Technology has transformed the way we live our lives, and one of the industries that’s been most affected by the rolling out of evermore sophisticated technology is shopping. New devices and systems have revolutionised the retail experience, and those firms that fail to ride the digital wave are fast getting left behind. Here are five of the ways that tech has changed how we shop.
1) Blurring the lines between homes and the high street
In the past, there was a sharp distinction between the home and the high street. When people wanted to buy products, they had to travel to their local towns or shopping centres. Now, they can browse goods and make purchases from the comfort of their own homes, offices or elsewhere. Also, advancing tech has allowed retailers to extend their communications with customers far beyond the reaches of the shop door. Using innovative digital signage systems like those offered by CJ Retail Solutions, companies can share marketing messages on screen in store while simultaneously sending the same information to consumers’ mobiles, social media accounts and the web more widely. These trends have helped to blur the lines between the home and the high street.
2) Putting more power in the hands of consumers
Another key difference between the shopping setup of yesteryear and today’s advanced retail scene is the fact that consumers now have more power and control. Previously, consumers relied on shop owners and assistants for product and pricing information. Now, they have all the facts they could possibly want at their fingertips. Whether they’re shopping in store or online, they can browse the web to compare prices, read reviews and check out other similar products.
3) Bending reality
As well as sophisticated digital signage, a rising number of retailers are incorporating augmented reality features into their stores. People can now use their smartphones or tablets to view real world products complete with supplemented sensory input, like graphics, video and sound. Whether they want to see what furnishings would look like in different colours or check out how well a makeup product would suit their complexion, all shoppers have to do is point their portable tech in the right direction.
4) Any place, any time
Thanks to e-commerce, consumers are now able to buy goods and services almost anytime and anywhere. From booking impulse holidays during sleepless nights to purchasing last-minute birthday gifts from their office desks, people now have total freedom when they want to enjoy some retail therapy.
5) More automation
Technology has also made consumers less reliant on shop assistants. People can now ring up their weekly shops themselves at supermarket self-serve counters, look up product details at information kiosks and much more. While some people lament the decline in traditional shop service, many prefer the added speed and convenience of automated systems.