In markets like India this process is getting accelerated, the phenomenal growth of eCommerce in India is coinciding with that of internet explosion and growing flock of young shoppers looking for variety and convenience of shopping. This young population is tech savvy and their motto ‘right here & right now’ seems to nicely fit in the scheme of things. So online shopping is growing by leaps and bounds and the technology is evolving rapidly to keep up with consumer taste & preferences.
With this kind of background it is not hard to crystal gaze into the future and see where the future of online shopping will be around 2030. Consumers will obviously have a plethora of options to shop online through a multitude of devices and platforms to increase the pleasure, speed and ease of shopping. I foresee the following changes in this space;
1. Super Smart phones will arrive on the scene with interactive touch screen interfaces that will provide a 3 Dimensional viewing experience. Enabled with seamless and slick touch pads, they will provide 360 degree navigation and walk through virtual stores
2. Consumer portals will offer advanced analytics with product comparisons, user ratings, offers and other packages that will just pop up on the screen ‘as you go’ on the net. An avalanche of information will be available to the consumer at every click.
3. To enhance the user buying experience, shopping portals, credit rating agencies and finance companies will be come together to offer the discernible consumer with instant buying option without any loan/finance paperwork. Virtually updated credit status of the consumer, on a real time basis will enable these companies to make you offer-by-the minute as you strut the online space.
4. Consumer will have various tools & options to design their own products including new ones altogether, pick and source the right kind of material, and select the finishing vendor to order their products from anywhere around the globe. The consumer will have a virtual control on the entire production and procurement process as a norm and not exception.
5. Specialized accessories like design tools and 3D printers will provide instant gratification to the online consumer. He may like something on the net, say a new product and may download it in a physical form onto his 3D printer after executing the online transaction formalities.
6. Aggregation of consumer data and cloud data warehousing and churning will mean online sellers will have a complete virtual demographic & psychographic profile of the consumer. Online sellers will use this to offer customized user experience based on consumer taste & preferences. So no two customers might get to see the same GuI (user interface) and preferences in any given consumer portal.
7. The all pervasive Internet may morph into a Hypernet and may provide user access to the Products and Markets on Television, ATM machines, hand held devices and ready to access touch screen terminals at offices, clubs, and neighborhood corners.
The future is exciting and the online shopping 2030 odyssey is filled with unlimited possibilities and exciting prospects . Like Artur C Clarke’s journey in his magnum opus 2001: A Space Odyssey, the now familiar story of online shopping will change the way we shop & buy in future.