From Groceries to Dollar Stores: 10 Ways Shopping Habits Will Change by 2030

Woman shopping while holding her phone
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When it comes to retail shopping, simplicity, speed and convenience will rule the future, just like it ruled the past. However, with technology advancing even faster than our needs, the way consumers shop now will be unrecognizable in the years to come, whether shopping at a luxury store or dollar store.

Predicting exactly how shopping will change by 2030 is challenging due to the evolving nature of technology, consumer behavior, economic conditions and societal shifts. However, we can look to industry experts and make some educated guesses based on trends and innovations that are already underway to get a good picture of what shopping will be like in the future.

10 Ways Shopping Habits Will Change by 2030

Here are 10 ways shopping habits will change by the year 2030.

1. Increased Online Shopping

The shift towards online shopping has been well underway for years, and more consumers are expected to shop online for convenience and safety as technology and e-commerce platforms expand. Writing on the Retail TouchPoints site last year, Hilding Anderson of Publicis Sapient predicted, “In 10 years, I expect ecommerce to represent 60% (up from 21% today) of total retail sales in the United States and influence 90%+ of all retail sales (up from 70%-80% today).”

2. Advanced Security Measures

Although a high-ranking executive at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently described organized retail crime as “a full-blown national crisis on an unprecedented scale” in a New York Times opinion piece, retail crime in the future will evolve as online shopping grows and cybersecurity and fraud prevention measures become more sophisticated to protect consumers and businesses from threats. Expect biometric technologies such as fingerprint and facial recognition to become more common for secure and convenient payment methods.

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3. Enhanced Personalization

Retailers are investing in data analytics and artificial-intelligence-driven systems to provide more personalized shopping experiences. By 2030, you can expect to see even more tailored product recommendations, marketing efforts and real-time predictions based on your preferences and behavior. Hyper-personalization is already standard marketing practice. “We are personalizing every message that we can,” Jill Smith, vice president of media sales at Kroger Precision Marketing at 84.51°, told Insider Intelligence. “Our role is to make customers feel special, every way that we can.”

4. Supply Chain Optimization

Technology, specifically AI applications, will help supply problems like the ones amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic as retailers continue to work on optimizing supply chains to reduce delivery times and improve product availability. According to Syte, “sophisticated data-driven and AI-powered supply chain models will manage every component of the retail supply chain, including production, freight, warehousing, inventory management and shipping.” 

5. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

In the future, you will try on clothing virtually, see how furniture looks in your home and test products in a virtual environment thanks to augmented reality and virtual reality technologies being used to create immersive shopping experiences. “With sales forecasted to soar so exponentially, augmented reality experiences that allow shoppers to virtually try on, personalize or visualize products — from clothing to shoes to makeup to furniture — have the potential to change the social commerce game for brands targeting tech-savvy consumer demographics,” Time reported.

6. Pop-Up Shops and Experiential Retail

Will physical brick and mortar retail stores even exist in 2030? If so, retailers may continue to experiment with pop-up shops and immersive in-person experiences to engage customers in unique ways. Personalized kiosks for pickup, contactless shopping and even private reserved shopping experiences are on the horizon. However, whether consumers will continue to support local and small businesses in the years to come will remain to be seen.

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7. Contactless Payments and Voice Commerce

If you are still able to physically shop years from now, you most certainly will be doing so via contactless payments. Contactless payment methods, such as mobile wallets and digital currencies, are likely to become more prevalent, reducing the need for physical cash and cards.

Additionally, voice-activated virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant are expected to play a larger role in online shopping, enabling voice-based product searches and purchases. And who knows, consumers in seven years time might be using smart glasses and wearable screens rather than cellphones.

8. Sustainable and Ethical Shopping

Consumers are increasingly conscious of the environmental and ethical impact of their purchases, whether shopping for groceries, clothing or home décor. By 2030, more sustainable and ethical product options and greater transparency from companies regarding their practices should be the norm.

9. Drone and Autonomous Vehicle Delivery

Companies are already testing drone and autonomous vehicle delivery methods, which will certainly become more widespread by 2030, changing the landscape of last-mile delivery and making same-day and even quicker deliveries a reality for many consumers. While faster delivery choices will be available through local outlets, companies will still be somewhat constrained to two to three days to manage costs, Retail TouchPoints forecasts.


10. Positioning Across Platforms

Social media platforms are increasingly integrating shopping features, allowing users to discover and buy products conveniently and directly. Subscription-based shopping models, where consumers are retained and receive products on a regular basis, are likely to expand across more retail industries and platforms used by Americans in 2030.

2030 is a ways away, and although unexpected events, technological breakthroughs and cultural shifts can influence how the shopping landscape evolves over time, cutting-edge marketing and digital innovations will pave the way and change how consumers shop in the future.

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