The future is looking very bright, yet invasive. Shopping experiences are being taken to a whole new level as flagship stores employ some of the best user experience teams to ensure every customer has an authentic and personal experience when purchasing items in their store.
If you’re the type of person to leave the house to buy bins bags, and end up playing with fake snow in Harrods for three hours, you’re not alone. By alone, I mean there are numerous UX psychologists sitting in Head Office who will be studying how you got there, in exactly how much time it took you to get there, whether you got there by chance, whether you remember what you originally came for and whether the fake snow triggered your nostalgic sentiments towards past ski holidays. Consequently, does that encourage you to move two floors down to the winter sport equipment and purchase new equipment for your upcoming holiday in Méribel. The pleasure principle distracted you to buy something entirely different, and instead of spending £4.99 on bin bags, you spent £2,100 on a Moncler ski jacket.
Here are three quick predictions for what major distractions stores may have in the future to completely throw you off balance:
1. Holograms will be created through powerful projectors on the corners of the ceilings that will emulate: mythical figures – such as Disney characters – ; video game scenes and famous models running around the shop in lingerie, only to disappear into burst of glitter when you get to close to her. The store may take this further and develop a hologram of Jacqueline Kennedy following a regular high spending customer round the shop exclaiming how ‘fabulous she looks today’.
2. There are oxygen mask bars in highly polluted cities such as Beijing and New York, which offer a required amount of pure oxygen inhalation for a set price. It’s more productive than spending £120 on an Oxygen facial and if you think purchasing fresh air is a stupid idea, remember that we pay extortionate prices for bottles water.
3. Sleeping slots could be installed in either the basement or top floor. These are rectangular compartments with bedding that slide in and out of the wall, with lavender-infused air ventilators and several members of staff paroling the venue to ensure everyone’s breathing correctly. We all need a ten-thirty minute nap during the day, especially when you work in a high octane job. Sometimes we want to sleep instead of going to Pret with our colleagues on our lunch break. If you are worried about creasing your clothes, you need not worry because non-crease workwear will come out well before the above inventions do!
It will be sometime before something like the above is endorsed by many shopping establishments so for now, Gen Y will have to deal with watching the clown fish bump into the glass at Crème de la Mer or endure the temporary staff member squirt parfum unexpectedly in their eyeball.