Online Shopping Is Now Becoming of Age
When the dot-com bubble busted in the mid 1990s, many investors wrote off online business as a non-starter. Some credible investment analysts argued that e-commerce had been overrated and that the predicted shift from brick-and-mortar business to online shopping would never happen. However, this argument was far from the truth. Recent statistics show that indeed, this predicted transition is happening – slowly but surely.
Buyers are Conservative
In business, shoppers are said to be both irrational and conservative in their behavior. This means that they are slow to change and accept new products, shopping platforms and ideas. This explains why e-commerce did not pick up with the speed that it was anticipated to. Even in products and services that were more convenient to shop online, shoppers continued to buy from local stores. Online shopping was further dampened by reports of credit card fraud and unscrupulous online traders. Following this apprehension for internet shopping, e-commerce slowed down to an almost false start.
However, over the years, the inevitable has continued to happen slowly but surely. More and more buyers have shifted from buying items in local shops to shopping online. The best evidence for this was in 2009 when more shoppers in the United States did their Christmas shopping online than from local stores. This trend has continued to rise and today, online shopping has really replaced brick and mortar shops to a great extent for many retail commodities. Businesses such as air travel and hotel booking are majorly done online and many other retail products are following suit.
Why the Shifting Trends
Online shopping has many obvious advantages over shopping in local stores. For a start, you get to shop at your convenience – at home on your laptop, in the office or even when traveling. Online shopping also comes with the advantage of a wider variety of products, easier comparison of prices from different providers and you also get to read the reviews of other buyers to help you in making a purchase decision.
Another major advantage of online shopping is that prices are usually cheaper than those of brick and mortar shops. This is because actual shops have higher overheads such as expensive rents and higher human resource costs. These high costs of business result in higher prices.
Tough brick and mortar shops are here to stay, it is now becoming evident that the future of shopping is online. This means that even for the traditional businesses, enterpreneurs must now consider changing tact by leveraging on the internet so as to remain relevant and profitable.