Generation of science and technology: The future of shopping

Now, let’s not lie to ourselves – everybody loves shopping. Everybody. There’s an unexplainable sense of satisfaction that comes from getting a really nice jacket or a coveted pair of shoes. Whether you’re a guy or a girl, shopping is a guilty pleasure. With the world changing more every day to better suit technology, it’ll no doubt reach the shopping experience one day. The question is, what will that future experience look like? Forrester analyst Sucharita Mulpuru says stores of the future will be all about service, fast and simple. Instead of the usual shopping experience, it’ll connect online and in-store shopping in a new way (hardly). This “new way” of shopping will be ordering online and picking up in store, or even picking up through a drive-thru.
Another idea that companies are coming up with is associating where you are and what you’re buying with coupons.     A bit more drastic of an idea that is forming is 3D printing. 3D printing isn’t forecasted to be available for another ten years or so, but it’s because it is a bit advanced. The gist of it is that you’ll be able to buy and download a product to your phone or computer and then go print the item at a retail store or in your home, if you are lucky and rich enough to own a 3D printer. I feel like this idea is a little weird because printing actual products? That’s weird. Let’s be real. It’s weird. Steve Yankovich, head of innovation for eBay, states that “zero-effort commerce” is also on the horizon. This is a little bit different though, because your house will literally be a smart house. Not quite like that old Disney movie where the house somehow turns against the whole family, but something a little bit more tame. What will happen is, say, a light bulb in your house burns out. In a couple of days, you’ll find a package at your door. Yes, it’s a light bulb. Everything in your house will essentially be able to send off orders for new products when old ones die out or are used up. Smart houses will even be able to order laundry detergent for you. I mean, sometimes going to the store can be a hassle, but I still like the home shopping experience too much to let my house order everything for me.
The best idea in the future of shopping, in my opinion, is the idea of holograms. Finding items I like in clothing stores is cool and all but I really despise having to try things on. With the holograms, all you have to do is step in the dressing room and the exact item you want is projected onto you and it’ll show you how it fits. If that’s not the epitome of the future, I don’t know what is.
If you wish to try out an inkling of an experience that involves futuristic shopping, there is a store called Hointer in Seattle that is on its way to being the savviest shop in town. There’s no clothes displayed – it’s all shown on tablet screens. You go up to the screen, select what color and size you’d like, and it’ll all be ready for you in a dressing room. If you don’t like the item, you toss it down a chute and it is taken off of your virtual tab.
The future of shopping looks mighty bright, and I couldn’t be more excited. My wallet however, has been crying out in lonliness for quite some time.

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