You go through some websites, you see stuff you really want to buy, you search it on online shopping sites, you click it, you buy it, you get it. We poured scorn on those who choose to shop and sell online fifteen years ago, but now the convenience and the unprecedented profit of e-commerce shut our mouths. Nobody claimed its credibility years ago, nobody doubts the success of e-business now, nobody can imagine what it will be like in the future. Most countries have their own online shopping days and they gradually encroach the mainstream shopping habits. The sales volume records were refreshed every year on Black Fridays, Cyber Mondays in North America, Double Eleventh (Singles’ Day) in China, White Days in Japan and Korea as well as some holiday sales such as Christmas around the world. It gradually becomes normal and easy for us to shop online and get a decent discount on some shopping days and the trend of online shopping spread more and more widely.
There is no denying that online shopping is getting more popular than any other ways of shopping, people enjoy the process of seeing all the possible objects online, comparing different shops according to quality and price, buying their favourite one and checking the shipping details from time to time. Recently, Black Friday and Cyber Monday just passed and it is true that it hits a new high. According to Adobe Analytics, American consumers spent $7.9 billion, making it the biggest online shopping day in U.S. history. And the most popular products were televisions, computers, other electronics and toys. Originally, people doubt the credibility of shopping expensive goods online because there might be fake or used ones on the online markets and consumers cannot touch and test them in person, also the damage caused by shipping process were unforeseeable. The huge limit of intangibility restrains the development of online shopping to a great extent, however, with the development of communication technology, consumers can easily return or exchange the goods in a very short period using many ways to contact with the sellers.
Among all the online shopping days in all parts of the world, November and December are always the most crucial for online businesses, for the reason that most online shopping sprees are in this period. According to the statistics of the U.S. collected by eMarketer, total online sales have grown annually on Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Single’s Day, Christmas holidays from $80.48 billion in 2015 to $106.14 billion in 2017. It is estimated to reach $123.74 billion in 2018 and experience a growth of 16.6% compared with last year’s revenue. Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday were just past, naturally they are the biggest online shopping days, nevertheless, December is expected to outperform November by almost $7 billion. The condition on Double Eleventh (Singles’ Day) in China was even crazier. In only 21 seconds, the volume of transaction reached 1 billion yuan, which equals nearly $20 million CAD. On the Double Eleventh Day of 2018, the total transaction topped 200 billion yuan for the first time. This great online shopping day is actually created by e-commerce companies – Alibaba, rather than the crowd or any tradition.
When comparing to traditional ways of shopping such as going to shopping malls and convenience stores, what are the advantages of online shopping? Firstly, online shopping is much more convenient. When you try to find a specific commodity, you have to walk the length of a whole market to find your ideal goods and may fail to find them in the supermarket. If we choose to shop online, we can simply search in the large stock of shopping websites and quickly find our desired stuff. You do not even have to step outside your house to find the most suitable thing, which provides many busy people with chances to shop easily. Moreover, online shopping not only functions as a great impact on traditional shopping mode, but also leads the new trend of “online shopping social contact”. Consumers get to talk to each other and contact the seller any time they want. Some social media work as platforms for them to communicate and recommend things, at the same time, merchants get easy access to more information and feedback and they may do a few adjustments to things consumers do not like. Friends are able to talk about articles they bought online by showing each other the website or simply sharing a link.
However, objectively speaking, the great impact of online shopping also caused the shrink of the offline market all around the world. The term – Amazon Effect stands for the effect that the entire digital marketplace has had on traditional forms of commerce, like brick-and-mortor businesses. Amazon may be the main culprit, but it is far from alone. If brick-and-motor retailers want to have a future, they need to offer better customer experience or open online stores to adapt to the new environment. In terms of the Canadian market, from 2011 to 2016, a study reveals that the internet purchases tripled and will roughly reach $39 billion by 2019. Also, according to the research done by SOTI, 92% of shoppers prefer stores that offer mobile experiences, 73% want mPos for quicker checkout, 47% expect personalized service. That is to say, in order to compete with online stores, they need to do a few adjustments to face the new high-tech era. The physical stores that will be most competitive in the digital age will be those who can offer something online stores can’t, such as personalized products, great service, etc.
People cannot deny both the convenience of online shopping and the shock to traditional ways of shopping, we should see the dual character of online shopping. With the development of network technology, we can simply see that the huge success of online shopping days is showing explosive growth. It is still hard to say what online shopping will become in the future, but we’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg.