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Retail 2041: A look into the future of shopping

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Consumers expect a technologically sophisticated retail future.

Consumers expect technology to have a profound expect on the shopping experience in the next 18 years.

According to a new global consumer study from Klarna, respondents both hope and predict that the continuing evolution of next-gen technologies will change how they shop. Following are some interesting findings regarding consumer expectations in several key areas of retailing:

Customer experience

  • Two in three (65%) respondents want the shopping experience to become more personalized in the future, and 36% are sure it will be, both in-store and online.
  • Slightly more than half (53%) of respondents believe they will still try clothes in the same way as today. But 48% expect virtual dressing rooms, 28% augmented reality (AR) try-on, and 23% predict artificial intelligence (AI) will advise which clothes to buy.
  • Six in 10 (59%) respondents are open to the idea of a robot approaching them in-store to take their measurements and recommend styles, with an additional 18% willing to consider consulting an in-store robot depending on how the robot looks and behaves. In addition, 34% want access to virtual ‘personal shoppers’ which can provide recommendations based on their fashion style and taste when they shop online.
  • Eight in 10 (81%) respondents expect AR to enhance their in-store shopping experience and more than one-third (37%) think that this technology will eventually become standard in retail stores.


  • Almost two in three (64%) Gen Z and millennial respondents agree with the prediction that the majority of physical stores will be completely cash-free in 18 years, and 31% of these respondents believe this shift will take place within the next five years.


● Slightly more than half (52%) of respondents want more sustainable fashion in the future.

● Close to six in 10 (57%) want the circular economy to take a larger share of the total shopping industry, while 37% believe they will buy and 26% believe they will sell pre-owned items more often.

Klarna conducted an online survey in cooperation with research agency Dynata across five countries (the U.S., U.K., Germany, France and Sweden) in April 2023, including a minimum of 1,000 respondents in each country. The sample sizes are nationally representative, including both Klarna users and non-Klarna users, and have been selected by Dynata. In total, 5,055 consumers participated in the study.

[Read more: Retail 2030: What do shoppers expect?]


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