Voice and personalised experiences will be key in 2019, John Lewis Partnership
We’re currently seeing growth in people searching for products by voice and this will continue throughout 2019. The next phase will enable people to find items however they describe them and in any language. That's the view of John Vary, Futurologist at John Lewis Partnership.
"Personalised shopping experiences will also become more popular as we move into the year ahead," he comments. "We have already seen AR introduced by various fashion retailers as well as services such as after-hours private shopping, but one day we’ll get to a point where smart home tech will act as your own shopper, alerting retailers in advance when you’re looking for a product.”
In 2018, John Lewis Partnership's retail innovation programme, JLAB, explored two key themes for retailers. First, it launched a health and wellbeing challenge and then it created a challenge to reduce the impact of plastic waste. Off the back of these events, a number of businesses were selected to join the JLAB programme.
One of these was OME Health – they offer a personalised, science based health plans built on a person’s gut microbiome, genetics blood markers and other health data. On the plastics front, it selected CupClub - a returnable packaging service for drinks that helps retailers reduce single-use plastic packaging by providing trackable products and utilising RFID technology.
As for 2019, “creating outstanding experiences for customers is so important for the retail sector right now and this is exactly why we will be focusing on experiential for the next JLAB challenge in February," Vary concludes.