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Former America Airlines exec Jeff Katz thinks that shopping in the future will be a lot like booking a plane ticket.
Like booking a ticket on Kayak, Orbitz, or Priceline, shoppers could select and pay for "a package of services that we value most — from an aisle seat ... to in-flight Wifi connectivity," Katz wrote in Fast Company
In the past, airlines included meals, checked bags, and picking a seat as part of the price. But because consumers cared most about a cheap price, airlines changed their model.
Katz sees the same happening to retail and the prevalence of mobile devices is contributing to the notion that we should be able to " compare prices and buy or wish-list the items we like from an online retailer."
Katz explains his grand vision:
A hint of water while you shop for your Gap jeans and shirts? A dressing room with the option to prepay for your purchase? The best price for a product offered only in-store? If retailers can find a way to make this transition without sacrificing customer satisfaction–something the airline industry has failed to do despite (or perhaps because of) its emphasis on pricing-–they will be in a better position to accommodate the shoppers of the future.
Katz's concept is interesting to think about. Could you image a day where retailers offered prices in-store that you couldn't find anywhere else?
While we don't agree that cash registers and check-out personnel are additional services, retailers can stand to learn a thing or two from the airline industry.
Hopefully the lessons learned will benefit consumers instead of nickle and dime them for additional services.
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