How the Internet Has Changed the Way We Shop
Oct 27, 2023
The Internet has altered our lives for good. There are a lot of things we do differently. One of these is the purchasing decisions and patterns. E-commerce has shaped up a whole new way of buying groceries, electronics, apparel, food, medicine, and other consumer goods.
Conventional hopping used to be a tiring activity for a lot of people, one that required a lot of labor. Now they can have everything delivered at the click of a button or shop on the go. We can easily call this a commerce revolution.
With a steady connection like Cox Internet and some of the best shopping apps and websites out there, you can make the most of your time and save yourself a lot of hassle.
Though a lot of people still love to go out on a Sunday haul to the grocery store, or the farmers’ market. It is natural to want to feel the fabric before buying an article for wear. However, with the evolving times, our lives are becoming increasingly difficult.
Let’s look at some of the ways the internet and digitization have impacted the way we shop.
Accessibility, Flexibility and
One huge aspect that has completely redefined the accessibility that comes with the e-commerce industry is the associated distance. People don’t have to commute to far-off locations to get their choice items.
You can search and find the closest store that can deliver the required item to your doorstep. Amazon has become the cornerstone of this phenomenon. They have everything very straightforward. Sometimes, if an item is not even available in your area, you can have it shipped to you.
Now things are a lot more accessible, flexible, and convenient when it comes to fulfilling your retail needs.
Popular belief is that the buying journey begins when we are clear in our intent of purchase. In doing so, we have already cleared the psychological obstacle of parting with our money. On the contrary, the buying journey starts when you are exposed to advertising.
Due to the consumption of social media content and frequent online advertising, we are surrounded by ads. Doesn’t matter if you are using YouTube or Spotify, scrolling your TikTok Feed or Insta stories, the algorithms will show you ads based on your demographics and online behaviors.
Because of this constant exposure, most of your purchasing intent is guided by a series of ads that you have subconsciously registered. You may not need that item but because of frequent reinforcement, you have convinced yourself that you need it.
Convenience in Product Research
Since the advent of online shopping, product research has become monumentally easier. Previously, if you had to do some research on a product, you had to go to different stores, examine the item, and talk to sales personnel.
This opened us up to a lot of bias because their feedback would always be sales-oriented. Not only was this a tiresome practice, but it also meant a lot of information retention on your part.
Now the comparative analysis of products is a few Google searches away. There are websites like Yelp and publications like Consumer Reports that give you genuine reviews.
What is more, is that most e-stores have a reviews and testimonial section, oftentimes video reviews of unboxing and usage are also available on the product pages and social media. This user-generated content has completely altered how we do product research and we can make more guided decisions.
McKinsey observed that when shopping online, people are more open to trying a new brand. Traditionally, people were of the habit that they headed to the store of the brand they were loyal to should they need anything.
Because of the trend of browning, consumers are open to more options and suggestions. This phenomenon specifically gained velocity during the time of the pandemic when the more popular branded choices went out of stock.
People went online to research alternatives and found that they could find better choices outside of the brands they were loyal to.
These are some of the ways online shopping has changed the way we retail. With the tools and features a digitized shopping experience offers, it is very hard to go back to a solely brick-and-mortar store approach. There are a lot of convenient methods and a larger variety of options. However, there is a huge drawback to the convenience that comes with e-commerce, which is a lowering graph of conscious buying. People often forget the priority of objects and over-buy because of heavy ad content and reviews. The key is to strike a balance and operate accordingly.