What will the retail storefront of the future look like?
Recently, Thomas Frey and his wife Deb were relaxing at a new shopping center in the Denver area. Along the sidewalks a series of speakers cast a rather pleasant musical backdrop to the shopping experience. Thomas Frey, Executive Director of the DaVinci Institute went onto talk about what he called, ‘The coming demise of the retail storefront.’ He described what happened next, ” At one point an interesting song began playing. I reached for my iPhone, and used a program called Shazam to “listen” to the music, revealing the name of the song and the artist. I was then able to purchase the song on my iPhone and download it directly to the phone for later use. The nature of this transaction is quite revealing in that it gives us clues as to what our shopping experiences will be like in the future.”
Tom is a well-known futurist and he makes his point, “Imagine yourself walking through a shop, wanting to know more information on a particular product. You pull out your phone, point it at the product and click a button, instantly revealing a page with product information, links to product reviews, and places to purchase it online. Pressing another button you are given options for purchasing it online and having it delivered to your home. Since you are already in a retail store, you could purchase it there if the price differential isn’t too great. But the shopping experience isn’t necessarily confined to a store.”