While many people can say the pandemic accelerated online shopping, online retail was already a booming industry, with many people purchasing something online. However, online shopping skyrocketed because stores were closed down, and people were trying to remain safe during the pandemic. In addition, with many new tools, such as virtual ways to try on glasses or clothes before purchasing them or being able to have clothes sent to your home for you to try on and return if you don’t like them, more people are shopping online than ever. This article will discuss whether online shopping is taking over the retail industry.
The pandemic helped to accelerate the process of digital shopping. Before COVID-19, many people were hesitant to purchase groceries online for fear of getting the wrong items; others embraced the ability to shop for food while on lunch at work without having to go anywhere. However, the pandemic forced many people to start purchasing groceries and other goods from the comfort of their own homes and having everything delivered right to them. Here are the ways online shopping is taking over the retail industry. These are the reasons why eCommerce might take over the retail industry.
The Proof is in the Numbers
Experts have tons of data surrounding eCommerce and traditional retail. Over the past few years, eCommerce has seen exponential growth at a rate of over 200%, and the market is worth almost $5 trillion.
Many people purchase items online, including clothing, pet supplies, birthday gifts, and even food. There have been many predictions about online shopping, but experts agree that over half of retail sales will be made online by 2026. Young people already do most of their shopping online, while older generations are more hesitant. However, being forced to stay at home for the better part of 2020 and 2021 forced many of the older generations to start learning about the ease and convenience of shopping online.
Overall, there is constant growth in every segment of online shopping, with most of the retail trade happening online within the next 20 years.
Reviews Ensure Quality
While most sales happen in stores still, it doesn’t mean there is one better way to shop. After all, you may find yourself returning items, such as clothes, after taking them home and seeing how they fit. In addition, many salespeople don’t tell you the truth about products because their goal is to sell. For example, when you’re purchasing a television, an employee will likely tell you all about the features without telling you about any problems customers have reported.
On the flip side, when you buy something online, you can learn about items from other consumers to prevent you from making a bad decision. For example, in the case of a television, you could read online reviews to find out what potential problems you’ll have to deal with by purchasing a specific product.
Online reviews help you determine whether buying something is the right choice for you, and many products have thousands of reviews online for you to read. In addition, customers can share their experiences with other buyers, making it easier to make the right decision. For example, you can look up a restaurant on Google and see if there have been any reviews about the food.
With customer reviews becoming increasingly important for the shopping journey, many people will continue to shop online since they trust real consumers over salespeople.
If you have an online store you frequently shop at, you likely haven’t had to pull out your credit card in a while. This is because your computer and smartphone save your card information for a more convenient and easier shopping experience. Additionally, many online stores allow you to pay with your PayPal account with a few clicks of a button.
With more convenient payment options, customers no longer have to stand in line at stores and wait to be checked out; instead, they can check themselves out in the convenience of their own homes and not have to wait for anything.
Smartphones Promote Simplicity
Many people use their smartphones to make purchases online. For example, if you’re an Amazon Prime member, you probably use the app for purchases and delivery tracking. With over 3 billion smartphones in the world, many of them can allow customers to shop on websites and apps easily and without the need to go anywhere. As a result, access to online stores is becoming easier for people around the globe.
Better Marketing and AI
Online stores can easily market to anyone anywhere at any time, making it easier for them to gain customers. With the use of artificial intelligence (AI), businesses can gather information about their target audiences and create better marketing strategies and campaigns to get more people to shop online.
Brick and mortar stores can also take advantage of digital marketing, but digital marketing for online stores offers a complete customer experience from brand awareness to shopping cart and payment. For example, a customer can click on a Facebook ad and be taken to the product page for a seamless checkout experience. On the flip side, brick-and-mortar stores marketing Small Business Saturday can still advertise online, but they’ll need to find a way to get customers to come to their stores, such as providing them with a coupon.
Brick and Mortar Stores
With the boom in online shopping, many people are wondering whether their favorite shops to visit in person will remain. The truth is nobody can predict the future, but most experts agree that brick-and-mortar stores will remain.
Physical stores are still important to many consumers who prefer to buy clothes and groceries in person. But, of course, many brick-and-mortar stores will have to start offering an online shopping experience as well to help them regain revenue lost by more people shopping online than ever before. Not only that, but they’ll need to provide an exceptional customer service experience in-store to ensure customers keep coming back.
Brick and mortar stores will have to continuously adapt to keep up with eCommerce, but they’re not expected to disappear overnight. Here are a few reasons why brick-and-mortar shopping experiences will always be popular.
Most people prefer to touch, smell, and try on the things they purchase online, especially if they’ve never purchased them before. For example, someone might go to a perfume store to try out new perfumes. However, once they find one they like, they might just decide to purchase it online.
Shipping can be frustrating. Even though you might be able to get packages delivered to your door just two days after shopping online, things sometimes get lost in the mail. On the other hand, there is no shipping when you shop in person, and you get to immediately take home your items.
Less Product Disappointment
When someone buys something online from a new brand, they might be disappointed with what arrives in the mail. However, when shopping for products at a mall, the customer has the opportunity to inspect a product before spending money on it, reducing the chances of disappointment in the product once they get it home.
While online shopping is becoming increasingly more popular year after year, retail stores are not expected to simply disappear; in fact, many people prefer using them as an excuse to get out of the house and spend some of their hard-earned money. Not only that, but shopping in a physical store is a social experience that many people will continue to enjoy. While online shopping might not completely take over the retail industry, it has disrupted it.