There are pros and cons to online and offline shopping, and increasingly retailers, particularly Amazon, are trying to find the happy ground between the two using new technologies like drones and new, immersive reality technologies.


According to sources Amazon’s retail plans could extend well beyond books and groceries, and sources say that the internet retail giant is “exploring” the possibility of appliance and furniture stores with a technological twist that would allow customers to use Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) to see how items would look in their own home before they bought them, making it easier to pull the trigger on that new grill or sofa. And there’s a chance that Amazon might challenge some of its tech rivals more directly in retail, too.


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Reportedly, Amazon is mulling an electronics store that would be similar in concept to Apple’s shops, and while Amazon’s bookstores already carry some of its devices, these would, naturally, have a “heavy emphasis” on hardware and services like Echo speakers and Prime Video.

The sources were also quick to point out that talking about stores isn’t the same as definitive plans, and that there’s a chance that Amazon will scrap the ideas if they prove to be unworkable, but nonetheless as new AR and VR technologies help online retailers increasingly blur the boundaries between the digital and the physical world Amazon’s new alleged moves could, if nothing else, help to further erode your reasons to travel down to the shops to check out that sofa or washing machine…


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In Amazons world, one that’s filled with literally tens of thousands of small iterative innovations and tweaks that are all designed to, bit by bit, chip away at their competitors competitive advantage, improve the customer experience and improve their overall operational efficiency and margins, such as their drive to become the world’s first fully autonomous fulfilment company, this could just be another small step on Amazon’s path to complete world domination.

About author

Matthew Griffin

Matthew Griffin, described as “The Adviser behind the Advisers” and a “Young Kurzweil,” is the founder and CEO of the World Futures Forum and the 311 Institute, a global Futures and Deep Futures consultancy working between the dates of 2020 to 2070, and is an award winning futurist, and author of “Codex of the Future” series. Regularly featured in the global media, including AP, BBC, Bloomberg, CNBC, Discovery, RT, Viacom, and WIRED, Matthew’s ability to identify, track, and explain the impacts of hundreds of revolutionary emerging technologies on global culture, industry and society, is unparalleled. Recognised for the past six years as one of the world’s foremost futurists, innovation and strategy experts Matthew is an international speaker who helps governments, investors, multi-nationals and regulators around the world envision, build and lead an inclusive, sustainable future. A rare talent Matthew’s recent work includes mentoring Lunar XPrize teams, re-envisioning global education and training with the G20, and helping the world’s largest organisations envision and ideate the future of their products and services, industries, and countries. Matthew's clients include three Prime Ministers and several governments, including the G7, Accenture, Aon, Bain & Co, BCG, Credit Suisse, Dell EMC, Dentons, Deloitte, E&Y, GEMS, Huawei, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, Lego, McKinsey, PWC, Qualcomm, SAP, Samsung, Sopra Steria, T-Mobile, and many more.

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