Online shopping is a form of electronic commerce that allows consumers to buy products or services from a seller over the internet using a computer or mobile device. It involves browsing a website or mobile app, selecting products, adding them to a virtual shopping cart, and completing the purchase transaction using a secure payment method.
The process typically involves entering personal and payment information, including credit card numbers, shipping addresses, and billing information. Many online retailers offer various options for shipping and delivery, including home delivery, in-store pickup, and express shipping.
Online shopping has become increasingly popular over the years, with many consumers preferring the convenience, variety, and ease of shopping from the comfort of their own homes. It has also become a popular option for people who may not have easy access to physical stores, live in remote areas, or have mobility issues.
METRICS ABOUT ONLINE SHOPPING
Online shopping has been growing steadily since the late 1990s, but it experienced a significant surge in growth in the early 2000s with the widespread adoption of high-speed internet and improvements in online payment security. This growth was also fueled by the increasing number of online retailers and marketplaces, such as Amazon and eBay, which made it easier for consumers to shop online.
In recent years, online shopping has continued to grow, driven by advancements in mobile technology, the rise of social media, and the increasing use of online marketplaces and subscription services. The COVID-19 pandemic has also contributed to the growth of online shopping, as many people turned to online retailers to purchase goods and services during lockdowns and social distancing measures.
According to a report by Digital Commerce 360, online sales in the United States grew 44% year-over-year in 2020, reaching a total of $861 billion. This represents the largest annual increase in online sales since the report began tracking e-commerce growth in 2002.
WHAT CONTRIBUTED TO THE GROWTH OF E COMMERCE?
There are several factors that have contributed to the growth of online shopping, including:
- Convenience: Online shopping is incredibly convenient, allowing consumers to shop from anywhere at any time, without the need to travel to physical stores.
- Wider selection: Online shopping provides access to a wider selection of products than traditional brick-and-mortar stores, including items that may not be available in local stores.
- Comparison shopping: Online shopping allows consumers to easily compare prices and products across multiple retailers, helping them to find the best deals.
- Lower prices: Online retailers often have lower overhead costs than traditional retailers, allowing them to offer lower prices and discounts to consumers.
- Personalization: Online retailers can use data analytics and machine learning algorithms to offer personalized recommendations to consumers, making the shopping experience more efficient and enjoyable.
- Easy access to information: Online shopping provides consumers with easy access to product information, reviews, and ratings, helping them to make informed purchase decisions.
- Security and trust: Advances in online payment security and the growing trust in e-commerce platforms have made online shopping a safe and reliable option for many consumers.
Overall, these factors have contributed to the growth of online shopping and are likely to continue driving its expansion in the future.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?
The future of e-commerce in the fashion industry is likely to be driven by several trends and developments, including:
- Increased personalization: E-commerce retailers will increasingly use data analytics and artificial intelligence to offer personalized recommendations to consumers, based on their preferences, browsing and purchase history, and other factors.
- Augmented reality: Augmented reality technology will allow consumers to virtually try on clothes and see how they look before making a purchase, improving the online shopping experience.
- Sustainable and ethical fashion: Consumers are increasingly concerned about the environmental and ethical impact of the fashion industry, and e-commerce retailers will likely respond by offering more sustainable and ethically-produced products.
- Social media integration: Social media platforms will continue to be a powerful tool for e-commerce fashion retailers, allowing them to reach new customers, build brand awareness, and drive sales.
- Faster and more flexible delivery: E-commerce fashion retailers will likely continue to invest in faster and more flexible delivery options, including same-day and next-day delivery, to meet consumer expectations for convenience and speed.
- The rise of online marketplaces: Online marketplaces, such as Amazon and Alibaba, will continue to be a major force in e-commerce fashion, providing consumers with a wide selection of products and offering small and independent fashion brands access to a larger audience.
WHY SOME PEOPLE CONTINUE TO SHOP AT PHYSICAL STORES?
Despite the growing popularity of online shopping, some people still prefer to shop in physical stores. There are several reasons why:
- Sensory experience: Shopping in a physical store allows consumers to see, touch, and try on products before making a purchase, which can be important for items such as clothing, shoes, and cosmetics.
- Social experience: Shopping in a physical store can be a social activity, allowing people to browse and shop with friends or family members.
