The Blur Of Digital And Reality.

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Technology now permeates every aspect of our lives with a global estimate of 1.76 billion people who own and use smartphones monthly, a figure set to rise by 2017 to more than one-third of all people on earth; not to mention the ubiquitous technology increasingly embedded in, well… everything. But while the number of digital shoppers in the U.S. reached 191 million (over half the population) and e-commerce retail sales topped 236 billion, there is growing recognition that in a digital world we are still craving the visceral.

“Digital is for efficiency and convenience, and physical is for feelings of substance and emotional connectedness”. —Frank Rose, SXSW 2013

There’s no question that digital technology facilitates convenient purchasing, price comparisons, consumer reviews, brand experiences, product trials, entertainment and more; but as the lines between the physical and digital worlds blur, offline no longer means being completely unplugged. Online-only brands are now opening brick and mortar outposts to deepen the their brand experience, as well as responding to the need for increased transportation efficiencies, and a desire for ‘must-have now’ purchases. On the flipside, physical stores are leveraging digital technology to brilliant effect, playing into an increasing lust for, and need, to collect experiences.

This week we’re showcasing examples of where offline meets online, and how that’s transforming traditional notions of  interaction and transaction.


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