World is changing every next moment which is directly proportional to the environment, technology and people. These changes define the needs, requirements, desires and a dream of an individual which again determines the lifestyle which is directly proportional to shopping. Today consumers are already embracing the goodness of online shopping over conventional shopping because it is convenient, they can shop anytime even at night in their night dress, they don’t have to wait in long queues, prices are always better, discounts are available 12 months not only in EOSS (End of season sale), there is variety and trust over shopping portals is building specially by the feedbacks and reviews of real customers and in addition to all these there is no worry about petrol price hike and wastage of the precious time. World has seen drastic changes in our lifestyles in the past 17 years mainly by the assistance of technology, where Smartphone, 4G networks and online shopping were beyond our dreams in last decade then just imagine how will it change by 2030, every possibility comes rushing to me with lightning speed. So, let’s begin our trek into the world of tomorrow.
Future of Shopping:
To run a household and simply to run our lives, to exist we need supplies hence we make purchases; it is something that will never seize but only increase in time with growing demands and expectations. Albeit by 2030 world may face many crises as with each passing day as fast as our free-time quota is decreasing the global population on Earth is increasing and will certainly reach the crisis point, to contain everyone over planet will require more land hence land crises will be generated, with the depletion of water reservoirs and fuel reservoirs energy crises will be at heights, but with all that Artificial intelligence is also working day and night and new technology is seeing the light of the day every next moment and technology is accelerating exponentially and amidst of all these humans will happily thrive on that.
Now we all know the benefits of online shopping in the current scenario and we can also agree that market is shifting to online shopping where one can find from an elastic band to a house decor things with just a click away and online shopping portals are growing each day and by 2030 it will not only be much more advanced but more user friendly as well.
One of the major aspects that still keeps some people away from online shopping is the delivery time, minimum delivery time on an average in 36 hours. And also the reluctance due to not knowing if the dress will fit you properly, albeit reverse pickup and exchange facilities are available but still it does make a new user reluctant.
By 2030 I believe, delivery time will drastically change to an hours minimum, autonomous vehicles are already under consideration where a robot will call the recipient and they can collect their items from the vans but by 2030 one can have their purchasing delivered at any corner of the world in few hours. The online portals will have many warehouse in many cities which will help the process tremendously, the entire distribution process will completely be automated with no people involved in the transport of the goods from warehouse to the respective household. Now I say, welcome to the age of hyper-efficient supply chains and delivery mechanisms, such process will minimize the damage/loss of goods in transit also there won’t be ever any case of the shipment of defected/faulty good. Humans sometimes make errors that make us human but machines seldom do but man labor will be need to keep the machinery working properly.
Case I :
Second major change I imagine is in the complete shopping experience, every online store will have ‘Online shopping guide’. Let’s take a case to understand this concept. We have a customer names Tara, she is in corporate, has no time to go shopping, she can’t even imagine to take her car out in the vehicle packed road, spend hours in finding parking then visit stores in mall. No she doesn’t has the patience to surf between the ocean of people and switch stores in the search of that dress which will suit her in the semi-formal party she is to attend next day at work so what she is going to do is take her Smartphone and connect to one of the ‘Online shopping guide’, she was transferred to Neha, yes, Neha is a real human, flesh and bones. Though imagining cyborgs is much more tempting but there are something cyborgs cannot do, that is to understand other human, their needs and requirements. That’s where Neha comes into picture, now Neha and Tara are discussing Tara’s need via. Video chatting, what she usually likes, what she feels comfortable in. Since Neha can interact with her like one would interact in conventional stores, Neha suggested Tara six different dresses from which Tara short listed to two and Neha helped in getting the matching accessories and shoes being an expert in the field. Now when Tara received her packages next hour, she had options to try both and keep the one she loves and return the other and pay for only one. But she loved both hence she kept both and from now on Tara always ask for Neha whenever she needs anything and since Neha understands her likings more, she is becoming a god sent for Tara. Even if Tara would have spent a whole week in finding a better suited dress then the one Neha helped her in finding, she wouldn’t have.
With growing technology, and heavy automation, this experience will revive the personal essence of shopping and one will never miss the fun of shopping in conventional malls and offline-stores.
