Online Retail and the Future of Shopping

Posted: 29 July 2014

Like many people, I love shopping.


I mean, really love it.


Whether I’m browsing the stallsat markets, exercising my credit card at airports, skimming through the on board shopping catalogue on the plane, flicking through the racks at stores or checking out the latest offers on my iPad, I simply love the process of shopping.


So recently when I was offered the chance to attend the Annual Online Retailers Conference in Sydney to learn more about how Australian retailers are delivering a better customer experience – I jumped at the opportunity. And by ‘jumped at the opportunity’, I mean I formally presented my credentials as an experienced shopper…!


Like many of technology companies exhibiting, ipSCAPE had a stand on the exhibition floor where we were busy demonstrating to conference visitors how we power online retailers in order to support their customers and increase their propensity to purchase.


During the two day event, I also had the opportunity to explore the rest of the exhibition. What amazed me was the sheer variety of solutions and plug ins that are available. Australia seems to have a technology answer for every stage of the supply chain. I checked out innovative ways to order your boost juice or coffee through your mobile with MandoeMedia and Whispir and discovered clever new ways to pay with exciting new businesses like ZipMoney and established brands like MasterPass. I specifically loved the Future Store with all sorts of ‘back to the future’ gadgets including drones to deliver goods immediately!


This year’s conference had some great speakers one of which was Hointer CEO Nadia Shouraboura.


Nadia highlighted how technology has driven changes to the retail industry in the past 10 years. She also explored the trend towards providing customers an experience with a product prior to purchase – and how much the retail experience will change in the years ahead in response to this trend.


One of my main takeaways throughout the whole experience at the Online Retailers Conference – through discussions with other exhibitors and online retailers themselves – is that customers still want and expect a relationship with the retailer. Technology can enable and automate many parts of the purchase process, but in the end, communication, interacting and speaking to your customer remains a critically important foundation of a successful business.