All I want for future Christmases is…

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“Christmas time, Instagram and Vine” (we know it’s defunct but it works for this parody)

We’re all buying loads more online

With swipes of our finger and gifts from our phones

It’s time to rejoice in the tech that we own”

When the Cliff Richard Christmas-bot makes its way into our living rooms, maybe it will come loaded with the above cover of ‘Mistletoe and Wine’ (one can dream…)

Robots are making their way into our homes – self-propelled vacuum cleaners are already available – and there’s no doubt that the amount of technology we use in our daily lives is only going to increase.

The world of e-commerce has developed at an incredible rate and we’re now comfortable in speaking to a gadget to add items to our online shopping list or confirming that we’d like to take up a music service subscription.

One of the biggest days in the global retail calendar is Singles Day, the world’s largest 24-hour shopping event held in China, with brands using live streams, social commerce and virtual consultations to super-charge sales.

This year, robotic cleaners, vacuums and toolboxes were some of the new product stars.

We’ve written about the future of e-commerce and its growing trend towards interactivity, so we’re taking this one stage further and dreaming about what will be on our Christmas e-commerce lists in the future…

Voice-activated social media buying

The existing Instagram ‘swipe up’ functionality enables signed-up sellers to direct followers to product collections, so we can expect advances in this area in the near future.

We’ve all used the ‘swipe to buy’ button on the Amazon app so we’d love to see that introduced into social media posts – spot something on a Facebook ad you’d like? Simply swipe to order it – but what we really want is voice-activated social media purchasing.

Imagine scrolling through your feeds, you spot a cracking pair of trainers being worn by your favourite celebrity or influencer and have the option to simply say ‘I want to buy those’.

Your banking app – which you’ve linked to your feeds – recognises your voice, asks if you want to confirm your purchase and, hey presto, those slick new Nikes are on their way to your home.

All I want for future Christmases is...

The birthday and Christmas gift virtual assistant

This is one we can’t wait to see. Hire a virtual gift assistant, which tracks websites you’ve visited, products you’ve looked at, collates your wish lists across brands and matches that against the world of online goods and generates a birthday and Christmas gift list.

You grant friends and family access to your auto-generated lists and then sit back, happy in the knowledge that you’re not going to have spend time returning those ghastly, unwanted jumpers.

On the flip side, you’ll never miss a birthday again – key dates for your friends and family are added during set-up – and don’t stress about your festive shopping…the Christmas Elf Service has your back.

And if you’re happy with the gifts being suggested? You’ve guessed it, simply swipe to buy or voice your approval.

Buy from your favourite box sets

Product placement on TV and in movies has been big for years but we’re ready for this to be seriously ramped up.

See James Bond sipping a bottle of beer as he prepares for his latest foil-the-madman mission? Pause the movie and place an order for a crate of Bond’s brand.

Like the outfit worn by your favourite character in your number one box set? Just let Netflix know and see it pop up on your phone ready to buy.

And it would be the perfect excuse to rewatch updated versions of The Sopranos, Breaking Bad and The Wire – we’d look good in a James Gandolfini suit or a Walter White/Helsenberg hat.

The Great British Bake Offers

Cookery shows dish up some amazing looking meals and treats, leaving you thinking ‘if only I could have some of that’…well, what about if you could?

Love the look of a Masterchef masterpiece or a Bake-Off beauty? Open the associated app, click on your favourite meal or cake of the programme, order the ingredients to be delivered the next day and receive the recipe instructions.

Voila, 24 hours later and you’re enjoying what you salivated over the evening before.

Mangetout, Rodney, mangetout.

Reverse augmented reality

A number of e-commerce platforms are now providing the option to see how a virtual product would look in your home – a new sofa, a kitchen table or a vase. Very useful for mixing and matching products with your room colours.

But what about if the process could be reversed? Take a photo of your room, all products in there are stripped out and you then receive recommendations on how to give your room a refresh with the option to buy the personalised collection.

You would be taken through a series of questions to help with the selection – prefer pastels or want to go bold? Minimalist or warm and cosy? Family-friendly or after the kids have moved on?

What better way to give your home a complete refresh? Let a virtual advisor decide!

Summary

We love e-commerce. We love tech. After all, we live it every day. It feels like, almost every week, something new springs up to keep us on our toes.

The advances in this field move at such a pace and in offices, labs or even bedrooms across the world, amazing innovations will be being dreamed up and built right now…so what’s on your wish list?

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