Retail Prophet says ecommerce must prepare for “new age of consumerism”

A “new revolution” of ecommerce in which consumers can experience physical retail stores online is just around the corner, according to the founder of influential retail futurist group Retail Prophet.

Doug Stephens, also author of visionary book The Retail Revival, outlined his predictions for the future of ecommerce at the Apex All Payments Expo in Las Vegas last week. In his presentation, titled ‘The Future of Retail, from Bricks to Clicks’, Stephens suggests that online shoppers will soon be able to use virtual reality shopping and immersive digital augmentation to “walk” amongst the boutiques in Paris and London in real time, reports.

While these ideas may seem somewhat far-fetched, Stephens highlighted the dramatic growth in digital online shopping, and the rapid increase in technological advancements that could herald their imminent arrival. Ecommerce now accounts for roughly 10 per cent of total spending, but if the average 19 per cent annual increase that’s projected is realised, it will account for more than 30 per cent of total spend by 2025.

Similarly, Stephens commented on how, just a few years ago, 3D printing seemed like a crazy idea but it’s now a reality, notes.

Speaking on where ecommerce may end up, Stephens said: “I don’t think we’re even close. I think that if ecommerce were a baseball game, we’d be in the middle of the 1st inning right now. I think there is a new revolution in ecommerce coming.

“You can buy a Learjet on eBay today or, as Marriott Hotels recently experimented, take a virtual reality vacation. The next evolution of ecommerce will be mind-blowing… Fair to say old-school thinking won’t be successful in the next decade.”

Author: Jack Stanton