Expectations of online shopping
Online shopping is going to explode. Today, retailers are adding in-store pickup, offering free shipping, and experimenting with social media. It is becoming difficult to tell who is a pure internet retailer and who are brick-and-mortar stores with online portals. All of them are reformulating how we will shop online in the future: through a mobile device, tablet, in-store kiosk, etc.
New legislation may be required to protect customers, but this will also negatively affect online shopping. Internet retailers would have to collect sales tax. We will talk about the legislation later in this article.
However, more and more traditional retailers are betting on online sales. LL Bean launched free shipping on all items, Macy’s offers free shipping on purchases of $ 99 or more, Walmart bought the Kosmix social media platform to build its online business, and Toys R Us bought a new distribution center to support sales. Internet sales.
More and more retailers will implement in-store pickup. Walmart has already started offering in-store pickup for orders placed online. Sears and Kmart are testing home delivery. Agricultural stores in Florida offer their shoppers to order groceries online and pick them up at a store. Some smaller stores may even open designated pickup locations for products ordered online (for example, Chronodrive).
Today, people who own a smartphone can use applications that allow them to compare prices or use coupons to buy online. But we are just getting started with this type of technology.
New applications allow customers to upload video clips by modeling new fabrics or using a new purchase. This is a new feature, but it will definitely pay off quickly.
What about the power of social networks like Facebook and Twitter? As a consumer, you can “like” or follow a favorite retailer and get discounts on sales. For example, 12 million consumers “liked” Victoria’s Secret on Facebook in March 2011.
Jim Okamura (Managing Partner at Okamura Consulting) says that social shopping is just beginning. Mention that Facebook offers a good return on investment. However, there are still many retailers that have not yet taken advantage of this advantage.
Online shopping it will also help a host of small specialty online retailers. Through international or cross-border e-commerce, they now make between 10% and 20% of their sales outside their own country (for example, SousVideSupreme, Zara, Top Shop and StyleTrek).
Today, there are more and more sites that go through the din of so many sites and provide consumers with only the information that interests them: Dealnews, ConsumerSearch, Brad’s Deals and My Shopping Genie. There are sites that you can use to find coupon codes and possibly to earn money while shopping online. There are also a variety of websites that you can use to earn “points” or “dollars.” You can increase these points and dollars and “cash” them for gifts such as gift cards, real money, accessories, electronics, and more. (Swag Bucks).
A big advantage for consumers of online shopping is that as it becomes easier to compare prices (through My Shopping Genie, for example), stores will be forced to create better experiences with better sales staff and items hard to find anywhere else.
In an April 2011 article it was revealed that China shut down 410 websites involved in copyright infringement and counterfeiting in the first 3 months of 2010. This is a sign that governments are now trying to interfere with the legitimation of the online sales and make them safe for them. buyers. China’s online shopping has been booming (iResearch analysis). China has more than 450 million Internet users, being the largest in the world. China’s online shopping transaction volume increased 89.4% year-on-year. Approximately 148 million customers bought goods or services online in 2010. China’s online economy grew rapidly in the first quarter of 2011, driven mainly by the development of e-commerce and the mobile Internet. Due to this increase in online shopping, Chinese local authorities are putting more emphasis on monitoring online stores.
Another example is Malaysia. Malaysians spent $ 739 million shopping online last year, according to a survey published by PayPal. PayPal’s growth in Malaysia last year was the strongest in the Asia-India region at 70%. The largest percentage of online retail purchases are made on local websites. However, the United States is the most popular country where Malaysians shopped.
As we mentioned earlier, governments are now trying to make online shopping safer for customers.
In an ABC News article from April this year, it is claimed that the White House has developed a plan called the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) to combat identity theft online. The idea of this plan is to consolidate Internet logins, a kind of “Connection” for online purchases with the government approval mark. Additionally, increased security will encourage consumers and financial services companies to accept payments via smartphones. Supporters of this system noted that the program would be voluntary. However, there are pros and cons regarding this topic. Customers can benefit from this type of legislation, but it also has its drawbacks.