In a recent report from Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) giant Klarna, the Swedish firm revealed why artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) will be at the bedrock of online shopping over the next decade. 

Klarna expects both these technologies to ‘dominate the in-store and online landscape’ as they themselves have already integrated AI tools such as ChatGPT into its online shopping app to provide a more seamless shopping experience. 

The ‘Future of Retail’ report surveyed more than 5,000 Gen Z consumers across five continents to take a closer look at how technologies such as AI and AR will mould the future retail sector in the next 18 years.

One of the main topics of note for Gen Z’ers was that 65% want a more personalised shopping experience in the future, with 36% believing that this should apply both online and in-store. 

AR has helped shape the way we try products such as clothes before making the decision to buy, with companies such as Poizon tapping into the technology to enable consumers to try sneakers online from their phone. 

Despite 53% believing that we will remain to try clothes on physically in-store, 48% stated they would prefer a virtual dressing room and more comprehensively, 81% believe AR will enhance their in-store shopping experience, with 37% also stating that it will become standard across retail stores. 

In terms of in-store AI, more than half (59%) are open to the idea of a robot approaching them to take their measurements and recommend styles, with an additional 34% wanting access to virtual ‘personal shoppers’ which can provide recommendations based on their preferences. 

David Sandström, Chief Marketing Officer at Klarna, commented on the findings: “In the western world, approximately 80% of all online purchases are made through search, while the remaining 20% are based on personalised recommendations. 

“In contrast, in China, 80% of online purchases are driven by personalised recommendations. This study confirms that shoppers in the western world desire a comparable shopping experience, which is now available on the Klarna app feed, powered by AI and purchase history data. 

“The next generation of consumers will expect a highly personalised shopping experience where products find them instead of the other way around.”