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Tech & Science 6 major ways that shopping has changed over the last decade, from the death of the mall to virtual dressing rooms

08:30  27 november  2019
08:30  27 november  2019 Source:   businessinsider.com.au

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a woman standing in front of a crowd of people: The last decade has brought a lot of changes to the way we shop. The last decade has brought a lot of changes to the way we shop.

Shopping is different today than it was 10 years ago.

In the last decade, shopping has gone through a serious evolution that was in no small way impacted by the rise of e-commerce, Amazon, and augmented and virtual reality, as well as the decline of the department store.

"E-commerce giant Amazon got one component right of the shopping experience - they focused on access, ease and convenience when customers wanted it," Leesa Wytock, the group director of experience at global brand strategy firm Siegel+Gale, told Business Insider in an email.

The Amazon threat is just one of the factors spurring this shopping evolution. With the retail apocalypse ripping through the US, more than 9,100 stores are expected to close in 2019. Malls across the country are dying as department stores like Macy's and Sears, once important anchors for mall foot traffic, are closing down for good.

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"The department store industry has suffered in recent decades ," said retail historian Vicki Howard, who authored the book "From Main Street to Mall : The Rise and Since 2010, malls have either adapted or succumbed to the retail apocalypse. From the dwindling number of malls to the introduction of

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Stores and brands are being propelled into a new era of shopping, one where brick-and-mortar stores must adapt to survive.

Business Insider consulted with Wytock and Brian Byer, the vice president and general manager of Blue Fountain Media, to find the six biggest changes to shopping in the last decade.

Here's what they said:

1. Malls have been dying.

  6 major ways that shopping has changed over the last decade, from the death of the mall to virtual dressing rooms

Mass store closures are crippling shopping centres. More than 9,100 stores are expected to close in 2019.

a group of people in a roomSource: Business Insider

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Between 20% to 25% of malls will close by 2022, according to a report done by Credit Suisse in 2017.

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2. Online shopping has taken off.

a close up of a computer keyboard

Online shopping overtook general merchandise sales (including department store sales) for the first time ever in February, according to the US Census Bureau.

a person sitting on a bed using a laptopSource: Business Insider

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Major companies like Target and Walmart rely on online channels in addition to in-store sales.

a screenshot of a cell phone

And companies that have failed to understand online channels for growth have suffered because of it.

a sign above a store

Bed Bath & Beyond, for example, has been accused of failing to adapt to compete with online sellers.

3. The growth of Amazon has forced companies to adapt.

a hand holding a box

"E-commerce giant Amazon got one component right of the shopping experience — they focused on access, ease and convenience when customers wanted it," Wytock said.

  6 major ways that shopping has changed over the last decade, from the death of the mall to virtual dressing rooms

Retailers have utilised different tactics to compete. Kohl's announced a partnership with Amazon in 2017 to accept returns for the e-commerce giant in its stores, a move that boosted traffic nearly 24% in the three weeks after the partnership began, data from inMarket revealed.

a group of people standing in a room

"The move aimed to lure more people to Kohl's locations and give Amazon a physical presence to simplify the return process," Wytock said.

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4. The shipping wars have intensified.

  6 major ways that shopping has changed over the last decade, from the death of the mall to virtual dressing rooms

Amazon said in April that it would cut its Prime two-day shipping guarantee to just one day.

  6 major ways that shopping has changed over the last decade, from the death of the mall to virtual dressing rooms Source: Business Insider

Walmart said in May that it would launch free, next-day shipping on orders costing at least $US35.

a close up of a boxSource: Business Insider

Other companies like Target have instituted similar programs to cut delivery time.

a red and white signSource: Target

5. Buy online, pick up in store — or BOPIS — is growing.

a sign on a pole

This option helps customers avoid shipping costs, as shoppers can order online and then pick up items from designated locations in stores. Kohl's, for example, has lockers in some of its stores designated for this program.

a close up of a storeSource: Kohl's

"For many consumers, free same-day pickup or drive-up service is more convenient than shopping," Wytock said.

a person in a car

6. Experiential elements are challenging the relevancy of brick-and-mortar stores.

a woman sitting in a car posing for the camera

Virtual or augmented reality apps and dressing rooms are a recent and massive advancement in shopping.

a person sitting at a tableSource: Business Insider

"The ability to see how something looks on you, be it a cashmere sweater or a shade of eye shadow, was a competitive advantage brick-and-mortars had, until improvements like VR dressing rooms and customer service chatbots started embracing those missing functions," Byer said.

a girl standing in front of a store

Australia's biggest shopping centre set for $685m expansion .
The country's largest shopping mall is about to get even bigger.Retail landlord Vicinity Centres will pump another $685 million into developing its trophy centre in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, announcing plans to add more levels on two car parks, a nine-storey commercial office and an upgraded fresh food precinct.

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