Online shopping has had a huge impact on the way people live their lives, especially lately with the raise in technology and the internet, as well as the start of the first secure online purchase. Amazon has been a large contributor to the success of online shopping when it first launched in 1995. The internet is quickly becoming a commonly used item in the daily lives of people all over the globe and with the growth of the internet also comes the growth of online shopping which includes but is not limited to shopping for clothes, prescription drugs, groceries, electronics and so much more. The benefits of online shopping are becoming seemingly endless and have changed the culture and behaviors of shoppers everywhere. By having the luxury of searching and buying products from the comfort of home, benefits of saving not only with special deals online but a saving of time once spent driving and browsing the traditional brick and mortar store, as well as having more opportunity and options of online shopping as technology progresses are all reason why online shopping is becoming imbedded in our culture.
Remember a time when a person needed something they would get up, drive to a store and get what they need? This is a part of our culture that is becoming obsolete, now a day and a person can sit in their living room in their PJ’s and purchase everything needed and in a day or so, that purchase shows up on the front pourch of the home. The ease of online shopping not only gives people with busy lives more time for other things like family and friends. There is little time for people outside of work and other daily activities so now that online shopping is increasing in popularity it helps to alleviate a task that used to take up hours of time per week. Technical advancements in the last 10 years helping to shift the culture and the way societies shop. You can now purchase from every major store in the world, as well as online retailers that have no store front and you can also purchase from social media sites these days. According to a recent article from BigCommerce, “Online shopping is now just as popular as in-store, with 51% of Americans citing online as their preferred way to shop. This goes hand in hand with data from the National Retail Federation for the 2015 holiday season. For the first time ever, more Americans shopped online for holiday items –– but it was a narrow win. The NRF’s survey found that an estimated 151 million people shopped either in stores, online or both over the weekend. Of those, 103 million said they shopped online, and nearly 102 million headed to stores.”(Wallace, 2017) This shows that the possibilities are endless for shopping online and as time progresses it will most likely sway shoppers to purchase more online.
Online shopping is becoming an almost day to day activity, but why? Well that is easy to explain. There are at least three items in every person’s home that allow a person to shop online. Example, most people have a laptop or PC that is used for online shopping. Then there are smartphone, some sort of gaming console (xbox, playstation, ect.), and smart TV’s. These are items that most of the worlds people have. “The Internet shifted the balance of power in favor of consumers as it became very easy for them to make shopping comparisons and evaluate alternatives without being pressured by salespeople” ( Eroğlu, 2014) Now that we have technology in every possible part of our lives, we also have the control over where we shop and how we do it, and can compare the products before actually purchasing them. Have you noticed that most of the places where people shop also have an app associated with them making it even easier to shop online everywhere that you go? This again is to help make it easier for people to shop online and is another culture changing aspect in new shopping medias.
As online shopping becomes more popular many of the brick and mortar type store are becoming victims of this change. The convenience of shopping online is a huge part of the close of many business in the recent past, but things like online comparisons, an abundance of information for the shopper and even virtual dressing rooms is what is changing the culture from in store shopping to online shopping. Did you know you could even do your grocery shopping online? This is a new “invention” that many stores have taken to. I use this service at my local grocery store, it’s called ClickList. Basically, I go online pick out all of the items I want, place my order and an associate from that store does the shopping for me. Although I still have to drive to the store to pick up my order, there are still many other grocery stores and online grocery stores that will give you same or next day delivery ultimately cutting out the time you would normally spend browsing each aisle at the store. “Currently 25% of American households buys their groceries online up from 19% in 2014”(Daniels, 2017) As you can clearly see this trend is on the raise and in the next decade, if this trend continues on its same path we will see more online shopping than instore shopping.
Our future depends on technological advancements in order for life to progress. Think about all of those futuristic show and movies you have watched. Think about where their food comes from. You don’t ever see someone from the future go to the grocery store do you? The answer is no, usually you see someone go over to what looks like a fridge click a few buttons and out pops whatever they wanted. Think about this again, you don’t see that same person go to the store to buy a new outfit either. Again they click a few buttons and within seconds their outfit of choice is right in front of them. This is a real possibility and online shopping is the first step in the journey to this once distant future. “2 in 5 (40%) online shoppers say they couldn’t live without online shopping.”(Wallace, 2017) In the year 2017 if 40% of online shoppers say they can’t live without it, imagine with the percentage will be in 10, 50, even 100 years. While it’s hard to predict where online shopping will be like in the near and distant future, it’s safe to assume that online shopping is the future and will change cultures immensely. Electronics, clothing, groceries and cars are all accessible through the internet right now and who know what the future will hold for online shopping. It is only a matter of time before physical retailers will either go out of business or turn to the digital world as many others are doing.
Convenience, ease, advancements in technology and so much more are all a huge part of our ever-changing world. Online shopping is not limited to the changes of the future but are dependent on them. Before we had online shopping, we had to march to the store and get what we needed. As time goes on we as a society will see the fall of major retailers that have been bought out by online retailers or retailers that have gone out of business completely. We will see cultures change and adapt to the “new” online shopping of today and tomorrow and will see where technology and the internet will take us. Change is good and online shopping is and will continue to be a good! æ
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