We may look at some leading industry trends.
Bricks and clicks: On top of its omnichannel retailing practice already in progress, online retailers are exploiting the concept of brick and clicks with increasing frequency. It's a business model in which they integrate both online and offline resources, physical stores and electronic system, for heightened convenience of consumers. For instance, an article searched and ordered online can now be picked from a local branch down the street.
Mobile business: Today a majority of online customers prefer to shop online using their smartphones. They're the most popular hand-held devices powered by advanced apps. They serve as a dominant platform for all kinds of modern shopping activities.
Social networking avenue: Nowadays, e-tailers don't settle for €Likes' and €Comments' but have moved on to actual business transactions in popular social networking sites like Facebook. For example, JCPenney uses Facebook to sell its merchandise. The ROI in such heavily populated sites is evidently high.
Sophisticated customers: Online consumers are becoming increasingly discerning by the day. Well informed and empowered, they know what's best for them and don't let anybody give them short shrift. While buying articles online, they go for the best sites that can be trusted for their quality products and services like free shipping and free returns.
Location targeting: Location-enabled mobile devices are a great opportunity for online retailers to target consumers in selected geographic locations for promotional activities. For this, retailers utilize a consumer's purchase history to reach out to that consumer and others in nearby locations.
Social shopping: It's becoming fashionable to involve your near and dear ones in your shopping activities. Whether it's for advice, consultation, or interactions both pre and post-purchase, collective efforts online are increasing in popularity. Shopping communities and group shopping sites are mushrooming each day. Social shopping seeks to get recommendations from like-minded shoppers.
It's thus absolutely certain that as a niche business online shopping is going in the right direction. It's an unsurpassed virtual experience. It sets the scene for unlimited retail opportunities and possibilities. Now it's immersive shopping that's going to rule the roost.