The Future of Retail: Just How Important Has E-Commerce Become?
There is no question that the way many people shop has changed over the past five, ten, and even twenty years. Gone are the days when retailers were completely focused on the success and appearance of their physical or brick and mortar stores. The entire retail business model has changed, and in many ways, it’s thanks to e-commerce.
The fact is, the brick and mortar retail model is at risk. Most businesses can’t survive anymore without offering some form of online shopping to consumers. Many of the big name businesses of the past are closing stores because they haven’t been able to keep up. Online shopping is the way of the present and future, and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change anytime soon.
But, what might shopping look like in the coming years? How will retail change even more in the future, partly thanks to e-commerce and the reign of online shopping?
“One thing hasn’t changed when it comes to shopping, and that’s convenience,” Jonmichael Moy said. “One-click shopping, popularized by sites like Amazon, is only going to get bigger, because it makes the retail experience even easier for the customer.”
Forbes has also suggested that fast delivery is going to be not only normal, but expected for online shopping in the future. According to Forbes, 25 percent of consumers said that they would abandon their orders if one-day delivery wasn’t available. You better believe those are numbers that retailers looking to cash in on the e-commerce market are watching.
In addition, according to NBC News, Amazon pioneered the practice of offering free shipping. The company has lowered its free shipping minimum from $100 to $25, and Walmart recently began offering free two-day shipping on orders under $35, no membership required. You can expect to see more shipping deals like that as the e-commerce market grows.
But, physical locations for stores might still come in handy for certain aspects of online shopping. Forbes also reported that a new feature from Google Home lets people ask Google Assistant to find in-stock products at the store closest to them. In that case, you could ask, then still get in your car and go pick it up, rather than have it shipped to you.
An article in The Guardian suggested that stores will continue to be necessary for the future of retail, but the way they operate may change. The piece stated that there will probably be more cashless ways to pay, more checkout-free stores, and shoppers may be offered more personalized information and deals through their mobile devices when they visit a store. Could anyone have seen something like that coming with the bulky cell phones of yesteryear?
The basics of the future of retail really involve ease and efficiency, and that’s really not a huge change from the way retail has always worked.
The more things change, the more they stay the same, even when it comes to e-commerce and the future of retail.