- Immediate gratification: Shopping in a physical store allows consumers to take their purchases home immediately, without having to wait for delivery.
- In-store promotions and discounts: Some retailers offer in-store promotions and discounts that are not available online, which can be a draw for some consumers.
- Trust and security: Some consumers feel more secure making purchases in physical stores, where they can interact with sales associates and feel confident that they are buying from a reputable retailer.
- Support for local businesses: Some people prefer to shop in physical stores to support local businesses and contribute to their local economy.
THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT SHOPPING ONLINE
Here are some fun facts about e-commerce shopping that you might not know:
- The first online purchase was a pizza: In 1994, a man named Phil Brandenberger made the first secure online purchase using his credit card, which was a large pepperoni pizza with mushrooms and extra cheese from Pizza Hut.
- Amazon sells more than 12 million products: As of 2021, Amazon sells more than 12 million different products on its website, ranging from books and electronics to clothing and home goods.
- Mobile commerce is on the rise: Mobile commerce, or m-commerce, is growing rapidly, with more than half of all online shopping now done on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.
- Free shipping can be costly: While free shipping is a popular incentive for online shoppers, it can be expensive for retailers, with some estimates suggesting that it costs retailers billions of dollars each year.
- Online shopping is popular in China: China is the world’s largest e-commerce market, with more than 50% of all online sales worldwide happening in China.
- Cyber Monday is the biggest online shopping day: Cyber Monday, which falls on the Monday after Thanksgiving in the United States, is the biggest online shopping day of the year, with billions of dollars in sales generated each year.
- Some e-commerce retailers use dynamic pricing: Dynamic pricing is a strategy used by some e-commerce retailers to adjust prices in real-time based on factors such as demand, time of day, and consumer browsing and purchase history.
- In 2020, global e-commerce sales amounted to over 4.2 trillion US dollars, with projections suggesting that this figure could reach 6.5 trillion US dollars by 2023.
- The most popular item purchased online is clothing, followed by electronics, books, and household goods.
- More than 80% of online shoppers do research before making a purchase, with many using social media and customer reviews to inform their decisions.
- Online marketplaces like Amazon and Alibaba account for a significant portion of e-commerce sales, with Amazon alone accounting for more than 38% of all online sales in the United States.
- Subscription-based e-commerce services are becoming increasingly popular, with companies like Birchbox, Dollar Shave Club, and Blue Apron offering monthly delivery of curated products to subscribers.
- Some e-commerce retailers use chatbots and artificial intelligence to provide customer service and answer questions in real-time.
- The most expensive item ever sold online was a private jet, which sold for 53 million euros on the luxury goods website JamesEdition.com.
- Black Friday, which falls on the day after Thanksgiving in the United States, is the biggest shopping day of the year, with many retailers offering significant discounts and promotions to drive sales.
TIPS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN YOU ARE SHOPPING ONLINE
Shopping for clothing online can be convenient, but it can also be challenging to select clothing properly without being able to try it on in person. Here are some tips to help you select clothing properly when shopping online:
- Check the size chart: Before making a purchase, be sure to check the retailer’s size chart to ensure that you are selecting the correct size. Each brand and retailer may have slightly different size measurements, so it’s important to refer to the specific size chart for each item.
- Read product descriptions carefully: Pay close attention to the product descriptions, which may provide details about the fabric, fit, and other important features of the clothing.
- Look at multiple photos: Many online retailers provide multiple photos of each item, including photos from different angles and close-up shots. Take the time to look at all of the available photos to get a better sense of the clothing and how it might fit.
- Read customer reviews: Customer reviews can be a valuable source of information when shopping for clothing online. Look for reviews that discuss the fit and sizing of the clothing, and take note of any comments about whether the item runs large or small.
- Consider the return policy: Before making a purchase, make sure to review the retailer’s return policy. This can give you peace of mind in case the clothing doesn’t fit properly or isn’t what you were expecting.
- Know your measurements: It can be helpful to know your own measurements, including your bust, waist, and hip measurements. This can help you compare your measurements to the size chart provided by the retailer and select the best size for you.
By following these tips, you can increase your chances of selecting clothing that fits properly and meets your expectations when shopping online.
Lots of Love,