Will shops be a thing of the past?

The Startup Studio
Published in
3 min readDec 14, 2020


Studio published a recent article regarding drop shipping whereby the retailer is taken out of the supply chain. Straight from the supplier to the customer triggered by an online purchase. Covid-19 has brought a crazy spike in online grocery shopping with innovations like Ocado’s AI warehouse and Manna Drone deliveries. Online only retail shops are becoming more and more popular. Amazon seem to be taking over the world with their online marketplace. What will the future hold? Will we be able to walk into a shopping center in twenty years’ time? Will running errands just be moving your thumbs around a device?

Covid-19 has seen a surge in the online grocery market. Years ago, people could not conceive the idea of having a huge supermarket be placed purely online with AI running the warehouses and delivery systems. The fast expiration of goods made the logistics seem impossible. It is now a reality and people do not think twice about it once they receive their produce intact. This is widely used in the UK and is becoming more popular in Ireland.

So, what about clothes shops? Many love to meet up with friends and go clothes shopping. Visiting a store has the benefit of being able to try on clothes to see if they fit. This has changed recently due to the pandemic as people are not allowed to try on anything anymore. Online retailers are making it ever so easier to return items free of charge and some retailers even negotiate pickup from your address. The rise of online only marketplaces in the fashion industry such as Asos are changing the trend in shopping to a more online focused one. The old “want to meet up and go shopping” is now “want to get an oat milk flat white together”.

But what innovations are coming about to help the future of fashion to reduce the number of returns due to sizing issues? Virtual reality could come in quite handy! One of our founders had the opportunity to test one of these VR headsets in which he attended a concert. We have all seen videos of a grandad trying it out and falling over due to the life like nature of the experience. It works and I believe that there will be more of a use for this in the e-commerce sector. Computer visioning and virtual reality might lead to you being the model on the clothing site in the future!

Few people look to going into a shop when buying a new tech gadget. They go to YouTube and search for the top-rated items. Some still like chatting to the salesperson, but this is already being accommodated for online via call centers. If you stay up late at night watching TV, then you might have come across the late-night teleshopping videos. I never took much notice of these and did not see value in it. The market size for teleshopping was USD 44310 million in 2019! I did not expect this at all. It has been around for so long and all it is is a live demonstration of a gadget. This shows the value in this type of marketplace and I think there is already a shift towards this type of shopping, with a modern twist of a personalised customer focused approach.

These are just a few of the many industries that are being shifted by the pandemic and technological revolution that is occurring. The technology for most of the part is already there, and the customers are already trending to an online world, it is only a matter of time.

If you are in Ireland and want help moving your business online in preparation for this era then check out our business.

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