What will be the future of shopping?
Well, in recent HBR, there is an interesting article about this topic: In this article, the author describes a vivid but fictional shopping story of Amy, who enjoys a new shopping channel with an abundance of information, near-perfect price transparency, and a parade of special deals. As the author points out, the future of shopping is not a simple e-commerce. A new INFORMATIVE, TRANSPARENT, EFFECTIVE and ACCESSIBLE shopping platform is coming out. And it will not be an easily defined e-commerce, through which customers are not required to sit in front of the laptop but change to use easy-accessible DIGITAL INFORMATION for communications.
In fact, similar accessible and convenient shopping business model has already come out (although not exactly the same as the author mentioned) with the help of digital information: LBS ( Location-Based Service (LBS) is an information or entertainment service, accessible with mobile devices through the mobile network and utilizing the ability to make use of the geographical position of the mobile device ).
In this advertisement (although it seems that this is just a joke on April fool day, the idea of easy-accessible and digital shopping is sooooo creative), Starbucks shows its new Mobile Pour services: when you are walking on the street but feel like drinking coffee, you just need to use the App on your smartphone for ordering. And then, a few minutes later, a Starbucks staff will send that coffee to you. Your location information through your iphone app will be sent to the nearest Starbucks shop for your new everywhere (not just internet-based) e-commerce.
Besides this fictional model in business world, some governments have also tried to made use of this new LBS platform: HK travelling agency has developed an app for tourists, that is, when you touch that app, those tourists spots, restaurants and public transportation within 500 miles will show up for your reference. This shows the fact that the business model can be applied not only in business world but also government services.
Also, more excitingly, Facebook, the world largest social media, seems to decide to buy Gowalla and expand their service in LBS. Considering the large amount of people using Facebook, we can guess the bright future of LBS.
Well, what is your idea about LBS? Does it offend your privacy? Will you think it will be one of the main shopping methods in the future?