The Future of Retail

Unveiling the 21st Century Shopping Mall

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As technology constantly changes and improves the way we work and live, it is no surprise that retailers are shifting their methods of attracting customers and promoting their products. Millennials in particular, with their preference for a more personalized and convenient shopping experience, play a major role in shaping the future of retail. And as their spending power grows, retailers are taking notice and adjusting to the shift in the market.

Unveiling the 21st Century Shopping Mall takes a look at the 10 emerging trends in retail based on new technology and consumer behavior and examines their role in creating the mall of the future.

Some key findings include

  • Convenience, flexibility and customer engagement are the key factors in creating the mall of the future
  • The 21st century mall will encompass residential, hospitality and work spaces to create a live-play-work environment
  • Leasing will be more flexible for tenants
  • Robots take over menial tasks so that workers can focus on assisting customers
  • Shopping will also be more interactive as shoppers have the option to purchase merchandise via virtual reality or augmented reality tools Merchants will invest more in machine learning technology enabling them to gain instant customer insights whenever a shopper walks into their store
  • Traditional food concepts such as food courts will eventually be replaced with pop-up restaurants, alternative food delivery services and specialty stores.

Furthermore, while affiliate marketing has long been an established method in product promotions, the advent of social media has put this on a whole new level. Loyal customers can now share information about their purchase via social media and get commissions by using a unique code link. This link monitors payment transactions of items which will then be credited to the affiliate customer.

So with all this new technology, will bricks-and-mortar still have a role in the 21st century? Yes, it appears. While online stores may have all the edge today, twenty-first century shopping will only merge and enhance these two components to form a universal shopping experience for the consumers of tomorrow.


  1. Retailers will work around incorporating new technology into their stores. Virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), machine learning tools and geo-fencing will have a major play in the shopping experience.
  2. Pop-up/temporary stores will be more common to accommodate seasonal trends. Merchants will offer flexible, short-term leases for tenants depending on their needs.
  3. There will be dedicated areas for work and play that will connect retailers with shoppers and digital innovators.
  4. Transport connectivity and space utilization technology will be integrated to monitor flow of vehicles and pedestrians.
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