Do you know that experts predict that the internet will be responsible for 90% of all sales by 2020?
But what does this really mean?
It’s simply this: people will either be actually buying what they want online or they'll be involving the internet in their purchases in some way by utilizing services like Groupon or Yelp to find the best deals and the most trusted businesses.
In fact, there's no doubt that the trend has already started. Many companies are noting that their brick and mortar divisions are flailing while their online businesses are growing.
But why is this online boom happening? What is it about shopping online that has become so attractive to so many people?
1. It's Cheaper Or At Least Seems That Way
Giant retailers like Amazon have made their names by offering the same products for lower prices than you can find them in stores. Amazon particularly has been so successful in one of their divisions - books - that they played a huge role in putting Borders out of business. And it's easy to understand why. How can people be expected to buy books from a brick and mortar store when the prices are sometimes 20 percent higher? Of course, prices aren't always lower for everything, but you'd never know unless a brick and mortar store was advertising its prices online.
2. It Comes To You
Sometimes it's fun to actually go out to shop, but often it's more of a hassle than anything, especially if it's not that important for you to see what you're buying in person. Why would you choose to drive to the store, struggle to find parking, hope you find what you're looking for, and wait in line if you didn't have to? In contrast, online retailers let you make your purchase from the comfort of your own home instead of paying exorbitant gas prices.
3. Options, Options, Options
Yes, of course there are plenty of brick and mortar options out there, but you have to drive around to each one or purposefully seek out their ads to compare prices and products - and some of them don't even put those ads online! But if you just do a quick Google search for a printer or a kitchen table, dozens of Google Shopping options will pop up from a wide variety of companies, complete with item descriptions, ratings, and price comparisons. It's just so easy.
4. We're More Comfortable With It
When online shopping first appeared, lots of people were initially uneasy. What if someone stole their credit card information? What if they didn't like the product and had to return it? What if the whole thing was a scam? Roughly a generation into making internet purchases, most people are now completely comfortable with the idea, only holding back when buying things like cars, houses, and appliances.
5. We live online
Perhaps the biggest reason for the shift towards buying online is that it has just become so tied in to our daily lives. We check email when we wake up, read the New York Times website with breakfast, repeatedly check Facebook while at work, and plan outings based on Likes and Yelp reviews. Like it or not, our lives are just becoming more and more centered around the web.
Now, did you start your online business for any of these reasons? Do you agree that online shopping will increase with the years? Share with us in your comments below.
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