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Has e-commerce changed the way we shop?

Has e-commerce changed the way we shop?

In this technology-driven society, our routine and thoughts are constantly swirling around our steadily flourishing virtual world. Most of us openly and inexhaustibly plan our lives around the internet; whether it be social media to plan our events, emails to communicate or YouTube to be entertained. The internet makes the unreachable reachable, and shopping is no exception. We can comfortably flip through our smart phones on our lunch break, and the tempting ‘online only’ deals can easily trigger an impromptu buy. 

E-commerce, or more commonly known as ‘internet shopping’ brought in a staggering £91bn last year alone; and 30% of all shopping is done via e-commerce. So why the hype? Some may say that e-commerce’s accessibility is by far its most attractive asset. The finger tap to product creates a simplistic and painless method of shopping. One click and our item is in our imaginary little basket icon; but there is a distinct lack of instant gratification here; but even with waiting times, and delivery charges, we are still so clicker happy. 

With our cities’ populations on the rise, the impatient line of people stood in queues is a constant battle for shoppers. We are never sure whether or not the ever-growing line for the self-checkout is the better option. There is always that rush of customers at Christmas, or the Saturday madness, and e-commerce proves to be a welcomed escape from that peevish world. E-commerce covers everything, from food, clothes, gifts, and even holidays, and in 2013, we saw a 16% rise of online shoppers from the previous year. If these figures continue, by 2020, just about all of our shopping will be done online. A big blow to our already established shops, and of course the lack of custom and an impending rise of e-commerce can only mean another spell of cutting lay offs, therefore further unemployment; and could open up a whole new world of problems. E-commerce is definitely changing our shopping strategy; the cleverly laid out websites are unscrupulously appealing; with their 25% of a £50 shop or free shipping over orders of £100 lure us into a false sense of control; but it’s really only enticing us to spend more and more. 

Of course however, e-commerce has its perks, especially in the realms of marketing for new companies; then suddenly there is capability of convergence, and we can suddenly see the wisdom behind it. The figures speak for themselves; our shopping is changing, because our society is changing. In a perfect world, e-commerce and commerce should run like clockwork together, integrating their assets; but in our electronic-addled society, one will always prevail. It may take time, and the natural progression of commerce will possibly, like so many other things, go full circle; but it is safe to say that the primitive ways of high-street shopping, may soon be a dying enterprise.