Time was, we used to actually go to stores. And then came the catalog, and we could have all our favorite sweaters and cheeselogs mailed directly to our door. But that became boring, and we began to yearn for a catalog that moved and danced and flashed incredible deals at us in bright colors and groovy fonts. The shopping networks on television that selflessly stepped up to fill this niche were a dream come true. But then we decided we wanted to go outside again, because we are a fickle bunch. So what is the next logical step?
The latest trend for direct shopping networks is the same as the latest trend in just about everything else. Mobile technology. More and more people are shopping from their smartphones, tablets, and laptops, pleasantly purchasing products while sitting at gas stations, hanging out with friends, or rappelling down the north face of Kilimanjaro.
No longer are home shoppers limited by only the shopping network channels they get in their cable subscription. The sheer volume of shopping network sites and the variety of products they offer is enough to make a Coach bag shopper drop her plastic mid swipe. You can find everything from jewels to meats to swords by the case. And one of the great benefits of mobile technology is that you can more easily share your shopping finds with friends and family, using social media to inspire competition and shopping jealousy within your inner circle, the way our Founding Fathers would have wanted it.
What will the next big thing be? “Auto Shopping”, where you can shop using buttons on your steering wheel during long road trips? “Blink Buys”, where a programmed sequence of eyeblinks is all that it takes to purchase a product? Or maybe “Mind Merchandise”, where if you think about something hard enough, you instantly buy it? Whatever new technologies evolve and appear, shopping will always be shopping, and shopping networks will be there to guide us through the transitions. And to sell us knives.