The Evolution Of The Online Shopper
I really can’t identify any other platform in the current economy whereby humans have interacted with technology in a more visible manner than in e-commerce. If someone told you back in 1991, when internet was made available to the general public, that 24 years later we will be buying and selling goods online would you have believed them? Probably not; it would have even seemed laughable. However, there is nothing laughable about the over $226 billion generated from the online retail market, and this is just the US figure. The modern consumers seem to be very specific and informed about the products they wants, when they want it and where. With advanced technology and the internet which has made the world smaller, or bigger, depending on how you view it, marketers and producers have been put on full alert by the modern customer.
Social connections and online recommendation engines are what seem to drive the purchasing decisions of consumers. As a result, every business has found it necessary to have in place an online marketing strategy that basically places its brand high in the consumer rank and preferences. Previously, the e-commerce market was an open one where probably anyone could join, market their products and report some sales. However, things have evolved over the past few years. Competition seems to stem from everywhere, and not just one or two competitive products are available online; it’s cutthroat competition, survival for the fittest if I may say. As a result, the e-commerce market has become a sport whereby, only the best, aggressive and expert marketers get a share of the cake.
This is the least of concerns for the consumer who loves nothing better than competition.
As search engine marketers go neck-to-neck in the World Wide Web, the modern customer derives pleasure in having a variety to choose from, the best prices, improved services and better customer care. Unlike in the past where one had to go to the store for every little thing, or alternatively gets to settle for whatever was available online, the modern customer actually gets to pull the strings and the marketers have no choice but to dance to his tune. With just a little research online, one can get the best producer or supplier, place an order and make payments right from the comfort of your couch. The chain doesn’t stop there; free shipping and delivery is available upon demand. All these changes have brought about significant evolution in e-commerce and online retailing.
On the other hand, the evolution has brought about increased creativity and innovation on the part of producers. With the help of advanced technology, companies can test and experiment with new innovations without necessarily having to interfere with free flow of goods in the market. Websites upgrade their services literary overnight much to the surprise and awe of the customer who gets to enjoy better, faster services. As the consumers thrive in competition, businesses have to strike a balance between their input and output so that in the final analysis, there are actual results in terms of revenue, rather than plain marketing.
The beauty of it all is that, just when you think you have the best online shopping experience, something better comes up the next day. Surely, with the dynamic nature of e-commerce and online retailing, the e-commerce customers should brace themselves for further changes in the industry.