Online retail is easy and convenient, but shopping is also a social experience and this is where 'bricks and mortar' retailing continues to excel. A visit to a physical store can mean time with family and friends. And there are many purchases that people like to make, where they are able to see, touch and even smell products before making a choice.
Technological progress won't wait for planners to help capture this wind of change, it'll happen regardless. But it won't happen everywhere and wouldn't it be better if technological innovation was nurtured and supported to help revitalise high streets that have lost their way and become symbolic of a desperate Britain lacking in confidence?
To an advertiser you are many things: you are where you are, what you read, the tools you use, the games you play, and the people you contact. This means that the data inside your smartphone is a gold mine to advertisers, and many companies have begun mining that data through tracking on mobile websites and in mobile applications.
For modern retailers, a combination of pop-ups, top-ups, pick-ups and lock-ups ensure that customers get what they want when they want it. Which means that some things haven't changed. When you think about it, getting what you want, when you want it, if you want it, isn't that much different from shopping like a seven year old child...
One of the traditional barriers to online shopping has been the fact that consumers like to hold items in their hands and examine the quality up close. Clever technologies, such as the Retina screen of the iPad, are helping the most innovative in the industry to experiment with things like textured screens to emulate the feel of items.
Pretty much anything that saves time and money now I'm a mum is generally given a big, universal thumbs up. So when I was set the challenge of spending 24 hours carrying out only online transactions and then comparing it with 24 hours entirely offline to see which one really gives you value for money, I jumped at the chance. I was surprised to hear that, whilst 43.5million adults (86%) in the UK have used the internet, 7.1million people aren't online and, as someone who is probably slightly addicted to the internet, I wondered whether I had become too dependent on online activities.