Future is always bright & it is quite exciting to predict future. Sometime back, i wrote an article on The Future of E-Commerce in India. Today let’s discuss “The Future of Shopping”.
The way people shop predominantly change with the changing demographics. The Human Civilization started with Barter system then advent of currency changed the way we shop. In past, people used to visit Mela’s for shopping needs & these Mela’s were replaced by Shops. Currently 3 transformations are happening simultaneously; Mall’s are replacing Shops, at the same time E-Commerce is replacing Mall’s & most important among 3 is replacement of Physical Currency by Virtual Money. But how the future of shopping will shape, let’s understand.
Following 6 C’s will decide the Future of Shopping
1. Catalyst / Trigger Point
5. Conveyance / Logistics
6. Convergence / Automation (of above all)
Let’s understand each of these “C” in detail with following example. In year 2030, i am working for a multinational and i don’t repeat my wardrobe for 60 days. It implies, i have 60 pairs of Trouser Shirt in inventory. Assuming, i retire a set of Trouser shirt after wearing it for 3 times. My Almirah is fully automated & integrated with centralized Micro-Processor, which in turn is integrated with all the devices in my house. Once my Washing Machine will wash a particular set of Trouser Shirt for 3 times, it will send message on my mobile through Micro Processor that it has retired this particular Trouser Shirt. My Almirah will trigger an alarm (Catalyst) that i am short of 1 set of Trouser Shirt in my wardrobe. Basically Catalyst / Trigger Point will be initiated when inventory will fell short of prescribed limit.
Now my Micro Processor is like a virtual brain, it knows the size of my trouser & shirt. Also it knows my color & brand choice. It will search my favourite online e-commerce stores and throw me selected choices on my mobile based on my preference. My preferred e-commerce stores will be integrated with my Micro-Processor & all the data regarding my preferences will be available with e-commerce store. I will select the Trouser Shirt after comparing cost and quality online. With the click of touchscreen, order will be placed automatically with the e-commerce store. This covers convenience of placing order anytime anywhere, choice of brands from e-commerce stores and cost comparison for better deals between various e-commerce stores.
After order is placed, e-commerce store knows my preferred mode of payment and preferred time & place of delivery. The shipment will be delivered at designated time and place of my choice. The conveyance / logistics play crucial role in this regard.
In case of grocery and regular consumables the future of shopping will be fully automated without any manual intervention. Once any product qty will reach below inventory level then order will be automatically placed with e-commerce store.
Since all 5 C’s are automated and integrated with each other, its called convergence.
At this point the Future of Shopping is bit futuristic but if we knit various threads of current e-commerce players then we are moving in this direction. In USA, most of online search revolve around products. In India, ebay has recently launched ebay check (extension of Google Chrome browser) which automatically gives you the best prices on eBay.in for any products you may be looking for. Some e-commerce player have started delivering products at specific time bands selected by customer.
The end to end convergence, without manual intervention starting from managing inventory levels to product delivery is the future of shopping.
*This post is written for “The Future of Shopping” contest on Indiblogger sponsored by www.ebay.in