October 8, 2013

‘Everything Is Retail,’ from magazines to Hangouts

Posted by: in North America

Shopping is shifting from an activity that takes place in physical stores or online to a value exchange that plays out in multiple novel ways: This is one of our trends for 2013, dubbed Everything Is Retail. Today’s New York Times takes a look at some ways in which the trend is playing out. These include a technology (not yet deployed) that lets TV viewers scan an onscreen QR code to buy an item or get a promotional offer; it was developed by mobile-payments platform Paydiant. ShopThis, a MasterCard partnership with Condé Nast, will let digital magazine readers tap an icon to buy items cited in articles or ads. It launches next week with the iPad edition of Wired; Rakuten.com Shopping will fulfill orders of the dozen or so enabled products. Says MasterCard Chief Innovation Officer Garry Lyons in a press release: “Today’s consumer should not have to think about the shopping process—when they see what they want, they should be able to get it, as quickly as possible.”

Meanwhile, Google+ has introduced shoppable Hangouts: During the first one, last week, designer Diane von Furstenberg discussed her fall collection and other tidbits with participants. Concurrently, viewers saw a selection of the garments along the side of their screen. They could click through to buy from the brand’s website or save to a Google Shopping Shortlist. The trailer itself has collected more than 2.3 million views. 

The Times observes that experiments like ShopThis “have the potential to shake up traditional business relationships among advertisers, consumers and merchants as they gain traction.” Brands that can keep pace with this shift will find more opportunities to capture consumers’ attention and then to seal the deal almost instantly.

For more on Everything Is Retail and other trends in the retail arena, see our August report, Retail Rebooted.

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