While smartphone shopping is the latest craze, more transparent pricing and a parade of special personalised deals will ensure the retail industry continues to embrace its digital destiny. Here are some of the trends that will soon help transform the future of shopping.
Over the next 5-10 years
Grabbing items from the shelf and trying them on from the comfort of your own home will allow shoppers visually see how an item looks on them via a 'digital mirror' without ever entering a retail store. Even when you venture into a store your full-body image will be replicated via an on-screen avatar allowing you to view how items suit from any angle you choose making the changing room almost obsolete.
With consumers already using the power of their smartphones to shop it won't be long before you'll regularly receive discounts, coupons and adverts on your handset based on your shopping habits. High-street shops will also credit your phone with reward points that can later be used to buy merchandise every time you 'check in' as you walk in.
Made To Measure
Ensuring you slip right into those skinny jeans or that body-hugging LBD will no longer be a guessing game. Full-body sensors based on 200,000 points of measurement will do away with tape measures, making sure whatever the style, you'll get the perfect match for your body.
This technology is already being rolled out in the US, with scanners called MyBestFit hitting malls.
In the future products will be more forthcoming in presenting themselves.
Brands will project images and interactive videos from the shelf to grab your attention. And when you type in the name of a specific brand into the store's app on your mobile, green circles will light up around the products that match your needs.
The Wallet of the Future
Just one swipe of your mobile over a payment sensor and you will be able to pay for items. This will do away with the need to queue at checkouts as these payment sensors will be located at points throughout the store allowing you to check out as you walk past.
2020 and beyond ...
We all may be embracing our inner Bono and wearing shades that not only provide 20/20 vision, but also scan, tag and retrieve any information you request to be displayed on the lens. This will allow you to say "tag" when you walk past someone wearing a coat you'd love to have in your closet.
The item will then automatically be added to your shopping list with all the necessary price and retail information.
As citizens of the globe will we no longer be hindered by language barriers thanks to real-time in-ear translations. So that shopping trip to New York could well be replaced by jaunts to Rome or Tokyo.
Touch And Feel
Retail stores will be simply there to provide a "touch and feel" experience as home delivery will be the norm. So shops will be the display centres for retailers whose operations are driven through the internet.
Overall technology will evolve to help you save time and keep your energy and focus on, well, buying more.