Retail and the Future of Shopping

Future of shopping Image by Negative Space via Pexels, no attribution required.

 

It’s no secret that the world of retail, or more appropriately “e-tail” is evolving faster than you can say ‘free next day shipping!’. With the digital revolution more prevalent than ever before, shopping has not been left behind.

Retailers such as Amazon and ASOS have gained a great deal of popularity. They are both retailers that operate solely on an online basis. In fact, many other retailers have now followed in their footsteps. It’s now more common than ever for retailers to have more of a dominant online presence than a physical one.

Introducing Robotics

The digital impact is introducing robots and artificial intelligence into our shopping experience.

LG is developing an intelligent shopping cart which follows customers around grocery stores without needing to be pushed. The cart features a barcode scanner, a touchscreen display and can even lead customers to items within the store. The robot is currently only in Korea. How soon until it travels to the UK?

Interactive mirrors are a popular concept for fashion retailers in the near future. The idea of having a mirror pick out the perfect bag to match the shoes sounds like a dream. However, how far are we from this technology?

Well apparently, sooner than you would think! Virtual fitting rooms and intelligence are being developed and implemented in select stores. John Lewis had trialed in a prototype to their customers of a magic mirror. This enabled shoppers to quickly create outfits by mixing and matching a wide range of garments uploaded into the mirror.

The mirror would also suggest pieces and make recommendations to encourage purchases. After the customer chose their desired outfit, the mirror would then create a list of the selected garments. Their lists and pictures could then be printed, sent to them via email, or shared via social media. The magic mirror could help increase sales for in-store retail and offer a unique shopping experience thanks to the digital revolution.

Check out this great video below. It shows five technologies that could soon become a reality in changing the way we shop!

The death of the high-street

Due to all these new advancements, the high street has been hit harder than ever before. The trends leaning toward online shopping has left in-store sales flagging behind.

The high street has been facing a decline over recent years. As we said goodbye to the beloved HMV (read all about it here!), the industry now under the spotlight is fashion.

The Independent reports, “youth-focused online retailers”, such as ASOS, Missguided, and Boohoo, are increasingly seizing market share from some of the more established players. The established players refer to the likes of Primark, New Look, and Topshop. These stores paved the way for newer e-tailers. They catered for the young trendy demographic by providing fashionable pieces for many years prior.

Image by RawPixel via Pexels, no attribution required.
Image by RawPixel via Pexels, no attribution required.

Despite this, they are equally closing stores globally and making cuts to staffing. The lack of footfall in stores and the increase of traffic online are amongst the reasons for this. The Independent credits the success of the youth-focused online retailers to their ability to “tap into consumers desire to buy via their smartphones and online”.

Mobile Devices: A One-Stop-Shop

Shopping in-store can be a grueling task at times. The faster alternative of using a mobile device is undoubtedly less of a hassle. Buying online can also open up the company’s geographical reach far further, meaning a customer who may not live close enough to a physical store to make a purchase is now able to due to the option to buy online.

Although the fashion industry may be facing the worst of the high street’s demise, no sector seems to be safe. With giants such as Amazon offering a one-stop-shop for almost every item imaginable the high street shopping experience is easily less favorable.

On Shop Notch the death of the high street will be analyzed through the form of an infographic. Click here to check it out!

The future of retail is looking very technological. Will this mean that the jobs of real people will eventually become a thing of the past?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

– Alice x

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