Are Autonomous Cars the Next Retail Showroom?

In the not so distant future, autonomous cars may be the new hotspot for shopping. Sure there are already the ‘food truck style’ boutiques that we see in cities, where clothing and accessories are displayed in the cargo area. A sense of ambiance is carefully created by these proprietors, just as if they were in a traditional brick and mortar store. These temporary stores may be in a truck, they may be in a trailer, or they may be in a traditional brick location that’s available for a temporary time. But, these pop ups don’t have the benefit of a constant and long-term location, nor are they autonomous.

As a recent newsletter from Andreesen Horowitz citing information from MIT indicates — online retailers, entertainment and gaming companies , as well as the travel industry might be the next winners in the Autonomous Everything game. As Thomas Bloch, “The Next Great Media Channel Is the Self-Driving Car. Will Brands Be Ready?” Adweek, 30 October 2017. 37 indicates, these scenarios are’t as far in the future as one might imagine. 

While brick and mortar stores enable retailers to connect with many people, there is still a contingent of shoppers that don’t live close enough to retail locations to go there that often. In that case, online shopping fills a gap. And although online shopping typically lets people buy, it doesn’t really let them shop—which is where autonomous shopping vehicles come in. Autonomous vehicles can can come to people wherever they are—letting them try, buy and explore on their own terms.

The design studio/research lab called SPACE10, based in Copenhagen, has a new concept for autonomous vehicles that is an extension of our lives — including shopping, entertainment and work space. While this concept might seem far-fetched, there are already self driving cars in California that are stocked with groceries in their back seat.

So imagine if you will, self-driving cars that may be shopping, entertainment, sleeping or working facilities. It’s the next step of ‘driving’ your brand, or your store to the customer, rather than driving the customer to your band or store.

If you did have an autonomous shopping experience what would it look like? What products would you be able to deliver on-demand? What data would you use to profile that customer? It’s not that far off to begin thinking about the future.

If you’re interested in visualizing your store as an autonomous vehicle, you can download the SPACE10 Future Living Lab tool on your iPhone. Using Augmented Reality, you can see how your commercial space may look.

If you’re interested in visualizing you brand on iVendix, the wholesale e-commerce platform used by over 45,000 professional sales reps and buyers globally, please contact us for a demo.

Images from SPACE10 © 2018, SPACE10. All Rights Reserved

CenterStone Technologies and the iVendix suite is leading the way in digital marketing, sales tools, and professional strength order management software for automotive, accessories, footwear and apparel brands. Our company was created from an industry-bred passion for brands and an understanding of the unique marketing and sales opportunities that can come from wholesale e-commerce sales tools. Every day we strive to deliver real value to our customers; delight our user community with an unparalleled user experience; leverage the power of SaaS-based development and infrastructure, and make CenterStone a special place in which to work.

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