Do you need something but too tired or lazy to go out and shop? Would you want to score fantastic steals and deals without having to scour shop shelves? Is shopping in your pajamas at one1 o’clock in the wee hours of the morning, giving you that warm, fuzzy feeling?
If you want to snag the best buys and discover awesome finds when it comes to clothing, footwear, gadgets, home, and appliances, or beauty products online, then you can surely do so with online shopping. All these and more are available on the Internet and open you to a world of shopping opportunities.
It’s High Time to Fill Your Cart Online
Traffic, pollution, and fickle weather conditions can make going out to shop such a chore these days. Thank goodness for technology because it has given us the Internet. Through the wonders of the World Wide Web, people can now easily and conveniently shop online.
With so many brands and companies all competing to gain market and purchase share, there is a wealth of products in the online shopping universe that makes it exciting for buyers.
So exciting it is that about 1.8 billion people around the world have purchased goods online in 2018. The same year also earned global retailers a whopping 2.8 trillion U.S. dollars in e-retail sales. This number is even expected to grow exponentially, eyeing a growth of up to 4.8 trillion U.S. dollars by the year 2021.
This 2019, e-retail sales already account for 14.1 percent in the global retail sales pie. It is projected to reach 22 percent in only four years2. The 3.53 trillion U.S. dollar earnings from retail e-commerce this year are also projected to balloon to an estimated 6.54 trillion U.S. dollars in the year 20223.
The United States (US), United Kingdom (UK), and Sweden top the charts as countries with the highest average revenue per online shopper in 2018. With the digital boom in the Asia-Pacific region, countries like India, Spain, and China are becoming the fastest-growing online retail markets.
All these numbers are proof that more and more people are coming to appreciate the advantages that online shopping brings. Here are some of the top reasons why you should try shopping online, too:
1. Ease and Convenience
Much like how people are pleased about getting the best insurance deals, the lowest travel fares, or the hottest hotel rates online, e-shopping can be just as rewarding.
For one, it affords people the ease and convenience of shopping without the hassle of dressing up, braving the traffic, and competing with throngs of other shoppers and mall-goers. Online shopping also allows people to shop whenever they want, wherever they want.
Purchasing online at their most convenient time is actually one of the top reasons why people prefer online shopping according to a National Public Radio (NPR)/Marist Poll conducted from April 25 to May 2, 2018, in the continental US.
Eighty-eight percent of shoppers appreciate that they can shop day or night, another 88 percent love it that they find the item they want quickly, and 78 percent simply relish the fact that they do not have to line up in a store anymore. These all contribute to helping people save time running around shopping for stuff.
Online shopping websites also do not close, so buyers are given round-the-clock access to do their shopping. Some even like the fact that they do not have to encounter aggressive salespeople or have to make small talk in queues while waiting for their turn to pay.
2. Cost Savings
Along with the convenience of not having to go through the hassle of commuting, parking, or getting lost in a maze of shops and boutiques is the benefit of saving money.
According to the save NPR/Marist Poll, 76 percent prefer online shopping because they believe it gives them better prices.
In most cases, online stores do not have to pay for overhead expenses such as rent, utilities, staffing, or other applicable taxes and fees, unlike brick-and-mortar stores have. This means that they can apply these savings to price cuts and freebies that their online consumers can enjoy.
Online buyers also enjoy savings in the form of discounts and freebies. Some online sites give these treats as part of their sales and marketing programs as well as gain brand loyalty and increase customer retention. This trickles down to online consumers in the form of buy one-take one treats, price cuts, and free shipping, for example.
3. Freedom and Flexibility
Shopping online also gives consumers the flexibility to shop using whatever electronic device they prefer. While some are more comfortable using traditional desktop devices, more and more shoppers are getting into the mobile bandwagon.
For instance, one in every five adults in the US logs on to the Internet using their smartphones6. Globally, these smartphones were used by shoppers to visit online stores 61 percent of the time in 2018. In 2019, the online shopping market share using mobile devices is predicted to comprise 67.2% of digital sales. This number is forecasted to grow to 72.9 percent by the year 2021.
Online shoppers also have the freedom to read reviews on the e-store, social media sites, and other websites that feature product and service reviews. According to a Forbes article published in 2018, recommendations and reviews posted on social media have a role in the decision-making process of 23 percent of shoppers.
Conversely, this freedom extends to consumers sharing their own reviews on these online sites as well. This capability further strengthens the consumer’s power to also influence the direction of the retail and commerce industries.
Another top factor on why shoppers prefer to buy online is the wide range of choices that are available. Online shops offer a variety of products or services that can be easily searched, perused, and bought.
At the same time, there are sites that even provide side-by-side comparisons for their top choices. This makes it even easier for buyers to see the pros and cons of their choices before they decide on the best one.
The user-friendly interface of most online shops also makes it very compelling for consumers to browse, save to cart, and purchase whatever catches their fancy. Should an item be unavailable, online shoppers are also given the chance to save the item on their waitlist and get notified once it is on hand.
Click and Buy
It is undeniable that technology has influenced how people do things nowadays. One of these wonders is online shopping, and it shows no signs of stopping.
With the ease and convenience it affords, as well as the cost savings, extensive product selection, and flexibility of shopping anytime, anywhere, and with whatever electronic gadget makes it a fun and fulfilling experience.
George Azar is Co-Founder and CEO of HiCart.com. He has extensive work experience with blue chip multinational organizations on both regional and global levels. George is also the founder of companies in the fields of advertising and media buying, professional trainings and development.