When online shopping finally went mainstream it changed everything. Online juggernauts like Amazon gouged huge, bloody wounds into traditional retailers like bookstores and music stores. But to think that online shopping itself wouldn’t change is naïve. Everything evolves, and even the online retail space has some big changes in its future. Here are some of the biggest.
Shopping Gets Social
Social media platforms may soon also become shopping platforms, something that’s already happening in China as shoppers there use messaging systems such WeChat to buy items. Facebook is heavily investing in bringing this kind of functionality to its Messenger software, and soon SnapChat and WhatsApp may also become places where people don’t just talk to each other, they buy stuff as well. We may see a day when online retailers either have an employee or virtual intelligence interacting through messaging systems with shoppers to take and process their orders.
Adblocker, shortening attention spans and filters in email clients continue to cut into the effectiveness of “traditional” online advertising, so what’s next? A “multichannel approach” may now be what’s needed, and this can take many surprising forms. Including promotional tools in Facebook and even finding ways to market and promote at retail outlets where customers can’t simply “swipe away” the way they do on the Internet are increasingly being used to fight for attention in a world where people are getting very good at learning how to tune out.
Mobile Is King
People used desktop computers and laptops obsessively because they didn’t have a choice at first. All the functionality of computers they enjoyed could only be found on these larger devices. Today, they do have a choice and thousands are abandoning these devices in droves by the day. They prefer to use their phones or tablets whenever possible, and nline retail needs to cater to this demographic, or risk losing out on a big chunk of sales. If they can’t buy it from you on their phone, they’ll buy it from someone else.