In the future (…near or far? …time will tell…) we will have two radically different types of shopping:
- shopping for everyday items
- shopping for specific, glamorous, out-of-the-ordinary items
Let me get into the details…
What is “everyday-item-shopping”? It’s – for example – the purchase of grocery products like toilet paper, bread and so on… (…”COMMODITIES”!)
…but in the future it won’t be me (the Consumer) doing this type of commodity-shopping, instead it will be some Intelligent-agent software (…in the Cloud?) that will be charged with the boring task of regularly preparing a shopping-list of the needed items, evaluate Retailers’ options, and make online orders.
Purchased items will be gracefully delivered to my door straight-away.
This “automated shopping” is going to be efficient and effective because my Intelligent-agent software will know everything about me and my habits.
For instance, it will be familiar with my purchase-history (I belong to several loyalty programs), with my dietary needs (my clinical-records will be in the Cloud ), with the state of my finances (I use e-banking); it will know when and for how long I will be on vacation (my electronic calendar says so) or when I’ll be hosting a dinner for my friends (again, just ask my electronic calendar).
You got the point, don’t you?
By the way, maybe my Cloud-based Intelligent-agent software will be offered by Wal-Mart as an additional free service linked to my loyalty-card. Or it will be included in my Apple iTunes account – after all in Cupertino they already have my credit-card number in their systems… …and my iPhone and iPad know everything about me. Or it will be a Gmail add-on – after all, all my emails go through Mountain View.
Let’s now talk about shopping for specific, glamorous, out-of-the-ordinary items.
Shopping for specific, glamorous, out-of-the-ordinary items
Now I’m thinking about shopping as a form of pleasure – a pleasure that involves visiting a brick-and-mortar store to enjoy a fantastic shopping-experience; no stupid “Intelligent-agent cloud-based software” will be employed, fortunately…
Exclusivity is the key-word here: I’ll be shopping for items that are *SPECIAL* and that – hopefully – my friends will be envious of… …maybe it won’t be cheap, but surely it’ll be gratifying!
By the way, it won’t be cheap because I’ll pay both for the product (…exclusivity IS expensive, of course…) and for the AWESOME EXPERIENCE – especially for the AWESOME EXPERIENCE; I’ll be visiting stores that Retailers turned into fantastic, social and thrilling settings, with new levels of involvement, relationship and value. I’ll shop and spend social time with friends and family, enjoying interactions with nice, consultative Store-associates – so that I can get a fantastic, personalized service that goes well beyond products.
Andy Cavallini – http://retaildom.com