Now, Tara also had the option to make a video call any time since service is available 24*7, hence she made that call after work when was on her way home, thus she saved heaps of hours for herself. By the time she was home her parcel was already waiting for her. And this benefit can be reaped by men as well.
Such ‘online shopping guides’ will not help only in buying apparels, accessories, luggage’s, furniture but also help you in deciding your home decor. Will even help you in cooking a dish in your kitchen or help you consultancy required in any way. Even if you want therapist, there will be qualified people and doctors available online in real time.
Case II :
Now that we all know that such kind of shopping is good for a working or busy person, but what about a school going girl. Let’s take another case, Here Stella is having fun in mall, she went to spend the weekend watching movie, where she spotted this killer dress in lilac, but when she notices the price tag, she slumped but she needn’t worry, she clicked the photo of the dress and uploaded it to eBayCheck ( eBay official Google Chrome extension), yes in 2013 EbayCheck used to automatically update a user about the price of any product available on internet but now in 2030 it does a lot more than that. When Stella uploaded the picture of that Lilac dress on EbayCheck app on her Smartphone, she was overwhelmed by not only finding the same dress in considerable discount but also many other similar looking dresses. Yes its Image search upgraded. Now how will she decide which one to buy? It’s pretty simple actually, all had to do is upload her full size image or simple stand in front of the mobile/laptop/tablet camera and EbayCheck will do the whole work itself fitting her in the dresses she is looking on the screen, yes we are here talking about the 3-D view. Since she and her friends check herself, she can now easily order the dress she wants and by the time she will reach home; her dress will be waiting for her. Now she not only saved bucks in buying such a dress but also purchased it from the variety of dresses.
With this innovation one even purchase and know about the dress they see a total stranger wearing. And with a maginal wand they can get the same of better for themselves.
Wedding, yes, one of the biggest headache of these day albeit people do hire wedding planners but they have to do the shopping themselves. Just imagine a world where all one need to do is so to a shopping portal, select from already available thousands of themes, address your requirements, fill in what you need to shop and your budget and they will arrange everything thing for you. Since they are well expertise in their job, they will be appointing the highly skilled people for the task and your work load will be one hundredth of what it is now. They will even take care of hotel reservations, travelling tickets, gifts for relatives and everything. That world will be 2030.
People will be able to buy automobiles online; every single thing one can imagine will be available online from plumber to tailor. Even Solar panels fitters because most of the power will be generating from solar power in 2030.
Albeit I do imagine that most of the shopping will be done online, conventional stores will also not be left behind. Technology will be kissing its feet as well. One of the boons would be heavy automation of super market and retail stores. By 2030 people will only be carrying cards to pay rather than cash hence when one goes to the supermarket, they can browse thought the items they want, stores will be designed in such a way that computer programmes will lead a customers directly to the shelf where their said necessities are lying and they carry it with themselves, they don’t need to make any physical interactions at the checkout but when they will leave the store, they will be scanned as they pass out of the exit door and the scanner will calculate their shopping amount and they will just have to collect the receipt. Now the question is who will be paying the amount? Of course the customer. They will have a chip either on their body and in their body, oh don’t be surprised, by 2030 we all will be having our identification chip and the amount will be deducted from the prepaid account we have already chosen for such shopping’s at any store. This practice will decrease the number of shoplifter to zero and will solve a major problem of the shop owners.
Customer loyalty programs:
We all are well aware of the customer’s loyalty program offered by many stores these days where a customer gains loyalty points with each purchase and those points can be redeemed on next shopping. That programme will be ultra advanced. Each customer will have a single loyalty account where all his information will be saved, along with the details of his purchasing; a hi-tech computer programme will analyze a person via that data and help him in future to locate what he needs, and by the frequency of purchase also reminds him about the product he might need so that they never forget and are never out of supply for example of a toothpaste. Such programme will also help a store in surprising a customer on their special days, can even help them plan a special party for their loved ones and the options are endless.
Nobody knows for sure what will happen in the future, but by projecting present-day knowledge, we can make plausible guesses, and these are the changes I believe we might witness in 2030.
I do believe online shopping will hold the major share but real supermarkets and malls will not extinct.