Retailer Westfield has released a new report with statistical insights for retailers, ranging from the rental economy to consumer loyalty to virtual assistance.
“Fashion stores of tomorrow might look radically different—bringing shoppers through the doors to attend a vintage clothing club, rewarding them financially for recycling their old clothes, helping them pick a new outfit with virtual reality and then loaning it to them for a party at the weekend,” said Myf Ryan, Chief Marketing Officer, Westfield UK and Europe.
The report finds that consumers who are most interested in rentals are also those who already spend the most on fashion. More than a third of people who shop for clothes, footwear and accessories three times a week would like to be able to rent these items, too.
Urbanites are particularly interested in renting clothes from their favorite stores. While only 17% of UK respondents were interested in renting, 38% of Londoners were. The trend holds in the US, where 15% of respondents were interested in renting, compared to 26% of LA respondents and 25% of New Yorkers. Young shoppers are also more open to the idea: 46% of UK millennials and 35% of US millennials are interested in renting clothes.
Surprisingly, the report finds that men, overall, are more willing than women to spend $200 (or £200) a month for an unlimited clothing rental subscription. In New York, 37% of men would do this, compared to 15% of women. The trend holds in London, where 51% of men would pay, versus 29% of women. Given that e-commerce rental success stories like Rent the Runway target women, the findings suggest a missed opportunity in menswear.
In a section on consumer loyalty programs, the report finds that young shoppers are especially interested in rewards programs that recognize positive lifestyle behaviors. In San Francisco, 29% of shoppers would like retailers to reward them for getting regular exercise, while 38% of US 16–24 year olds would like to be rewarded for exercise.
Large majorities of young people are happy to trade data for discounts (up to 80% when considering 25–34 year olds in London). Together with the results on fitness, this suggests an opportunity for retailers to engage in rewards programs that use fitness data.
For those wondering whether consumers will one day embrace virtual reality shopping, the report offers interesting clues: 50% of New Yorkers say they’re interested in virtual demonstrations of some kind, while 36% would like to be transported to a virtual setting to better understand what they’re buying.