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DES GB 11 Magazin en

means today? Or what it will mean tomor- row? One thing is clear: the online and off- line worlds are increasingly converging. As mobile phone use spreads further, digital technologies are increasingly moving in on the physical world. Instead of two distinct spheres – the virtual and the tangible – mobi- les are blurring the boundaries. Although it will always be human nature to want to use the senses of touch, smell and hearing and humans are herd animals, they also want to use the innovations offered by web-based technology. They want to compare prices from home. They want to see products and adapt them to their own personal preferences. And they want to access product information or read about the experiences and opinions of other consumers while on the move. Conventional retailers that had previously concentrated on the provision of parking spaces, rent costs, opening hours and employees now need to learn to separate the hype from the evolutionary shift taking place. Although experience shows that the impact of techno- logical innovations tends to be overestimated in the short term, we know that the medium to long-term impact is regularly underestimated. And if new giants such as Amazon, Google, Apple and Facebook are turning the retail industry on its head with their behind-the-scenes machina- tions, then bricks-and-mortar retailers need to remain very alert and anticipate changes in good time. Shops are becoming clickable In future, there will be a digital layer, supplementing products and ranges with additional information (product origin, descrip- tions, price comparisons, etc.) from the digital world. Apps such as GoodGuide and Barcoo that can be downloaded onto any mobile phone enable products to be located and extra information to be obtained. In this way, the tactile and theatrical side of shopping is blended with the convenience factor that today’s mobile applications offer. This ties in with the new augmented reality applications promoted by brands such as Lego, Adidas and Shiseido, which link the real shopping experience to virtual elements. Any business that fails to re- cognise the potential of the mobile phone as a personal shopping assistant or to optimise its customers‘ ser- vice experience has a problem on its hands. 2 the future of the shop the future of the shop propositions on Conventional retailers that had propositions on 5 He who hesitates is lost For too long, shop owners have sat back and waited for their customers to walk through the doors. Now they are increasingly adopting mobile technology and shoehorning their way into their customers’ schedules and day-to-day lives. Some are using fast- growing online discount services such as Groupon and Germany’s DeinDeal to get onto price-sensitive customers’ mobile phones and lure them back into the shop with attractive bargains. Par- ticularly smart mobile services time these alluring offers to coincide precisely with very quiet periods. Companies that offer tailored mobile services have the edge over their conventional rivals on the high street. 1 At the centers, service is of utmost importance 42 DES Annual Report 2011 THE CENTERS shops in the future