In 2023, over 265 million U.S. shoppers are estimated to buy online. Further, the percentage of worldwide sales resulting from online purchases is expected to rise from 18.8% in 2021 to 20.8% in 2023, and to reach 24.0% by 2026.
These numbers reflect the dramatic shift toward online shop-ping in recent years’ a trend that started before the pandemic but was strengthened by it. The change is no surprise, given the convenience, selection, and pricing of ecommerce options. It’s important to note that online shopping has its drawbacks, such as the potential for fraud or stolen packages. But, for many consumers, the pros far outweigh the cons. From groceries to clothing to furniture, consumers are discovering ever-changing ways to get the items they need.
In the following sections, we delve more into what shoppers like and dislike about the online shopping experience, as well as look at evolving trends such as fun subscription services, changing consumer and retailer habits both online and off, and ways to protect yourself from the dangers of today’s ecommerce environment.
Keep your device and credit card handy, because these pages are sure to give you some great ideas for your next online purchase.
While the pandemic was instrumental in forcing more people to shop online, the practice had already been increasing for many years prior. Here are a few of the reasons why.
Ecommerce offers numerous advantages over traditional shopping at brick-and-mortar stores. You can place orders from anywhere, easily compare products from different stores, and get your items delivered right to your doorstep – sometimes the next day.
The selection of items available for purchase online is virtually limitless, which means finding the specific product you want is as easy as a few clicks. Plus, you can consider all the possibilities without pushy sales-people looking over your shoulder.
The ability to easily shop around helps you find the best deals, while digital coupons, loyalty programs, and social media promotions enable even greater savings. Free shipping is often an added bonus, as is the ability to spread out payments over time.
Many online retailers make it more appealing to shop online with perks including painless returns. Third-party services like Happy Returns (happyreturns. com) make these transactions even simpler, allowing customers to drop items off at a return center — no packaging required.
Need to buy a gift for someone? It’s never been easier. If you know what you want, you can have it gift wrapped and shipped to their home. If you don’t know what you want, you can perform a search based on the person’s age, gender, and interests.
While the benefits of shopping online are well known, they’re not the whole story. Here are a few things shoppers dislike about the experience.
One of the biggest challenges of all is that some ecommerce sites aren’t what they seem. They may look like normal shopping sites but end up being scam operations that take your money without sending you anything in return.