What impact has technology had on shopping habits over the years?

Between the years 2015 and 2017, technology and the internet have drastically changed the shopping industry. This begs us to question, what exactly does the future hold where shopping is concerned? A statistic that highlights this is that there was an 85% increase in search for footwear reviews — showing that buyers want to learn more before they buy. Together with Frank Wright, a British footwear brand (that offers a high-quality range of chukka boots), we take a look at how shopping has changed over the years and what retailers are doing about it.

New opportunities for physical stores

Weekly bricks-and-motor shoppers are up from 40% in 2015 to 44% in 2018. Perhaps this is because people are beginning to use shopping as a social activity. But what opportunities does this bring to retailers? Retailers with physical stores have the chance to reduce their stock levels on-site and use the newfound space to create a more enjoyable, sensory experience for shoppers.

However, it is common knowledge that more people are picking up their phones to make their purchases nowadays. In fact, statistics show that mobile commerce more than doubled between 2013 and 2018, rising from 7% to 17%. It’s looking likely that mobile shopping sales will soon surpass PC-based buying, which is currently at 20%.

This suggests that less people are trying on outfits before they by them, as they are buying over their mobile as oppose to in a store. The delivery and returns process has been made so easy by many retailers in order to encourage customers to order their products first and then try them at home. Customers are getting used to the convenient delivery service too. In fact, 25% of customers said that they wouldn’t continue with their orders if one-day delivery wasn’t available.

How has this impacted pre-purchase habits?

Rising search terms between 2015 and 2017 included ‘kids light up shoes’ and ‘men’s Italian dress shoes’. This statistic has game from Google’s very own research and has revealed that we are becoming more specific with our search terms. Perhaps this is because we often know precisely what product we desire and are confident that our search will yield relevant results due to the vast amount of available information on the internet.

It has been reported that most people get their inspiration for purchases on social media. Perhaps this is because of the increasing rate of bloggers and celebrity endorsements which they collaborate upon. In fact, the search term ‘influencer marketing’ experienced a 325% increase in searches between 2016 and 2017 — demonstrating company and agency interest in the new technique.

By visiting a website and buying with a click of a button, this demonstrates just how consumers can now follow a simpler purchasing process. The customer can no interact with a retailer in an increased number of ways, such as live chat options, 24/7 phone lines and social media channels.

With this in mind, what does the future hold where shopping is concerned?

Highlighted above, it appears technology has most definitely changed the way we shop forever. With a quick service and a wider variety of products available, we’ve seen the demise of some high street stores as they struggle to keep up with the requirements of consumers of the digital age. So, what does the future look like for the shopping industry? Due to this, It’s possible that we could receive products even quicker than we are already. There is discussion from some online retailers of a 30-minute drone delivery — almost 40% of customers would consider this as a method too! We can also expect to see more engaging stores as companies try to encourage more store visits

It’s likely that influencer marketing will remain popular, and perhaps grow further with the widespread use of social media. But, due to the rapid speed of technological advancements, it’s hard to predict exactly what’s around the corner.

Sources

https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/feature/mobile-search-behavior/#/

https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/industries/retail-consumer/consumer-insights-survey.html

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/social-business/rise-influencer-marketing-infographic

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescommunicationscouncil/2017/06/20/the-future-of-retail-how-well-be-shopping-in-10-years/#21188bbe58a6

News Reporter