RASHMI OBEROI | 12 SEPTEMBER, 2018
Shop Till You Drop, or Stop Clicking!
What makes shopaholics tick?
Considering the fact that I hate shopping… actually detest is the word… I shouldn’t be writing a piece on the subject. But I am intrigued by shopaholics and what makes them tick!
The number of people shopping online is at an all-time high. The online retail market continues to grow at a rapid pace, gaining momentum as businesses sprout a dime a dozen.
Online shopping even appears to be on the verge of taking over the retail market as the market grows. The ease and convenience of shopping online seems to have more appeal to a greater audience. Online sales are rapidly accelerating, which in turn is causing the good old stores to suffer.
People love to spend money. In the past, we had to hit the local markets in order to find clothes, food, household items and gifts we wanted to buy. Today this can be achieved with the touch of a button, and the goods will be delivered directly to your front door.
More and more retailers are finding their way online, thanks to the ease of setting up an e-commerce store. It is now unusual to find a store that does not have an online presence.
Shopaholics have this to say: Consumers are no longer restricted by the 9-to-5 working hours: online, they can purchase what they need around the clock. This can be extremely helpful and time saving. You can flick between websites quickly to check for the best prices; securing the best deal could not be easier. When shopping in brick-and-mortar stores, walking from shop to shop to do this requires much more effort and time, making online shopping much more comfortable and lucrative.
Many shops offer exclusive online sales to get rid of stock they no longer need and to attract new customers. In the majority of cases, online shopping provides a much greater variety of products than a physical store. Online companies are not limited by the physical dimensions of a storefront; they simply need to list the items online before shipping them out from a warehouse. And if one website isn’t stocking an item it is relatively easy to find it elsewhere.
Many online stores offer free shipping if you spend above a certain amount. This can help save you money, as you won’t have to pay for fuel or transport to get to the store, or worry about parking. In fact, shopping online you can now order products from all over the world, from America to China, and have it sent directly to you at the touch of a button. This is something regular shops are battling with.
More and more Indians are embracing a trend that shopkeepers have come to fear: People are shopping online now on a regular basis. About a third of adults buy something on a computer or phone at least once a week, and teenagers even more frequently. Our shifting preferences, however, are taking a toll on certain retail jobs.
We’ve been hearing about e-commerce killing off brick-and-mortar retail for some years now. And while there’s no evidence that physical stores are about to vanish, a new study does add a further ominous note to this familiar prediction. This Diwali holiday shopping season, more shoppers plan to buy gifts online than in stores.
It’s entirely understandable that social changes should come about as a result of the introduction of new technology. Meanwhile, savvy merchants are taking steps to become more mobile friendly. 40 percent of shoppers also use computers not just to buy things, but to find the locations of physical stores. On the other hand, traditional shoppers indicated that they appreciate the opportunities physical stores give them, such as being able to touch the products they’re considering buying.
The online shopping culture is gaining global traction… the U.S. leads the way and India isn’t far behind. Shopaholics, rejoice!