Computers have permeated our world. A hundred years ago, no one could have even imagined the possibilities that we are now presented with. Technology has entered our lives, and we use it for everything, from education to entertainment. Consequently, shopping is not impervious to this, and we have seen online shopping become significantly more present in our lives in the past fifteen years. Are retail stores threatened by this, and what will happen with them in the near future?
How online shopping came to be?
Originally, shopping was not one of the first things that people used the Internet for; it was seen as more suitable for advertising, and would not realize its potential for shopping until much later, even though shopping websites have been around since the nineties, like Amazon, which opened in 1995. Now the whole concept is far more developed, and customers have a number of ways to acquire the products they desire, with a number of payment methods, including debit cards, credit cards, PayPal, wire transfer, cryptocurrencies, and numerous other ways. Taking all of this into consideration, does online shopping threaten high street stores?
How is online shopping bad for high street stores?
Firstly, it is far more convenient. Online shopping has solved one of the greatest struggles in human history –searching for sustenance. Earlier, people were forced to go out in search of food, and this aspect of life was maintained even when the first stores and markets appeared. However, now people have to do nothing more than press a button and have food, drinks, clothes, and anything they can imagine delivered to their doorsteps. The fact that this method of shopping is becoming more and more popular may lead to some physical stores being closed, as there may not be a need for them in the near future.
Why are high street shops good?
There are some aspects of physical shops and stores that cannot be simulated using technology. First of all, when online shopping, the user cannot see the product they are going to buy until it is delivered to them, and it is well known that sometimes the product may differ from the description on the website.
Physical shops give you the upper hand in shopping, as they allow you to handpick the item you consider to be best for you, as well as to determine whether its quality is suitable for the amount of money you need to pay for it.
Shopping experiences offered by high street and online shops are quite different; likewise, they may appeal to different groups of people for different reasons –where some like to do their shopping in person, there are some who are uncomfortable or unable to do it, and prefer the comfort and safety of online shopping. There are plenty of people in both groups, and it is not very likely that one will put the other out of business, at least in the near future.