You may feel as though store-fronts and shopping malls will always be crammed full of people eager to spend their money, but certain technologies, namely virtual reality, augmented reality, drones, and artificial intelligence are getting ready to change the shopping experience for good according to analysts.
“It’s ironic that the fashion industry is renowned for its innovation, yet the way we shop is so old-fashioned. From having to use a changing room, to being offered limited space in a shop, the whole experience is generic. The future of shopping offers personalized experiences for people, dependent on their taste and mood, and at Holition we see it as the humanizing of technology," Russell Freeman, chief technology officer at digital marketing agency Holition explained. “Augmented reality, virtual reality, drone delivery and artificial intelligence will completely change the way we shop. It’s an exciting time - on the cusp of a revolution.”
Freeman and others predict that within the next 15 years shopping malls and storefronts will cease to exist, giving way to at-home immersive, virtual shopping. Virtual reality will allow shoppers to not only view realistic 3D renderings of items they'd like to purchase, but shoppers will also get to travel to the areas these products are made, enter factories, farms and other areas all via a Virtual Tour on Any Device from Anywhere, including a VR headset. The shopping experience will actually get more fulfilling and informative as we transform the way we shop.
Imagine walking into a virtual store where you are looking for a new LED TV. You can view the factories these TVs are made in, the people who helped make that particular TV and even virtually talk to a customer support agent. An artificial intelligence system will analyze your viewing needs and suggest the best buy for you. When you click to order a drone or robotic delivery agent will enter the virtual store where you are looking and process the order, and a drone or robotic delivery agent will then arrive at your door within a couple of hours. Amazon is already working on this, you may have heard about their robotic delivery systems in the press.
That's the future.
The surprising thing...the stores that will be most affected are the Big Box stores because the tables will be turned on them. For years they have been reaping havoc on the smaller and independent retailers but two things will happen.
TouchlessMarketing™ is bringing this new technology to the smaller business, allowing them to compete on the same level as the big box stores. The big boys will no longer have that huge financial advantage and this will tend to move a significant percentage of the market back to the smaller, local and independent stores. Technology will be their friend.
The locally owned independents will be in a very unique position to still have their store front for shoppers who prefer the hands on, personal approach. The big box stores won't do this as the economies of scale are no longer present. This will allow for the smaller operator, who has been kicked around by the big boys for so long, to finally have the last laugh.