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Imagine a futuristic world in which we give instructions to a little house robot, companies send us clothing, food, and anything we need to survive, and we have the ability to consume entertainment whenever we wish. Oh hang on, this is already happening in 2017. Courtesy of Amazon Echo, as well as the many businesses who send their products straight to your door, and of course Netflix and Spotify, this tech has allowed us humans to forego those annoying trips to the shops and simply have things brought to us. This really is the future.
Shipping items to people’s homes is not only convenient, but utterly commonplace nowadays. Although funnily enough, online retail giant Amazon is actually trying something new and opened up a physical retail store named Amazon Go. What’s interesting with companies that retail exclusively online, is that there is seemingly no end to the type of product that can be shipped. Let’s take a look at some of the big players.
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Eve has made a name for themselves as a mattress retailer that will ship their product to you in a conveniently-sized box. How they manage to pack a full-size mattress into a cardboard box is anyone’s guess, but the reviews have been solid and if anything, it saves you the headache of transporting such a bulky item. It’s also quite hypnotic to watch a mattress unfurl from its packaging.
Blue Apron has been around for a while, but they are definitely starting to get across the message that cooking a home meal isn’t actually that hard or time-consuming. The idea that fresh and portioned ingredients arrive at your doorstep with step-by-step instructions is truly revolutionary. Now there’s no need to order Domino’s 5 out of 7 nights of the week. Even though Blue Apron is perhaps the most well-known, their competitors were actually favored by one writer.
You know that feeling of rushing the decision on an item simply because the shop assistant is glaring at you and the store is closing soon, well, Warby Parker’s business model switches that up. The company will send you pairs of glasses to try on at home, and then you’ll simply keep what you want and send back any you dislike. Wired Magazine actually loves the company but aren’t sure if the model can last.
The notion that we could, in theory, spend our lives never setting foot in a physical store ever again is definitely a legit one, but is it one that we want? Masses of millennials losing all social interaction with local businesses is a scary thought, and what about those impulse purchases that pop up only when you’re browsing a store in person? One bridge to both shopping methods is using virtual reality, but that tech is still only being trialed and not at the point where we could give up real stores altogether (but good enough to watch an NBA game apparently).
However, there’s no reason why online and brick-and-mortar shopping can’t coexist harmoniously. After all, you can pick up a coffee while waiting for your mattress to arrive. Put on your new glasses and go outside and see which one garners you the most favorable looks. Run to 7/11 after finishing your home-cooked meal to pick up some spontaneous ice cream. For now, there’s no world where we are stuck in our homes 24/7, unless of course, a business can simulate the warmth of the sun and a gentle breeze… don’t get any ideas Elon Musk.
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