Malcom MacGonal, a history professor at Stonewell University was his usual pepped-up self, as he got ready for the day ahead, though today the reason behind his upbeat mood was different. It was his son Calvin’s 10th birthday. Exactly 10 years ago, on the 14th of September, 2020, God had blessed him with this beautiful gift and with each passing day, he and his wife had cherished this gift more than ever. Today being Calvin’s birthday, he had taken a day off from work and had plans to spend the entire day with his son, while Calvin’s mother stayed at home, decking up the house for a surprise kiddies party planned for the evening. Day’s itinerary included a leisurely tour around Funland Children’s Park and then the kiddies’ party in the evening with all of Calvin’s friends in attendance.
Just as he stepped out of the house, with Calvin holding his hand, his phone beeped. ‘Oh no, hope it’s not someone from the University looking for me,’ he muttered, mentally scanning the faces of all the curious students of his modern history class. Owing to his interactive teaching sessions, he was one of the professors who was always being sought by students passionate about all things historical. He checked the phone and was visibly relieved to see that message was not from a student but from Clarks & Sponsors, his favourite departmental store. The message read: Dear Mr.MacGonal, you shopped for undergarments from us on this date, a year back. You must be in need of replacements now. Here’s your personalized catalogue to help you with the choices. Have a good day.
Oh yes, indeed. He needed replacements. As he sat on the bus headed towards the children’s park, he typed in the requisite details and ordered for new stock of undergarments. It was as simple as that. Fill in your order form, key in the payment and bang, whatever you wanted would be delivered at your doorstep in no time. He knew that by the time he got home, his order would have been delivered.
Shopping was all about a smartphone and a good internet connection now. And of course money too. But from paper money to plastic money, it was now all about mobile money – for all the monetary transactions now happened on the smartphone!
How different this was from the days of yore, he tried to recall. How the concept of shopping has changed over the decades. Take the fridge for example! Now one does not have to go the grocery store to trudge home carton full of stuff. As the stock goes down, the in-built memory chip updates the registered grocer’s data and lo and behold, fresh supplies arrive. Milk, eggs, veggies…everything is on weight mode and the moment the quantity goes below what’s required, the stock is replenished from the grocer’s.
Of course, technological innovation and cutthroat competition in the e-commerce domain has worked out best for us shoppers, he thought. ‘I am hundred percent sure of the things I buy online, so much so that I can even have a feel of the things I shop for, all thanks to the 3D imaging of the products, my needs, and probable shopping list is personalized and above everything I have the liberty to walk around virtual stores without the palpable embarrassment of walking out without making a purchase.’ he smiled inwardly at his own musings.
Of course, he was right, the meteoric advancement in the field of e-commerce had made shopping such a comfortable and convenient experience. For all his needs, he had his favourite websites bookmarked on his smartphone, and that gave him the power to shop from anywhere at anytime. A single click of his phone and there was a personalized virtual store right in front of his, a virtual store that did not close in on him and that catered to his demands and accorded personal assistance 24/7.
Not just a personal assistant, the high-flying customer savvy e-stores also see to it that they keep registered customers up to date about the things they might be interested in. If you browsed through one SLR camera section, within minutes you will have a neat collection of cameras matching the specifications you are looking for. Likewise for a million other things.
And to top it all, a single point payment partner across websites too took care of the woes online shoppers had decades ago. Just one payment partner now ensures that a buyer does have to share his bank or credit details with every Tom, Dick and Harry on the internet. Plus, this single point collector also guarantees your purchase, in the case of any disputes that a buyer may later have regarding the transaction or the quality of the product.
These technological advancements in online shopping again got Malcolm recalling his shopping plights in the past. Ah, those were the days, when shoppers would crowd the shopping centres and the many malls to buy big and small things. What a pointless waste of time it was – trudging from shop to shop, trying to find that perfect fit, that perfect colour, scanning the numerous shelves in the endless stores! And then came mobile commerce and changed everything! Mobile commerce that made museums of the shopping malls!
Suddenly an idea crossed his mind. Why not take Calvin to a tour of the deserted malls instead! The malls that were once thriving and crowded with shoppers, but were now deserted, some converted into museums, standing as a relic of the era gone by, while some standing as anonymous markers of the past.
And Calvin, being his father’s son, agreed! So off to the museum he went, hand in hand with his father, curious and contemplating what a shopping mall was.
This futuristic post has been written for eBay’s Future of Shopping drive in association with IndiBlogger. To make your online shopping experience more satisfying and secure, you can install the official eBay India Google Chrome extension, called eBay Check. This extension helps you keep updated about the best prices on eBay.in for any products that you may be looking up.