We’ve all been there. You’re perusing your social media feed and an ad pops up with an inexpensive watch or a cheap pair of earrings. You click “buy” without giving it a second thought. Or you’re on Amazon to stock up on batteries, say, and suddenly your cart is filled with “recommended” items you didn’t mean to get.
The experience of buying might feel good in the moment, but the buzz is long gone by the time your order arrives you’re confronted with an uncomfortable reality: more stuff you don’t need—or even want—delivered through a process completely devoid of human interaction.
As more ecommerce brands reach a critical customer mass, we’re starting to see hybrid models emerge that push the definition of ‘retail.’
We’ve reached a point of diminishing returns on the ethos behind our current retail era. From social isolation, to environmental degradation our fixation on speed and convenience have come at a human cost.
It raises a question: is shopping ripe for the same kind of slow revolution we’ve seen bring an element of mindful consumption back to industries like fashion and food? This might seem ironic coming from the CEO of an ecommerce agency. After all, I’ve built my company on the basis of helping retailers offer seamless shopping experiences to their customers. But I’ve also seen a brewing backlash against the increasingly impersonal nature of retail in our digital age. With the rise of conscious consumerism and a growing revolt against our on-demand, tech-enabled world, some retailers are realizing the power (and profits) in helping customers slow down.
As the world speeds up, could the future of retail actually hinge on slowing down? Here are a few ways I’ve seen progressive retailers start to help customers…
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