Tuesday, 2 October 2012

The future of retail shopping?

With a number of high street shops closing due to mounting costs and low sales, many store owners are now turning to having their own online store as it allows them to attract a greater customer base and sell their products at a more customer friendly price, without having to pay the overheads that they would usually pay when running a bricks and mortar retail store. However, could there one day be an even easier way to sell products that requires no store, no sales person and no real effort at all?

For the last few years the Automated Retail Company of Canada are attempting to try and redefine retail shopping with the creation of automated self service machines, essentially they are vending machines that customers can use to purchase various shopping goods. 

The idea behind it is that it can allow either large corporate brands or other store owners to essentially turn a small space into a selling platform, only paying for the vending machine itself and the stock to go in it. There will be no need to hire premises or staff, lowing your overheads, allowing you to still having you to have a bricks and mortar retail store (of sorts), Furthermore, you will be able to place your automated retail shop in a place that is highly populated such as a train station, shopping centre or airport. However, although there seem to be a number of positives behind the concept, the glaring negative at present would be the lack of security protecting a vending machine during the day and especially at night. While I'm sure they would have alarms to deter would be criminals, however, if you have thousands of pounds worth of electronic equipment in the machine, a few alarms aren't going to stop someone from stealing your stock.

While this could be a good idea for the future, the likelihood is that it will only be worthwhile for large businesses as the brand image itself, such as the Apple logo on the video, is what will be used to market and essentially draw in the customer to purchase from vending point. At present, if a random store were to have this similar method as their own store, many customers would be hesitant to purchase as there would be no real incentive that instils trust.

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