More people are shopping online than ever before, and the impact is being felt by the brick-and-mortar stores.
Target and Best Buy have both complained that people come in to browse, and then go home and buy on-line. This is a trend that is only expected to continue as people become more comfortable with buying things online.
Payments are moving to your smartphones. A company called LevelUp is successfully doing that right now (although this is found mostly in cities).
Here are three other ways that your shopping will be changing in the not-too-distant future:
Scan As You Shop
Reuters is reporting that Walmart is trying out a new way to get their customers OUT of the store quickly without waiting in lines.
You’ve probably used, or at least seen, self-checkouts at grocery stores, etc., well now Walmart is experimenting with a process that would take self-checkout to a whole new level. A Walmart in Arkansas recently did a trial run by recruiting a bunch of employees and their invited friends and family to try out a new method of self-checkout: The customers would shop as usual…… however, as they put their items in their cart, they would scan the items, themselves, with their iPhones. Then, at checkout, the only thing left to do is to pay. Scanning would be all done.
The long-term plan would include paying on the iPhone, as well. No check-out needed. Just walk in, shop, scan, and leave. This would mean NO lines (a retailer goal). Just an experiment for now, but it does give us a little peak into the future. You can read more about this here.
Other future shopping changes are even more extraordinary.
How about a virtual mirror where customers can view themselves in various clothes … just by looking in the mirror? Technology would figure out exactly how the outfit would fit, based on body type and fabric. This isn’t science fiction… it’s under development, and should be ‘ready’ in just a few years.
The 3-D Printer
Another mind-blowing shopping concept is the 3-D printer. Imagine clothing, household items, pharmaceuticals, just printed out in your own home! I find it hard to wrap my mind around the concept of a 3-D printer, but they are already in action and have been used to print out hearing aids and model rockets. Amazing. And it’s coming.
You can read more about this mirror and the 3-D printers by clicking here.