If you like online shopping, then you’re probably anxious to know what the future holds in store. According to researches and experts, these are the main trends for the future for online shopping.
Although shopping subscriptions on websites is nothing new and has been a trend for quite some time, the new automated subscriptions that are starting to pop up on lots of websites is a growing trend that is sure to gain momentum in the next few years and become one of the most important trends for the future. An automated subscription is when, using you account, you set up auto-fill options for products you purchase and consume on a regular basis. This is becoming especially popular for online food shopping, as shoppers can set up their shopping list just once, and set up an automatic delivery and payment schedule saving them lots of time and energy.
Also, in the future, these automated subscription services are predicted to get smarter and smarter, being able to predict your shopping habits by collecting information on your purchasing behavior and preferences. This service will suggest products and shipping schedules to you based on the intelligent data it collects, and even automatically ship you things you need before you even realize you need them.
Customized interfaces that know your habits
Another trend for the future of online shopping is the idea that internet software programs will get to know your habits and customize your shopping experience with more and more accuracy and effectiveness. These interfaces will take into account not only your preferences, but also your size and shopping habits, to essentially become your personal shopper. These types of technologies already exist, but they will become more and more common in the future. For example, right now there are programs that collect information from the user in order to suggest what clothing sizes and styles will be the best choices for the user. These programs will collect information every time the shopper uses the platform, which will only add to the quality and precision of the customized shopping experience.
In general, in the future we will see the concept for stores and brands connecting with their public through various channels in a combination of ways, and allowing the shopper to customize their experience in whatever way they wish. Meaning, the customer many want to purchase the item physically in the store, but have it shipped to them rather than taking it with them. Or they may want to order the item online with their mobile phone and then pick it up in person at a physical location. The new trend is for retailers to combine strategies and systems to be able to adapt to any situation and customize the shopping experience to each person’s needs.
Linking the in-store shopping experience with online technology
The customized shopping experience trend is connected to another new trend for the future, which is how companies and retailers will start to link online shopping with traditional in-store shopping more and more. For example, there will location based technology that, through sensors strategically located in the stores, will track trends and habits, and consequently communicate with customers via their mobile phones in order to encourage sales. The stores will have sensors in different departments which will track the success of sales or lack thereof, and in turn decide to take action, by possibly sending customers in the store a special promotion or discount to use in the moment or another similar strategy. This location-based technology will help retailers strategically optimize many aspects of the store such as layout, prices and even marketing.
Another way that retailers are linking their online site and physical site is buy integrating their inventory into one, meaning that if the item that the customer wants isn’t physically in the store, a sales agent can quickly ring up the purchase for the customer through the online store and have it shipped to them. In fact, some stores now give a tablet or other mobile device to each salesclerk so they can help customers search the entire store inventory for their options to be able to fully assist them and meet their needs in the moment. This trend will become more common in the future.
Brands that start online
The trend over the past years, in general, has been that brands start with a physical store, and later open up an online store. However, currently the trend is moving more towards brands that start online and then subsequently acquire a physical store location. This will be an even more common trend in the future, now that the internet is paving the way for companies and brands to get started and build their reputation and following. In fact, some experts predict that the biggest brands of the coming decades are currently being created, online. Why don’t they just stay online? Why have a physical retail store at all? Apparently, research has shown that shoppers will buy more when they can touch, see and try items and products in person. That means that brands, by having a physical location, could improve their online sales as well as the additional sales that come in from the in-store purchases.
Another trend for the future will be the growth of use of mobile devices for online shopping. Shoppers already use their mobile phones or tablets to do their online shopping on a regular basis, and this will become even more common in the future. Since people will continue to do their shopping on the go, online retailers will start to become even better at targeting and catering to these shoppers by gearing their marketing and user experience to those using mobile devices.
Finally, the trend of using cash or credit card to make purchases online won’t have the same growth as the use of mobile wallets such as PayPal, Google Wallet and another similar services. In fact, purchasing will become more internet-based, streamlined and efficient in the future.
Online shopping is clearly here to stay, but based on the trends for the future it is clear that traditional in-store shopping is here to stay as well, and many companies are seeing the benefits of linking the two to improve the overall shopping experience of their customers. Also, as technologies continue to improve, so do their intelligence and ability to truly customize the shopping experience to the needs and habits of each user.