Shopping online is such a handy tool. I love when I need something, especially an item I know is going to be difficult to find in my area, and being able to jump online and find it immediately. The large majority of us use online shopping as a consistent tool and have at least relied on it once in our life thus far. It’s convenient! However, with online shopping becoming more prominent, the way we shop in-stores, is changing. In many ways, you might not even notice it.
Back in the day, walking into a store, especially places like Best Buy, you needed as much help from the sales people as you could get. It was difficult to understand and keep up with all the new gadgets and jargon. However, now, it’s easy to walk into Best Buy and already know what we want as well as know all the specs and jargon like the sales person. A quick Google on our phones and any word we don’t already know is quickly understood. A salesperson job, while still holding for now, will soon be unnecessary or replaced by a machine as we have already seen happening at McDonald’s.
Online shopping and in-store shopping is treated in a similar fashion. No longer are they two separate entities—they work together. For example, (I will use Best Buy again) when most of us walk into Best Buy, we already have in mind what we want because we’ve already looked online. Then, when we walk into the store, we most likely have a link on our phone with either an online coupon or we have a link to another store that can be price matched for a lower price, etc.
If we wanted to, we don’t even need to leave our houses to get what we need. Groceries can be brought to our door, freshly prepared dinner or partially prepared dinner can be brought to our door, and any item we really could ever want can be brought to our door. Further, I sometimes don’t go grocery shopping before checking online to make sure the store I’m going to actually has some of my items in stock. Back in the day, you just went down to the store to check or called. However, we no longer have to rely on that.
Before, we had word of mouth on whether an item we bought was satisfactory or not. If we didn’t know or were unsure, we just bought it and tried it for ourselves. These days, there are so many reviews online for every item, that we often base our reasoning for purchasing an item on the amount of stars and good reviews it has gained. Which, in many ways this is extremely helpful but it other ways, it can cause us to easily miss out on an item we might truly enjoy in a way others didn’t. Opinions have been given a large amount of weight due to online access.
The convenience of online shopping as well as the convenience of online in general is truly the heart of what’s changing our shopping habits and routines. Many stores even offer free shipping for online orders on a consistent basis. The only difference is that we can’t get the item immediately. However, I have a feeling with as much as we advance in technology and science every day, there will soon be a way to cover that as well. There has already been a major decline in physical stores closing or going solely online in order to keep up with the changing times. I predict that before long, physical stores will be a thing of the past. I doubt it will be in my lifetime, but then again, stranger things have happened.