Shopping's Future Is High-Tech

Retailers urged to adopt new technologies
By Laila Weir,  Newser User
Posted Jan 18, 2008 11:43 AM CST
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(Newser) – Retailers need to go higher tech, adapting to cell phone use and virtual world shopping, said speakers at the National Retail Federation's annual conference this week, Reuters reports. One speaker noted that high-tech shopping is already reality in Asia, where Koreans buy McDonald’s by phone (it rings when their order’s ready) and Japanese shoppers scan groceries with their phones to check freshness.

The GM of a company that designs content for online worlds urged retailers to build virtual stores in communities like Second Life, saying these technologies would “change the way people shop.” But some retailers said worry over an economic slowdown has them tightening belts, leaving no room for high-tech dabbling. The NRF predicts 3.5% growth in retail sales this year—the lowest since 2002.