Online shopping is a huge eCommerce enterprise, with so many channels and complexities that it’s becoming an entirely new industry itself.

Waves of younger generation shoppers are facilitated in a more accessible and more customizable online landscape, allowing for online stores such as ASOS and Boohoo to surpass high-street brands and retailers, creating the dawn of a new industry.

The Online Shopping Experience

Online store ASOS has revolutionized the way in which we consume lifestyle and fashion, focusing entirely on an online shopping experience, with zero physical retail stores worldwide. The growth of online retailers has a significant impact on the developing landscape of shopping, generating a larger appeal to mass audiences than that of physical retail shopping. There is a top-heavy phenomenon with brands exerting more online spending power and an increased willingness to develop their online stores rather than focusing on traditional stores, leading to loss of jobs in retail stores and a lesser focus on high-street storefronts, creating an unbalanced industry.

While high-street retailers like House of Fraser are under fire and facing store closures and job losses, online brands are flourishing and expanding at a rapid rate. Boohoo, online fashion retailer and distributor, saw their shares skyrocket and their expenditure power increase in 2018, having a successful year at the forefront of online shopping. Boohoo’s group revenue growth for the year to February 2019 is now expected to be between 38% and 43%, up from its previous guidance of 35% to 40%.

Retail shops need to act fast. Ecommerce is on the rise while brick and mortar shops around the country are closing their doors.

Why is online shopping so prosperous?

Online Optimization

Young consumer generations are exploring the online shopping experience that brings about greater accessibility; facilitating the process and ability to purchase or bookmark wanted and desired products all in one place. Online shopping accommodates and harnesses a greater shopping experience with a relaxing and satisfying service through being able to purchase from anywhere and the usefulness of not having to carry physical products or have a lot of spare time to travel and shop in person.

Mobile apps, like ASOS’, allow for more detailed information and analytics on products that optimize the online experience. After customizing your personal profile for your styles, sizes and preferences, ASOS give stock counts, customer reviews, generous return policies and information regarding the product itself. They understand individual customer needs and desires and always put the customer first. This is refreshing and you don’t get access to this from traditional retail stores

Screenshots from ASOS iPhone App

Screenshots from ASOS iPhone App

Era of Personalization

Most online retailers allow for you to create your own profile and adjust settings to spotlight search the perfect clothes and outfits for you individually. Instead of paying hundreds of pounds for a personal shopper, tailor and a stylist, just setting up your account means you will have your own curated recommendations for outfits, clothes and styles – all for free!

Human Interaction is Removed

Shopping can now be done in the comfort of your own home. We have the privilege to shop in our (designer) undies and I think most people still take that for granted. Customer service is improved online with FAQ sections, customer reviews and interacting directly with an employee online.

Man in suit on smartphone.

Image from pexels.com (no attribution required).

Social Media

Ah yes, social media. Online shopping has become a social pastime, you see your friends sharing brands and clothes and as if it wasn’t easy enough to persuade us to buy more clothes and to expand our bottomless wardrobe, you can purchase directly through social media. Traps are hidden everywhere on social medias and only detectable through a trained eye. You can be scrolling through Instagram, minding your own business, when BAM! You see a dress you like, you see a new tee you love and in one click – it’s yours. It’s dangerously easy to purchase online and social media is the final nail in the proverbial coffin that is our self control and abstinence. Buried 6 feet under by all the shoes we bought but never wear, the tonnes of clothes that still have the 50% price tags on because we can’t refuse a bargain and all those receipts for items we didn’t need.

The Internet Has Bridged Geographical Gaps

Onto the scene of streetwear and high demand hyped clothing: in the 80s and 90s and even 00s, copping anything was virtually impossible depending on where you lived. The internet has allowed for anyone, anywhere to purchase to anything.

Globe hovering over person's hand.

Image from pexel.com (no attribution required).

If you lived in the UK outside of London and lived anywhere in America that wasn’t Lose Angeles or New York City throughout the 80s-00s, good luck getting your hands on anything that had any hype attached to it. You had to camp overnight to get the most exclusive products and even then it wasn’t guaranteed you’d come out with anything at all. People used to pay kids a percentage of their resale from a product to stand in lines for them and act as proxies. The digital impact on how we purchase is progressive, but it hasn’t made it any easier.

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