One of the great things about the huge rise of the digital age is the way we can now buy pointless things whenever and wherever we want. Have a sudden urge to buy some power tools at 3am? eBay's got you covered. Want an obscure book about the history of basket weaving in the Middle Ages? Head on over to Amazon.
And even within the e-commerce landscape, things have changed hugely in recent years. Because going through a standard checkout process is just not easy or quick enough for some people, we've got one-click purchase options. If you don't want to stay in and wait for a parcel delivery that may or may not show up on time, there's click-and-collect. And if you're on the high street wondering whether you can pick up that item cheaper online, scanning the barcode into your smartphone can now bring up price comparisons in an instant.
And shopaholics now have a new way to fill their homes with stuff thanks to a new idea from Amazon, which has just launched a way to shop straight from Twitter.
How does it work?
The idea works by allowing users to add products they see on Twitter directly to their baskets through the social network. If you see a tweet that contains a link to a product on Amazon, you can reply to it directly with the hashtag #amazonbasket and the next time you go to Amazon's website or mobile app, it'll be in your cart, waiting for you to confirm the purchase.
One of the great things about this is it can help people find the products they want without ever leaving the Twitter app – perfect for when you're on the move and don't want to be flicking back and forth between programs. It also works with any Amazon product page, so no matter what you want, if you see a Twitter link to it, you can get it direct – and this includes Proporta's range of products that are available on Amazon.
In a YouTube video introducing the feature, Amazon explained: "No more switching apps, passwords or trying to remember items you have seen. Save it to your cart and check it out later when it's more convenient for you."
A world of innovation
The idea is far from the only innovative solution Amazon has been looking at to make shopping simpler – and it's not even the most radical. Earlier this year, it detailed plans to deliver items directly to customers through the use of flying drones. Many people assumed this was just a publicity stunt, but founder and chief executive of the firm Jeff Bezos insisted last month that the firm is serious about the plans.
Back on solid ground, however, more practical solutions have included the expansion of its Prime subscription – which guarantees users unlimited one-day delivery for an annual fee – and the introduction of Amazon Lockers at stores, shopping centres and stations throughout the UK – it's like click and collect without the store.
Combining the keyboard and the high street
But Amazon aren't the only ones looking to revolutionise the way we use tech in our shopping. If you've got an Android phone, for instance, a new update to the Google Now virtual assistant could help connect the world of online shopping much more closely with the high street.
By combining a record of your recent search history with the location data provided from your smartphone, the smart software promises to not only know what products you've been looking for – but also where you can pick them up.
So, for example, if you've been browsing through Proporta's range of Samsung Galaxy S5 cases and happen to walk by a store of one of our retail partners – such as Dixons, Argos, Ted Baker and Barbour – you'll get an alert on your phone letting you know they stock the product you're after. This means its easy for you to pop in and get a feel for the case yourself.
These are just some of the great new ideas that are aiming to make shopping with your mobile easier and more user-friendly than ever. But remember to download that mobile banking app as well to keep an eye on your balance, as its now so simple to buy things, you might end up picking up a lot more than you planned.