Advancement In Online Shopping Behaviors
Technology has played a large role in how the shopping behaviors of consumers have changed over the years. As technology continues to advance, consumer shopping behavior will continue to change and adapt. The trends have been easy to track and monitor and will be useful in predicting how consumers will behave over the next months and years. Many trends in online are introduced each new day while others are consequently rendered obsolete.
Prior to Technology
Before technology became so common, people had other ways of handling their shopping needs. This included going to the local supermarket for food and to the nearest malls and outlets for every other need that they had. Without the access to computers and smartphones people also did their research on major purchases much differently than they do now.
The research was much more hands on and involved speaking to others who had purchased the item that is being looked at. If something could not be bought in a local store, many people resorted to using catalogs to buy their items.
Introducing Technology to Shopping
With the invention of the computer and the introduction of the internet, consumer shopping habits began to change. What once had to be done strictly through brick and mortar stores as well as catalogs began to shift away to a new method of shopping.
Slowly companies realized the benefit of using the internet to promote their business and to push their products. They began to use emails to connect with their targeted shopping audience as well as have products listed online so that people are able to view what companies have available beyond what was available in their local stores. This shift in publicity for businesses started the real changes that have led to what we now see in the marketplace today.
As companies began to see the benefits of utilizing the internet to push their sales, online stores and marketplaces started popping up. These online stores and marketplaces changed things for the average consumer.
The introduction of the internet to the ways that people were able to shop made purchasing less popular items much easier, particularly in the little towns that relied on just a few physical shopping centers. This also increased revenue for many companies in locations that they may not have had a presence in before.
As time has gone on and people have become more comfortable with the idea of purchasing items over the internet, they have started to see the benefits of this form of shopping. Not only do they have more access to a variety of products, this saves them the time that it would traditionally have taken to go and purchase the idea in a store. This has changed the balance of physical store purchases compared to online purchases.
As more people started using the internet to supplement their daily shopping, businesses started to look for ways to use this to their benefit. One of the ways that they looked into this was with the shopping holidays. The biggest shopping holidays occur after Thanksgiving. Originally things began with Black Friday.
When Black Friday sales began on the internet, they were still primarily based on the store. People often used the internet to get a head start on where the best sales were going to be and when the major sales would start. Over time, stores began adding in a few special sales that could only be purchased through their online website. Once the stores realized how popular this method of selling items was, they started doing more specials primarily online. Eventually, Cyber Monday was created.
Cyber Monday is a day where people will go online with the sole intention of getting the best deals possible from the internet. It was the internet’s answer to Black Friday and has become one of the biggest shopping days of the year. Beyond the traditional market expanding to the internet, there has been another unique side effect of the online shopping market’s popularity with consumers.
Entirely Online Stores
Beyond the brick and mortar stores expanding to the online world, consumers’ fascination with shopping online had another side effect that no one could have predicted. Shopping markets that were entirely online started becoming more popular. This was evidenced by companies such as eBay and Amazon.
As people became even more comfortable with doing their shopping online, these online stores showed up that had no physical manifestation. The consumers showed through the continued existence of these stores that they enjoyed having the option to “shop” at these stores for many reasons.
Many of these stores catered to very specific clientele or niches. Some of these other stores allowed consumers to search for an item that they have wanted and may have spent a lot of time searching for in the brick and mortar stores.
Today’s consumer likes have full control over every aspect of their life. The ability to use the internet has increased their control of their spending habits. It has also increased people’s spending in another way.
Shopping In Excess
An issue that is common with today’s consumer is overspending. When purchasing something in a brick and mortar store, it is a lot easier to curb the spending habits than it is when shopping online. Online shopping consists of searching on websites such as Amazon where thousands of images will appear when you enter something into the search engine.
While the consumer sees the purchase price, it is much easier to ignore it on a computer screen and add it to the shopping cart. Many of today’s consumers will purchase items with very little thought or consideration to exactly what they are buying and how much money they are spending on the item. This leaves room for a lot of problems and possibilities for the future.
As technology has evolved, consumers shopping habits have evolved with it. As time goes on, there will surely be more changes to come. Maybe we will come to a day when most if not all of the shopping will be done on the internet and the stores will become obsolete.
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