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Welcome to the future of shopping



Welcome to the future of shopping

Fifteen years ago, the future of shopping was the same as the future of everything else: online. Asos, Rent the Runway, Glossier — Net-a-Porter, Farfetch and Matches for those who could afford it — changed the way we consumed fashion and beauty. What an incredible experience it was to witness the internet’s gold rush era; a time of free shipping, unlimited returns and influencer recommendations. The opportunities were endless, the VC dollars were flowing and the legislation was sparse — essentially, anyone with a great idea could make it a reality.

Entire companies were built on this premise and it seemed as though the code had been cracked. We could now shop and read and watch online. It was convenient and affordable. But what we failed to account for was that the products and services offered on digital channels were created by real people in a physical world.

Enter the words “restructure”, “layoffs” and “administration”, killing digital empires one by one. The age of disruption is over, giving way to a time of uncertainty and confusion. Nobody knows where to shop anymore, and when we do shop, we rarely shop according to our values, as Maliha Shoaib notes. What we do know is that cheap can mean cheaply made, and fast can mean fast and loose.

Surely, that can’t be all there is. So this week, at Vogue Business, we are looking at what comes next, with a collection of 17 articles and a podcast series.

As the e-commerce giants fall, Maghan McDowell explores how Web3 will shape online shopping. Meanwhile, Hilary Milnes ponders over whether good customer service might just be the ticket for bringing people back into brick-and-mortar stores. Speaking of IRL shopping, Kirsty McGregor looks at the future of the high street, before investigating the latest e-commerce fiasco; namely Frasers Group putting Matches into administration a mere three months after buying it.

Lucy Maguire dives deep into TikTok Shop, and Madeleine Schulz surveys Vogue and GQ readers to gauge the next generation’s shopping habits. Spoiler alert: they’re embracing the algorithm. Rachel Cernansky scours the world of sustainable fashion for the best practices brands can bring into the future. Luke Leitch interviews master of experimental retail Adrian Joffe on the eve of the DSM opening in Paris while getting a sneak peek of the site.

Elsewhere, Sujata Assomull forecasts that Indian luxury consumers are ready to start shopping locally, and Ashley Ogawa Clarke unpacks Japan’s gaisho phenomenon, which sees sales associates bringing entire stores to clients’ homes. To sum it all up, Christina Binkley argues that it’s about time retail entered its curation era.

You can find all of that, plus a little more, on this link. We hope you enjoy it.

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