IT services and solutions for retail and hospitality

  • 5 Nov 2012

Shopping in the 1970s vs Retail Today: Technological Advances

Back in March, blogger Ellie interviewed her Mum, Val, regarding the difference between shopping in the 1970’s and today. One of the key points we picked up on was, as Val mentioned, that the nearest a shopper had to online purchasing at that time was “buying clothes from catalogues”.

With industry news such as Retail Week reporting ever more technological advances implemented within the retail industry, and in many cases instigated by our clients, we thought it was time to revisit the subject, so here are some of the key things we have picked up on that highlight how drastically retail has changed since Val’s days of browsing through catalogues:

  • Aurora Fashions is adopting a 60-minute delivery window service as of next year, offering shoppers the chance to choose when their items are delivered instead of waiting around. This follows the introduction of in-store iPads as mobile point-of-sale devices, something that didn’t even exist in the 70’s, when shoppers would have had to buy from a fixed till.
  • Online retailer ASOS has launched a live styling chat service that allows you to ask a personal stylist for advice on purchases. ‘Live Style Advice’ gives shoppers the chance to ask questions and receive an instant response, and even gives them the chance to have a personal shopper pick out their clothes for them. Once again this differs greatly to the way questions were asked 40 years ago, when response (excluding face to face discussion, of course) was anything but instant.
  • Warehouse have launched a virtual fitting room on a selection of their dress range. The service allows shoppers to choose their exact measurements and even upload a picture of their face to allow them the chance to ‘try on’ clothes from the comfort of their own home. If you had told your Mum you’d be doing that 40 years ago, our guess is that she probably wouldn’t have believed you.

There are many other advances in retail year on year, but these are the ones that are exciting us right now. With everything moving so quickly we can’t help wondering what retail will be doing in another 40 years!

What do you think to these updates in technology? Can you remember a time before online shopping?

To learn more about how we work within the retail industry visit the Retail Assist website.

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