The Internet constantly changes the way we shop and the way merchants offer their merchandise—it’s difficult for both sides to keep up. Trends pop up only to disappear almost as quickly as they came. Before this latest crop of trends ducks back into their respective holes, let’s examine just how they’re impacting the great American past times of shopping and selling.
There are some things you just don’t want to buy without physically seeing them. You can’t determine the clarity of a big screen TV on the Internet, and you just have to hop on a bicycle to know how it’s going to suit your needs. That’s why more stores are seeing customers pop in for a test drive, then whipping out their smartphones to order online—a method dubbed “showrooming.” The Wall Street Journal discusses how retailers can circumvent this trend, and cites Target’s push to have suppliers provide them with exclusive products.
2. In-Store Pickup
Free shipping is so 10 minutes ago. The hot, new trend for major merchants is to provide in-store pickup of orders placed online. You save shipping and they lure you into their brick-and-mortar locations to, hopefully, spend more money.
3. Alternative Gift Registries
As more Americans put off marriage until their early 30s, traditional wedding registries are losing out to alternative sites. These days, you can register for a honeymoon, charitable donations, and even request contributions toward stock. Another popular wedding gift registry is CardAvenue, where couples request gift cards to pay for larger purchases and everyday expenses.
4. International Shipping
They may call it “free delivery” instead of “free shipping” in the United Kingdom, but it all adds up to the same thing. In order to attract the highly desirable American market, more foreign e-retailers are offering reduced or free shipping to shoppers in the U.S.
5. Increased China Exports
Chinese parents believe babies born in the Year of the Dragon are slotted for success, which means a sizeable baby boom for China. According to a recent newscast on CBS News, parents-to-be increasingly turn to American-brand baby supplies, trusting exports over domestic products that have recently experienced recalls.
Andrea Woroch is a nationally-recognized consumer and money-saving expert who helps consumers live on less without radically changing their lifestyles. From smart spending tips to personal finance advice, Woroch transforms everyday consumers into savvy shoppers. She has been featured among top news outlets such as Good Morning America, NBC’s The Today Show, MSNBC, New York Times, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, CNNMoney, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter (@AndreaWoroch) for daily savings advice and tips.