Shopping will never be the same with some of the changes coming to your favorite retailers. Stores around the world are creating new ways for you to discover and purchase technology, clothing, and other items. Retailers are competing with e-commerce companies and startups that are using technology to be more nimble and keep inventory low while still meeting their customers’ needs. Here are a few of the innovative ideas being tested now:
Drop Ship Apps
If you’re in a store that doesn’t have what you want, apps like RevCascade can show you a wholesaler that has the product and then that company will ship it directly to you. The catch is that you will not know that you’re not actually purchasing from the retail store that you’re standing in.
The store of the future could simply be a showroom where you try things on and pick things out that you like, order them, and then have them shipped to your home the same day from a local warehouse. Nordstrom is testing out this concept, and in New York, there is a 24/7 service.
Companies like Reflaunt plan to allow consumers to purchase, donate, or recycle products from clothing to cars to improve sustainability and reduce waste. These services would bring buyers and sellers together in exchange for a fee.
Virtual Reality Shopping
Some companies are testing concepts where consumers can shop in a virtual storefront using goggles that transform their smartphone into a VR headset. The idea is that consumers only see products that they are interested in and that fit their size profile.
Robotic and Virtual Stylists
AI may find its way to the stylist industry soon, as companies seek to use selfies, customer profiles, and shopping history to develop curated looks and finds for beauty and fashion shoppers. There are several technologies in development to improve the quality of the recommendations and customize them to each person.
- Vontoba Terry (@vontoba)