I had the opportunity to attend Shop.org hosted in Dallas and alongside the suite of booths and networking events, were sessions focused and for retail. In this three part blog, we’ll highlight the spectrums of retail underscored throughout Shop.org from the Future, 5-10 years looking ahead, to 2-5 years from now and then the immediate or what you should already be doing.
Kicking off Shop.org was Dr. Michio Kaku discussing the future of retail in a big way. He shared his perspective of retail and the rising technology that will shake things up, the risks that this technology presents and how humans fit into this future.
As we know, technology is developing fast and it is being integrated into all facets of our life, especially shopping and retail. So what will the future of shopping be like? From the lens of Dr.Kaku, he shares that shopping will be literally through a lens. Using virtual reality technology we will blink and the outfit we want to try on will be virtually fit to our bodies. He also shares how we will have the optimal information needed for shopping using AI as our own shopping friendly “Siri” if you will, to tell us if we are getting the best price and if this is the best time to purchase a product.
With this increased information constantly being passed back to the consumer how can retailers and advertisers stay ahead? Kaku’s answer is with the rise of big data and information being shared more rapidly advertisers and retailers will be able to heighten their level of marketing to become more targeted. We will have to understand exactly who our audience and the right way to reach them at a granular level. Think Bonobos‘ model storing all of your online shopping preferences, but far more hyper focused without ever having to leave your couch. All of this leading to a perfect consumer and retail balance known as “perfect capitalism” balancing supply with demand, states Dr. Kaku.
So what are the risks of this technology? Well of course with so much information it will be – privacy, detailed Dr. Kaku. As we see this increase in information and the demand for data continue to rise, so will the need to develop technology to make this data secure. So technology and security will rise through a second secure layer of internet called “quantum cryptography,” which is where things go over my head. But the takeaway is as technology develops so must all of the elements encapsulating it to make it a safe place.
Commentator and comedian Marc Maron posed the question, with this rise in AI, VR it sounds like we will all become blobs bobbing around with lenses akin to the movie Wall-E so how do humans continue to exist in this space of constant innovation, development, and creative destruction? Well, Dr. Kaku says that as advertisers we will also have to heighten our advertising. We will not only have to make sense of the data and understand who we are trying to reach but develop strategies specific to that audience and cut above the noise.
And advertiser [humans] must find the areas that they are simply better than technology which are:
- Common Sense
- Human to human Interaction
- Pattern Recognition
So where should you focus for the future?