Science Fiction to Store Reality

July 17, 2019

There’s a strange and unsettling reality about the pace of technological change and how it is impacting all aspects of life. Consider a line from The Store of the Future: An Exploration and Planning Guide, the newest report from the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council of North America.

“The extraordinary of today will be considered quite ordinary in just a decade’s time.”

That’s a powerful and realistic observation about how technology is changing nearly every aspect of life. Considering that smartphones, an essential tool for most people, didn’t even exist 12 years ago, one wonders what the next decade might bring.

The Council’s report examines the many ways fast-emerging technologies are impacting the basic shopping trip and how stores and customers interact. Consider the ability of a shopper’s kitchen to remind him or her of specific product needs. It’s likely that in 10 years, shoppers will have physically embedded smart systems that receive such messages directly, rather than through a smartphone or any other type of device. Such a system might allow a shopper to hear instructions, recipes or simple shopping lists without the need to hold or wear a device.

It sounds like science fiction, but, not that long ago, our smartphones would have been just as unthinkable. The Council selected this forward-looking topic to help retailers get a sense of just how quickly technology can revolutionize the shopping trip – and to help them prepare for that future reality.

The entire report, including a video representation of a future shopping scenario, can be downloaded below for free.