?Technology is taking over?... ?Who has the time to go out and shop anymore??? ?How can I trust that what I order online is what I will receive??? ?I only purchase things I can physically test and use before deciding on them? are just a few of the conflicting opinions that we have all heard when it comes to the debate on whether to shop online or to just keep on subscribing to the age old brick and mortar way of shopping.
It would be unjust to under-state the permanence of how the e-commerce boom has effectively changed the way people shop. To effectively overcome the hurdle presented by the inability to ?feel? what you buy is no small feat on its own. Coupling that with the fact that shopping online is now a ?way of life? for millennials and coming generations is further testament to how online businesses have understood and catered to these inherent changes in attitude towards how people buy.
The shift in momentum since the turn of the millennium has been exponential with most e-commerce start-ups and venture backed concerns preferring to be ?online only?. While e-commerce has experienced accelerated growth globally, the nature of technology and consumer behavior has brought both modes of shopping to a crossroads where most of the big players in the e-commerce market understand the need for a more hybrid approach.
Taking a quick journey through the years will reveal the astronomical leaps that the industry has taken over the past 15 years and how shopping has simultaneously evolved. While the boom in e-commerce may lead us to believe that the importance of conventional stores has decreased over time, reality would present a much different picture. Many e-commerce giants such as Amazon, Warby Parker, Bonobos and Birchbox to name a few have recognized the importance of a hybrid approach by opening up physical stores as well to complement their once ?online-only? approach. What this exhibits is a resurgence in the importance of physical stores as still being the primary locations for the most effective and volume-heavy sales outlets simply based on the fact that people still like to go to a store to buy things.
Current and predicted trends, being a major driving factor for any business, have instilled a sense of excitement in the minds of online shoppers with most larger brands shifting focus towards using their online presence to complement physical stores whereas ?online only? brands are focusing on directly positioning against competitors based on branding differentiation, price wars and heavily targeted marketing.
Furthermore online trends have made for an interesting reading when it comes to online shopping behaviors. Analytics show that out of the global online shopping population, men falling within the age demographic of 15-40 are avid shoppers of auto-parts & accessories
along with various electronic items while women from the same demographic largely concentrate on personal care, home accessories and fashion products
Ultimately from a consumer?s view-point, the choice of whether to buy online or visit a store is heavily dependent on the type of purchase, profile of the shopper and experience with shopping online just to name a few major criteria?s. For people who love to shop online, it is always advisable to find a trusted seller/brand that can offer exactly what is promised by them while ensuring that the time spent between ordering a product and receiving it is as easy and hassle free as possible.