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Mobile technology key to retail’s future

The rise of Generation Y will accelerate the trend for shopping for clothing on mobile phones, according to William Higham, founder of consumer research consultancy The Next Big Thing.

Following the recession, time-poor consumers expect brands to “fit around their lifestyles”, which includes being able to shop at any time but also from anywhere, said Higham.

Retailers and the talent within them that pioneer the idea of shopping via an “augmented reality” will be ahead of the curve - the notion of using a mobile phone to aid the purchase of clothes by pointing a smart phone at a garment, and pulling up product details including price.

Higham said: “The phone will become even more important. Consumers want everything to be mobile.”

The recent success of the pop-up shop model has come on the back of new consumer thirst for luxury and limited edition pieces, also driven by the recession, added Higham.

“As a result of the recession, the only thing keeping the consumer going is the idea of something special. People want to escape and gravitate towards retailers and brands that can help them do that,” he said.

According to Higham, the resurgence of product such as furs, big knits and heavy outerwear illustrated that the shopper was looking for comfort and security.

“It’s all about being comfortable and removing stress. Brands need to offer ‘brand aid’ and help people,” he said.

Consumers are expected to gravitate towards brightly coloured product and “items that make them feel more positive” while they still lack confidence in the economy.

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