Shopping is a trait of society and the way people shop is changing from time to time. With the advancement of technology, the way people shop is changing, and there is no end for it. The technology developed in the last decade has brought a sea of change, to the retail world. When you learn about the retail sector, eCommerce, and how shopping has been changed over time, it is interesting to take a look into the future to forecast what lies ahead for shopping.
- Difference between Retail and eCommerce
Retail and eCommerce are similar terms. In eCommerce, the product is sold to the customer through the Internet, whereas retail can be done in various ways. The retailers can sell the product in the physical stores, online, door to door selling, or through mails. On the flip side, eCommerce is all about the transactions that are performed electronically through the internet. There is another thing called retail commerce sales where the products and services are sold through the internet, extranet, or using some kind of online system or through electronic data interchange (EDI).
The traditional way of shopping is evergreen. Many people like to go to the shop, feel the product, bargain the price of the product, and buy it. This basic form of shopping will remain alive. Many stores are incorporating selling both offline and online. The best example of this is the Wal-Mart store. This allows customers to walk-in to the physical store to buy the product or land on the eCommerce website to shop. The number of shoppers in online shopping is increasing day by day due to the convenience and support it is offering. Though online and offline shopping is flourishing, the shopping habit of the world is changing over time with the evolution of technology.
- The arrival of online shopping
There are many key aspects of shopping nowadays that are revealing how shopping will evolve going forward. This is made possible with the internet, apps, brands, online reviews, and cloud-based software. The way shopping is done today is different from what shopping was in the past. It has become a big challenge for small eCommerce stores to stay ahead of the competition without a proper inventory management system. They must have this inventory software to keep track of the inventory. The efficiency is what is propelling many customers to shop online.
Moreover, customers can learn about the product before spending money on it. This is reducing the need for a salesperson. The data is offered on the internet, and customers can read and make purchases directly. The best part of online shopping is that shoppers can look for the same product sold by different brands, read reviews of all the brands, and compare the prices. This helps them to buy the best brand product that is sold in their budget. The purchases can be made from their laptops or Smartphone devices.
The difference between the shopping done in the past and present is the ease of access. Today, the internet is playing a pivotal role in letting shoppers pay online for the purchases made. There is a survey conducted in the US in April 2019, which revealed that around 40% of the online shoppers are making purchases multiple times in a month. The survey also disclosed that 20% of shoppers would shop some at least once a week. There are around 42% of the US shoppers would look for the products and services online, while 14% would look for the product online before buying in-store.
Another advantage of online shopping is that the shoppers can track the shipments, find the date on which the product would be sent to their address, and if the shopper does not like the product, initiate the return process.
Online shopping is also compelling shoppers with discounts, coupons, and promotions. This is helping customers to buy the product at a lower price than the market price.
The ads about the product are showcased on social media sites, search engine results page, and web pages. These pages would show the great deals and discount offered on the products that you use every day. The customers who are looking for a discount on the product would immediately order the product from the stores.
- Rise of Mobile Commerce
Today, people are shopping on the go by downloading shopping applications on their mobiles. This is another breakthrough in the eCommerce industry. Today, consumers are using their laptops to browse for information about products and buy them using their Smartphones. The central fact for shopping on mobile is that it is easily accessible over a laptop. These phones are allowing people to shop from coffee stores, during the lunch breaks or any time throughout the day and night. The websites of the eCommerce stores are made mobile-friendly to give the same level of shopping experience to the shoppers even when they are shopping using their Smartphones.
Shopping through the internet is changing over time. Earlier people used to the only shop using their laptops, and now they can shop using their mobile devices and other smart devices. With the progression of technology comes huge changes in online shopping.
- Omnichannel retailer
Many companies are embracing omnichannel retailing to boost the sales figure, strengthen the relationship with customers, and increase the revenue of the business. Omnichannel retailing is nothing but generating sales using different methods. This allows customers to purchase effortlessly by enabling them to shop from anyplace and using their laptops, smartphones, or tablets. They can also buy the product in the brick and mortar stores.
Interestingly, the omnichannel retailer is offering customer care representatives the opportunity to analyze the preferences of the customers based on their previous shopping. This will allow the representatives to know about the customer and suggest products or services that meet their needs. Whether you are buying a product online or offline; this data will help you to make future purchases. The customer can check the inventory of a product by landing on the official site of the company. They can save the items and buy them later or order online and pick the order from the physical store.
The retailers are trying various ways to showcase how they are valuing the customers’ wants and needs.
A few of the benefits that are offered by the omnichannel retailing include:
- Better efficiency
The omnichannel retail strategies would give a seamless experience to the new and reprising customers who are shopping in different platforms. This also allows the businesses to immediately respond to the questions, feedback, and requirements of the customers.
- A good collection of data
If you give a personalized experience to a customer, they will develop a sense of trust and continue to come to your store for shopping. When customers get a personal experience, they are likely to stick to your business for a long time.
- Integrate communication and data analysis
When there are many communication channels, the business can get information from these channels. This promotes better communication for customers, suppliers, and buyers. By analyzing the data, you can learn about the customer better and their needs. The data can be reviewed and used to improve interpersonal relationships with the customers.
Undoubtedly, the future of shopping will be digital. This gives the same experience that the customers are enjoying today. No matter how the shopping is going to change, few things are critical such as data analysis, relationship with customers and streamlining of business operations.