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See the future of online shopping. It looks nothing like Amazon

Diesel has created a virtual showroom that mimics the real thing in Milan. It offers a glimpse at a more immersive future of online shopping.

See the future of online shopping. It looks nothing like Amazon
[Image: courtesy Diesel]
in the wake of social distancing. But most e-commerce websites haven’t change significantly since the early ’90s. Back then, brands began building what amounted to a digital version of their catalog. Three decades later, most brands—from major department stores like Nordstrom to newer brands like Everlane—feature rows upon rows of garments, which the consumer must scour by filtering through categories. There have been a few efforts to go beyond this model, from Man Repeller’s arcade game-like interface to The Yes, a shopping app that shows you a customized assortment of products. But for the most part, online shopping hasn’t evolved.

[Image: courtesy Diesel]
The Diesel showroom isn’t perfect. It’s about exploration, which is obviously more time-consuming than simply scanning through lists of products on a website. (And online, efficiency reigns; just look at the popularity of Amazon.) But it does show what is possible when it comes to online shopping. E-commerce doesn’t have to be purely transactional: It can incorporate some of the visceral pleasures of browsing in real life.

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brands may imagine that transitioning their inventory to a virtual platform like this might be an overwhelming challenge, but it’s worth noting that diesel managed to build this entire experience and upload every garment from its latest collection in a matter of months.

Brick-and-mortar retail has been in decline for about a decade沙巴体育手机登录, partly because brands did not invest in innovation. The coronavirus has forced many brands to shutter even more stores. As retailers continue to negotiate these store closures, there’s a good chance we’ll see more experiments like this one. And that’s a good thing because I, for one, am bored of scrolling through endless rows of clothes.

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About the author

elizabeth segran, ph.d., is a staff writer at fast company. she lives in cambridge, massachusetts

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