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Amalgamated shopping predicted to rise as trends change

18 January 2011 - 13:47 by Mike Price

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Experts believe that consumers will be looking for a more unified shopping experience that combines the benefits of safe shopping online with the instantaneous nature of high street shopping over the coming months and years.

So-called 'mashops' are expected to develop in the UK and elsewhere as retailers respond to changing trends which see users harnessing smartphones in order to surf for information and deals online, while they are out and about in brick and mortar outlets.

The Interactive Media in Retail Group believes that retailers will need to adapt and add features commonly found on e-commerce sites to the high street shopping experience.

Spokesperson, Andy Mulcahy, said that consumers are already able to access a wealth of information about products, services and average prices on their mobile phones and so retailers are going to wise up and keep with the times, by meeting these needs for all instore.

In a study carried out by Cisco, in which 1000 consumers from the UK and America were questioned, it was discovered that 54 per cent of respondents would be in favour of mashops springing up and combining m-commerce, e-commerce and traditional high street retail.

When asked what kind of form this might take, 73 per cent said that they would be most at home with touchscreen terminals located next to shelves, so that product research and further browsing could be carried out.

The one issue which exists with this formula for the future of retail is that consumers prefer to use m-commerce tools when they are out and about because they can be guaranteed a degree of impartiality when searching online, while in-store terminals would potentially be biased towards that particular retailer.

It will be interesting to see how this information has an impact on the future of retail and safe shopping online in the UK.