Out with the drinks trolley and in with the air fryer: high street giant John Lewis has unveiled its tenth ‘How We Shop, Live and Look’ report, looking back on a decade of cultural moments, trends and shopping habits. There are plenty of interesting takeaways: how quiet luxury has soared thanks to Succession, how Barbie caused a Birkenstock spike, and how customers have, for whatever reason, stopped shopping the chandelier. But flip it around, and what can we expect to see in the future? Here are the shopping trends John Lewis’ futurologist John Vary thinks we have in store in 2024.
Shopping Trends To Expect In 2024, According To John Lewis
Top Trends At A Glance:
- Virtual Try-On
- Purchases Through Social Media
- Multi-Purpose Tech
- Discreet Tech
- Transparency With Blockchain
1. Virtual Try-On
Sick of queuing for the changing room? Fancy trying clothes on à la Cher in Clueless? You’re in luck: the Metaverse is set to make virtual clothes try-ons a reality in 2024. ‘As a shared, virtual space that’s created by the convergence of virtually enhanced physical reality and physically persistent virtual reality, it is poised to create a whole new way of interacting with digital environments,’ says Vary.
The New Year will see a higher integration of artificial intelligence for personal recommendations in our shopping experience, Vary suggests, as well as augmented reality for try-on. From trying on a dress to picking out new curtains, the Metaverse could revolutionise the way we shop, making the entire process quicker, easier and perhaps even better than we are used to. Rather than being sent a swatch of fabric in the post for some new curtains, for example, why not strap on an AR headset, and pull them open and closed in your very own augmented reality home?
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2. Purchases Through Social Media
We’ve long been influenced by social media stars, but the growth of shopping integrated into social platforms is set to continue in 2024, growing from Instagram to TikTok, Vary expects. And could the Metaverse play into this, too? ‘People from around the world could visit the same shop simultaneously removing geographical barriers, making shopping far more accessible,’ says Vary. ‘Virtual storefronts could be personalised based on your shopping history, preferences, and even your current mood.’
3. Multi-Purpose Tech
Sick of cable city behind the TV? Samsung has integrated an Xbox app into its latest smart TV – removing the need for a separate games console – and Vary expects other manufacturers to follow suit in 2024.
4. Discreet Tech
Meanwhile, when it comes to wearable tech, it’s out with the big and bold and in with the discreet, says Vary – despite the recent trend for big over ear headphones and Apple’s AirPods Max. Bose is set to release a new range of headphones that are so light they can be worn all day, so it’s out with socialising in 2024, too.
5. Transparency With Blockchain
Blockchain is a shared database that stores information in blocks that are linked together in an uneditable, digital chain across a network of computers. It is widely known for its use in cryptocurrency, but it can also be used to monitor supply chains – recording the source of every product, even as it changes hands, from factory to shop to home to recycling centre – which could be revolutionary as companies strive to be more ethical and transparent, says Vary. ‘Blockchain’s transparency, security, and decentralisation could offer solutions in supply chain, ethics, sustainability, and more. Tokenization [adding blockchain to products] could encourage sustainability by rewarding customers for eco-friendly practices like recycling, or buying sustainable products.
‘I am minded that with all these advancements comes the need for thoughtful consideration of ethical implications, including data privacy, security, and the impact on jobs and society at large,’ Vary adds.
Featured image: John Lewis