Ten years ago, the world of online shopping was very limited and unappealing for most shoppers. People didn’t understand how you could buy something without trying it on or physically holding it in your hands. On top of that, many people believed they would be scammed, as cybersecurity was weak in comparison to today’s level. In other words, most of us assumed online shopping would die out and retail would continue to rule the shopping world. But it’s now 2019 and things have changed. Online shopping now amounts to 2.3 trillion U.S. dollars annually which are about 17.5% of global retail sales. However, this is just the beginning. It’s time to see the trends that are changing how consumers shop.
It’s all about mobile accessibility
In the United States alone, approximately 86 million Americans use their smartphones for online shopping. It’s believed by 2020, around 45% of e-commerce purchases will be done online. It’s time to jump on the bandwagon. From researching the product to price comparison, it’s all done in the palm of the customer’s hand. Meaning if a company’s website isn’t mobile-friendly, they’re out of luck. It has now become essential for companies to build a brand and reputation online. If a company isn’t online, they’re sketchy.
Shipping done fast
People aren’t interested in waiting one month for their purchase to arrive – they want it at their doorstep now. Well, this is all changing with the help of technology. Though two-day delivery is now considered a norm, that’s also changing. One-day delivery is now available to many countries with even two-hour drone delivery developing as a new shipping method. In addition, online businesses are now stepping up their package design with custom mailer boxes in order to create a more personalized packaging for their customers. Customers are receiving visually appealing parcels at the speed of light.
Did you see it on Instagram?
Social media platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest are now becoming popular platforms for the latest fashion, electronics, and accessory trends. With this surge in popularity, these social media platforms are taking the hint and developing in-app purchasing, allowing customers to purchase goods without even leaving the app. This feature grabs the heartstrings and wallets of impulse buyers around the world.
The AI experience
It seems that AI has finally found its place in the online world. AI is increasingly popular among businesses as these softwares are able to administer customer information, analyze customer behavior, converse with customers, and prevent fraudulent activity. In other words, they’re relieving the business owner from doing these mundane duties or having to hire someone in order to do them. Let’s take Amazon’s Alexa for example. Alexa is able to provide customer support, complete orders, and recommend products. In essence, Alexa can heighten user experience, allowing people to buy things with ease.
Know where’s what
When you’re shopping online, sometimes products are out of stock. But there are many stores such as Zara or H&M which has physical retail stores as well, meaning your out-of-stock item may actually be available. Google has made this process easy with Google Assistant. Users are now able to ask Google Assistant to find in-stock products at the closest location to the customer. Meaning, the wild goose hunt for the pair of shoes you want to buy is finally over.
Many of us felt that the online shopping experience had reached an all-time high, however, it’s clear that this is just the beginning. These trends are and will drastically change the consumer-retail relationship by putting the power in the customer’s hands.