Shops ‘to turn into just showrooms’

shoppers2Retail outlets will become more like showrooms or “experience lounges” rather than places to go and spend your cash, according to a new study which predicts an end to the high street as we know it.
However, there will be claims that The Digital Divas study, produced jointly by Microsoft and Ogilvy & Mather, has been skewed towards technology as it only quizzed tech-savvy women worldwide, each owning up to five different devices.
The research revealed that digitally-savvy shoppers are driving the retail space to become more than points of sale alone, but experiential showrooms.
It says that China is the most advanced country when it comes to online shopping preferences, with digital divas there “twice as likely” to buy everyday products online compared to anywhere else in the world. The vast majority of Chinese people, however, do not even own a computer.
The report argues that in time the “experience lounge” phenomenon could spread to other areas, even groceries.
Meanwhile, digital divas were also found to have either a secret or multiple online identities which they use across social forums and devices. Marketers must therefore aim to appeal not just to their female audience – but also to their “alter egos”, according to the report.
Unveiling the report, Ogilvy Group UK vice-chairman Rory Sutherland called for marketers to look at how new technologies can change and influence human behaviour.
“As marketers we have the Internet the wrong way around – we are looking at it from the wrong end of the telescope – always focusing on what we can do with new technology, but actually more it’s more valuable to view it as what does it say about human behaviour,” he said.
He also warned against assuming new technology is always good, when that is not always the case.
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