Some technologies have had a big impact on people’s everyday lives and retailers need to ensure they keep up the momentum

Some technologies have had a big impact on people’s everyday lives. Sky+ is a good example.

It’s certainly had a noticeable effect on my life - it’s changed the way I watch television forever.

But the biggest impact on me has been the smartphone. My iPhone is never more than an arm’s length away from me and I won’t buy a shirt now unless it has a pocket because that’s where I carry my phone during the day.

I reach for my phone when something on the television, newspaper or a conversation triggers a thought.

If I want to know something, I quickly do a search on the internet. I also use it to check my email or to see what people are saying on Twitter. I use Google Maps to help me when I’m lost - occasionally I even use it to make a phone call.

I read somewhere that the ‘fine art of bullshitting’ has been destroyed by the smartphone because when you hear someone that you think is bullshitting, you reach for your phone and do a search.

Apps have turned this little device into my personal supercomputer that stays with me wherever I go.

Yesterday I used an app to measure my breathing pattern to tell me if I was stressed. If I hear a song that takes me back to my youth but I can’t remember the name, an app will listen and instantly tell me what the song is called and for less than a pound and one click, I can buy the tune.

When I’m in a shop, I can check if I’m paying too much for something before I buy it by simply scanning the bar code. My Trainline App will tell me if the trains are running on time. I recently bought a word processor. Its main feature is that it has very few features - pure genius.

Apps are only limited by the imagination of the clever people coming up with great ideas.

Let’s hope that clever people keep up coming up with great ideas because if they do we’ve got a great future to look forward to.

And let’s hope that some of those clever people are retailers.

  • Ajaz Ahmed played a central role in the creation of Freeserve and is founder of