Empowerment Shopping

closet-of-clothingYour closet has become “smart.”

Your clothes talk to you, tell you when last they were worn, which accessories you wore with them, and when they’re feeling wounded (time for an alteration) or a little grubby (time for a trip to the cleaners).

Your wardrobe speaks to you via microchips or bar codes, which you scan with a small device that informs you of exactly what it is feeling.

But your wardrobe is not the only thing that talks.

In fact, everything you own now speaks.

Your coffeemaker commiserates about internal issues it may be having. Your refrigerator tattles when certain perishables are entertaining mold. Your portable devices nudge you about a plethora of extraneous apps which can be consolidated, then shows you exactly how it plans to do that upon your approval.

Every aspect of your daily life has become “smart.”

But here’s the best part: not only do the players in every aspect of your life inform you about needed action, they also search out the most economic solutions from the most reliable & customer-friendly retailers.

customer-as-kingIn other words, if retailers want to be on the radar of your future smart devices, they will have to click “Accept” to your terms.

As reported in The Wall Street Journal, vendor relationship management (VRM) is the “smart” wave of the future. In fact, it’s already in play in countries such as South Korea.

But what exactly is VRM?

Well, VRM shifts focus away from the supply side of retail to the demand side by providing a personal toolkit to the customer which allows the customer to dictate the terms of purchase.

According to WSJ, “You [the customer] will declare your own preferences, policies, and terms of engagement. You will no longer have to “Accept” agreements that aren’t worth reading because, as we all know, they cover the other parties’ butt, but expose yours.”

In short, VRM‘s will allow you to “show your value as an independent customer to the whole marketplace.”

Take a look at how in: The Customer as a God: The Future of Shopping

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What do you think?

Should customers be king?

Or should we stick with the status quo & continue to let retailers rule?

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World News Wednesday

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2 thoughts on “Empowerment Shopping

  1. Sort of big brother-y to me. Any time retailers/vendors/etc. start telling me how much they are doing for me, I get suspicious. If vendors really wanted to serve me, they’d get rid of these computers that screen calls and let me talk to real person who genuinely listens to me and gives me an answer that they didn’t choose out of the script book.

    On the other hand, having a little control over the parameters would be nice. Perhaps if they found out that I liked their product just the way it was, they wouldn’t find it necessary to spend so much money improving themselves all the time. I’m still mad that I had to replace all the Glade Plug-ins in my house with Decor Scents, because Glade decided to “improve” their product.

    • Preach! I hate when my fave product is “improved,” or worse, discontinued altogether. I agree with your assessment about having some control over the parameters – after all it is a TWO-way transaction, so would be nice if we had at least equal input about the products we spend our money on.

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