How E-commerce Changed Shopping

There is no two ways about it, when somebody hands you a credit card and tells you to buy yourself something pretty (even when it’s you handing the credit card to yourself) it’s like somebody has rewound time and you are a kid coming down the stairs on Christmas morning.

There is just something about shopping that makes a girl happy in her soul. When cash is tight it’s finding that buy two get one free deal that gives you a warm fuzzy feeling inside. Even if the deal is on something that you don’t really need, the point is that you got something for FREE! Getting a special shoppers discount is like finding money in a pair of jeans that you haven’t worn in a few months, no matter what you end up buying with it – bread and milk or pretty underwear or headache pills because the kids are driving you crazy AGAIN – it’s always feels a little magical.

Half the fun is in the dreaming, the hoping and the anticipation. With the advent of the internet the world of shopping has shifted and changed in ways that nobody would have imagined were possible twenty years ago. Suddenly you don’t dream about something that you saw in the window of the boutique in town, now you dream about something your friend from school shared on their social media profile.

How E-commerce Changed Shopping

But not only do you get to dream about it, now you can research it without ever having actually handled or touched whatever it is that you are dreaming about. Interested in getting yourself a new car, computer, phone, camping gear, stove, kettle, knife set, natural remedy or recipe book? Not a problem! Just head on over to your favorite search engine from either your desktop, your notebook or your smartphone, type in the name of the product you are looking for and literally thousands of product reviews, stats and ratings are delivered to you within seconds!

And when Lou Montulli invented cookies (the internet kind not the chocolate chip kind – that was Ruth Wakefield!) in 1994 it became possible for your browsing habits to be recorded and accessed  by any site you visit. Instead of getting annoying popups about something that you will NEVER buy, suddenly retailers are guaranteed a higher conversion rate because they can flood your internet browser with adverts that you are more likely to be interested in.

Most social media sites allow the use of cookies so while you are busy checking your newsfeed recommended adverts, suggestions for pages you may like or want to follow are drawing your attention and building a brand awareness that marketers of old could only dream about. Word of mouth advertising is no longer about an actual conversation on the street but about people updating their status with photos and comments bragging about their latest purchase.

Brick and mortar stores have become showrooms where people go to test drive something they are interested in because you no longer have to drive across town to check if another store has a better deal or a special offer, just pull out your mobile device and search for a better deal online! And the BEST part about buying online? As though there isn’t enough to like about it so far! Because most online retailers don’t need to worry about renting a shopfront, paying and training sales staff and still making sure that they have enough stock on hand so that customers can leave carrying the item they want, they are able to offer the same products at insanely discounted prices.

The easiest way of doing this is by advertising the item for the same price that you are able to buy them from your local store but then they offer special discounts BECAUSE you are an online shopper. These discounts may be offered in the form of coupons, or promo codes which are emailed to you or offered as part of a package deal – buy this and get a discount when you buy that.

The possibilities with coupons or promo codes are endless because retailers can offer just about anything they can possibly think about AND they don’t need to think about how they are going to advertise or distribute them. This is usually the job of services that specialize in aggregating coupons. 

Discountrue.com is just that kind of site which serves you coupons on a silver platter. At the end of the day, the consumer does most of the work. As my mother would say – it’s like money for jam!

These may all seem like pretty small things but when taken together, paint a picture of a world that is changing in every way, shape and form.    

But e-commerce is not just about buying something pretty or special for yourself, everyday retail stores like Pick & Pay and Game are making it possible to buy the most basic of necessities – your bread and milk - ONLINE!

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