For a former fashion gal, and seasoned international shopper, I don’t actually like shopping that much. Contrary to the sexist female tropes, I don’t find any great liberation or inspiration from trawling around the shops (however, I reserve the right to still love chick flick shopping montages, Pretty Woman being the zenith, of course)
However, I do like buying stuff, which is different. That’s why I’m so into the idea of subscription retail. It’s all over the trendsphere (yes, that’s a thing). So far, the product offers seem to be highly gendered (deodorant or razor subscriptions for men and knickers and beauty products for women) or very dull things (loo roll and cleaning products). This ad for Dollar Shave Club, however, is aces:
Anyway, I would like things that I purchase regularly, or things you can never get hold of them when you need them, delivered to my door. Including, but not limited to:
- Shu Uemura cleansing oil
- MAC lipstick
- Fizzy sweets
- Whatever not-horrid shampoo and conditioner are on spesh in Boots
- “Extra Bits” orange juice, salted butter, artisan bread
- Cheap white Ts
- What’s Love Got To Do With It on DVD
- The latest conceptual/unflattering navy Cos dress
Wouldn’t that be brill, to have that delivered to me the minute the last one reached the end of its useful life. There’s all sorts of tech that can apparently do that for you. As long as I’ve been a trendster, there hasn’t been a year without the launch of a “revolutionary” new fridge which senses its contents and orders replacements when they’ve run out. Still, people’s fridges seem to have gone un-revolutionised. I suspect they don’t work, but whatevs.
And of course, all the clever algorithms employed by Google, Amazon et al supposedly learn what you like, while the heavy behavioural trail we leave with every online purchase should give companies enough information to know when we’re ready for more stuff, and what stuff we want. And the systems have got cleverer in some ways, while still being dumbass in others – like the Target data analysis which could work out whether a woman was pregnant from her purchasing patterns (clever) and then telling the world by sending her targeted mama-marketing (dumbass).
But, could a subscription service do something cleverer? For example, could Boots send me the on-spesh stuff without me having to trawl the shelves, or, you know, choose something specific? Or could Sainsbury’s online grocery service sense when I’m bored of ordering “My Usuals” (like now) and send me some new inspiration, based on my Gojee browsing or whatever annoying cookery show I’ve been watching? Surely my Sky+ algorithm should be able to talk to my online shopping data trail?
Obvs, if this actually happened, I would pretty much have no reason to leave my house, of which I am always in danger. Or if I invent it, I could be a millionaire. That sounds like effort, though…