information on products and services in the purchasing process.

As a busy handling facility, brick-and-mortar commerce will thus give retail banks the opportunity to expand their traditional product and service offering and maintain their customer interface(s) as a result. This could also give them a decisive edge in selling other higher-margin products.