Technology has important effects in every field from smartphones to computers, from fuel types to smart system at home. The technologic development differentiate the products and service we use and change our habits. When we said “shopping” before, we thought of going to a store, market or similar sales point; but today, we can shop even without leaving our house. Here is the shopping of the future…
Since e-commerce and online shopping applications that caused this continue to grow every day, it is believed that in the near future, there will be no difference between traditional shopping and online shopping in terms of preferability. As it can be seen, technology creates a difference for shopping, manage to change our daily habits, carry traditional shopping to a different dimension and reveal the shopping of the future.
Future of Traditional Stores
According to most retail experts, even though there will be great changes in shopping habits in the future, traditional shopping will still be valid for some product groups. For most women, shopping is at the same time socializing and spending good time; therefore, it is predicted that traditional stores will be there for cosmetic, clothing, accessories and fashion sector that mostly attract women.
Similarly, although contactless payment in market, payment without cashier, markets without workers are applied, we are not getting away from traditional shopping where we add products to our cart from shelves. The number of courier companies that bring grocery products from warehouses to customers are expanding.
In the light of this information, it seems like traditional stores will not vanish but significantly decrease. This means, certain stores will only be warehouses and there will be dramatic decreases in store staff. But stores in clothing, accessories and fashion sector continue their way without decreasing the number of sales representatives.
While traditional ways continue in sectors where customer talk with sales representatives and where a special connection between customer and sales representative can be formed, it is hard to say the same thing for other sectors. Since online orders will increase especially in technology stores, there will be no need for physical stores and sales representatives.
When shopping habits of Gen Z is observed, it can be seen that almost all of the young people feel uncomfortable when someone directly shows interest to them in the store and they compare the products via mobile devices and internet rather than asking to sales representative.
Another way that consumers use online and physical stores is to view the product in the store and buy online. Users view the products they want to buy in the store and if they like it, they order online that has better prices, better instalment options and more colour options.
Innovations for the Shopping of The Future
In the near future, one of the most common store and shopping trends will be hybrid stores with mixed online and offline experience. For example, thing about going to a store, not buying the product, taking the photo or scanning the QR code to order and receiving the product on the next day in your home. Today, this shopping method that can be seen in some regions of the US eliminates stores to constantly carry products to store and customers to walk around with bags.
The shopping of the future has stores without cashier and sales representatives. Amazon that is known with radical steps in store and e-commerce fields focuses on Amazon Go stores without any sales representatives or employees. Famous supermarket chain Walmart is implementing similar scenario. Walmart turned some of the pilot branches to autonomous branches and just like Amazon, the market is getting ready for a store powered by artificial intelligence without employees.
Another detail that will be in the future of shopping is augmented reality. Although this technology is currently used in game and similar entertainment tools, augmented reality will seem to turn into a saviour for the products that needs to be tested before buying. The first example for this is the application developed by Ikea and Apple that shows how Ikea products can be placed to room photos on the smartphone or tablet.
This way, you can see how the product you want to buy will look in your home. The same technology is expected to be used in clothing and accessories stores. This way, you can view how jackets, pants, shoes, sunglasses and other cloths and accessories will look on you in front of mirrors with augmented reality without trying these products. This technology saves time and effort for customers and enable customers to try the products that are not currently available in the store.
Effects of Developments in Shopping Technologies on E-Commerce and Cross-Border E-Commerce
In fact, almost all changes in the shopping are in favour of e-commerce and cross-border e-commerce. The shopping of the future is planned on these concepts. Due to ever-increasing e-commerce and cross-border e-commerce volume, stores are transferred to online environment. Almost all large brands have physical store and online store. These factors close the gap between physical and online store ratios. This shows that the future is bright for online shopping, e-commerce and cross-border e-commerce.
Technology offers innovations to solve problems such as distance or document with internet shopping. For example, drones or driverless cars that deliver orders for Amazon are some of these innovations. If customs and other bureaucratic processes between countries are transferred to the online environment, shipment and documentations which are the most important problems in cross-border e-commerce can be eliminated. Of course, in addition to the support of technology, the world including our country should make laws that support e-commerce and cross-border e-commerce.
Based on all these developments, physical stores become more mobile with autonomous vehicles and systems in physical stores. For example, Tesco in Seoul goes to the customers with mobile stores that are carried on the intense areas such as metro and shopping mall. While the store meets the simple needs on the ground, other needs are met with online order.
This store strategy gives tips about how stores will be in the future. Another perfect example is to order a product that is seen while browsing online at that moment. This way, it is possible to order a product at that moment without visiting another website or application.
In shopping of the future, it will be possible to purchase from anywhere we can buy a product online. For example, we will be able to order from smart fridge screen and create a demand on interactive screens to supply the products that are not present in the autonomous markets. Positive developments such as same-day delivery show that the effect of internet will continue as we experience today.