The pandemic ushered in a technological revolution that is still transforming the way we live, shop, and interact with others on a daily basis – possibly our entire functionality. Everything has gone digital these days, and consumers all over the world have embraced this change wholeheartedly, especially in the realm of retail. The retail industry has changed dramatically in the last year, with everyone from company owners to consumers adopting the latest digital wave.
While e-commerce had been gaining traction, it was the pandemic that finally broke the circuit, causing virtual shopping and online video shopping to take centre stage as the primary means of retail. While many customers still prefer brick-and-mortar shopping to online shopping, the latter has come a long way in terms of meeting customers’ needs and preferences. Despite the fact that the world has reopened its doors, people seem to prefer the ‘online’ way of doing things, indicating that virtual shopping and live video shopping are here to stay.
This paradigm change in the overall retail process has had a significant impact on customer preferences and behaviours. There’s a big difference in how people act in a physical store and how they act when they’re shopping and ordering online, and we’re here to talk about it. Let’s look at how the pandemic seems to have influenced consumer behaviour around the world.
1. Cellphones Closing the Gap
Customers can buy from anywhere, at any time, thanks to e-commerce, which has taken shopping from physical stores to their fingertips. They are no longer required to wait for stores to open or to stand in long lines to carry their purchases home. When it comes to shopping, today’s consumers use their smartphones in a variety of ways. They look for new goods, find them, compare prices, make and review their purchases, and build and maintain shopping lists. The definition of mobile shopping has blurred the distinction between in-store and online shopping.
2. More Personalized Experiential Opportunities
Consumer demands have risen as virtual shopping and online video shopping have become more common. Customers now expect a more personalised online shopping experience, just as they do in-store. They want a reliable, seamless shopping experience, regardless of the platform they’re using to shop. It’s a challenge for retailers to provide consumers with better experiences than they’ve had in the past while still motivating them to make a purchase. Businesses have responded by developing omnichannel, personalised products that resonate, engage, and entertain customers.
3. Shopping as a Form of Social Interaction
When online companies provide consumers with excellent shopping experiences, they want to tell their friends, family, and co-workers about it. As a result of digital marketing, shopping has become a social activity. Furthermore, today’s consumers base their purchasing decisions in large part on the feedback of others, and they have instant, convenient access to those reviews. As a result, it’s safe to say that social media websites and online review sites have paved the way for product reviews to become a source of word-of-mouth advertisement.
4. Customers Have Donned the Hat of a Salesperson
Consumers can read and analyse comprehensive product and company details, as well as online reviews, before clicking a button or making a purchase in a shop. As a result of these better-informed consumers, the position of salespeople in companies is shifting. Customers’ standards have risen, and companies must adapt their strategies in order to reach them. Prior to the emergence of digital media, consumers relied on salespeople to direct them in making the right purchase. Customers now walk into shops, both online and off, with all of the details they need to make a purchase.
These points support the idea that virtual shopping and online video shopping will continue to develop and revolutionise the retail industry in ways that are just beginning to be imagined. To claim that the future of shopping has arrived is an understatement.