What Is The Future Of Shopping?
The Hanna-Barbera cartoon show Jetsons artfully contrived the future. The space-age animation series shows Jane Jetson, its lady protagonist, clicking buttons to get household chores done, using the service of her robot maid, and shopping using the hi-tech gadgets. In a particular episode Jane, accompanied by her daughter Judy, uses a ‘dress selector’ to pick out dresses for Jane to wear to a play. As Judy flips some buttons, the contraption projects costumes on Jane, moving along with her arms in perfect synchronization.
What the writers of the show envisioned 50 years ago is slowing turning into a reality. Technological innovations are transforming our lives. We are that generation of the human race that is so accustomed to clicking buttons that we cannot imagine life without technology. While having a fully functional robot maid might still be way in the future, there’s one thing that we might be soon doing the Jetson way – shopping!
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, Wearable Technology, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Big Data, Blockchain, Machine Learning – these are all current trends that are powering the digital transformation of the retail world and shaping the future shopping.
Considering these current technologies in work, here are some prospects about how shopping will be, 10 years from now–
- Digital Dressing Rooms
The dressing rooms as we know them will soon become a thing of the past. While some leading brands have already incorporated magic mirrors to their store, it is expected that digital dressing rooms will become a standard in fashion retail. What a convenience would it be to have a 3D rendering of yourself to try on items and even get suggestions based on your likes and dislikes! Say bye-bye to dressing and undressing multiple times to get the perfect dress.
- Smart Shopping Carts and Automated Checkouts
From slowly moving check-out lines to no checkout points at all – that’s the transformation we expect in the future. Amazon’s pioneering brick-and-mortar stores were the first to introduce check-out free shopping. However, the number of such stores is still small and leading brands are still launching tryouts. But in the future, checkout points are expected to go extinct. People will either pick up groceries, pay online or via their mobile phones or will use smart shopping carts that receive information about the product being put into them and calculate the final bill ready for checkout.
- High-speed Delivery
How does the message “Your package will be delivered in 5-7 business days” make you feel? Well, that’s one thing that is definitely going to change. Amazon with its Prime membership offering made delivery within 1-2 days a standard. Now, make way for the era of getting your orders delivered within 1-2 hours of purchase.
- Reduced Use of Shopping bags
Carrying shopping bags filled with loads of groceries is a challenge. And if you have to stop on the way to run a few errands, then moving around with those loaded bags can be a nightmare. Shopping 10 years from now will be all about convenience. You’d just have to go to a store, pick what you want, pay the bill and your purchase will be sent to your doorstep.
- Voice Commerce and Digital Assistants
Alexa is already helping its owners place orders and find products online. Not only does it place the order, but it also gives suggestions based on their purchase history. Voice and digital assistants are going to change how people shop – much like the store sales experts, voice-controlled smart assistants will guide them throughout the shopping experience. Watch out… the voice commerce revolution is coming!
The future of shopping will be driven by convenience, focused on experiences, and filled with options. Consumers will be king and will be served by brands and retailers who’ll take every pain to provide them with hyper-customized shopping experiences in the most expedient way. Look forward to living like the Jetsons, where clicks will do the tricks. What a time to be alive!