With 2014 coming to a close and a New Year upon us, let’s take a moment to look at the past year’s online shopping developments and try to make some predictions about what shopping online will look like in the coming year. There have been a lot of trends and developments for shoppers looking to snatch up the best deals online and this can point us towards what the future holds for the savviest of online deal hunters.
Mobile Optimization and Payments
Experts are anticipating mobile technology as the medium which will bring the biggest changes to the way people shop around the world. Some reports predict that $120 billion will be spent using mobile devices in 2015. Many online retailers have been quick to respond to these apparent changes in consumer buying habits by making mobile optimized sites which present themselves more clearly on small vertical screens. Expect more online retailers to follow suit in 2015, which means you can shop from wherever you are, at any time of day, whether you are waiting for your car to fill up with gas, or spending some quality time in the bathroom.
Social Network Shopping
In the past year we saw many online retailers take to social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to get the word out about their products like never before. Sure Twitter and Facebook have been used to advertise products and engage with customers for years but 2014 is when we really saw online brands take control of these platforms to give discounts to their followers and engage with them in more sophisticated ways. In 2015, we expect this trend to evolve even further with online retailers giving people the ability to buy their goods right from their social media profiles. Twitter and Facebook have just begun to roll out a “buy” button, which brands can put next to their tweets and posts, so users can make purchases from these brands without even interrupting their newsfeed scrolling.
Browsing Goods Online Will Become More Popular
People have had a habit of window shopping for years, and even as the internet has become a mainstream channel for people to buy almost any good they desire, shoppers have often opted to see a product in person before deciding to buy online. 2014 may have finally been the year at which this behavior falls by the wayside in favor of pure online browsing and shopping. Sites like Youtube and Pinterest are home of the new storefront window displays. Online shoppers can watch videos and see images of products in action, in a natural environment by watching ‘haul’ videos on Youtube or browsing posts on Pinterest. Youtube is also home to countless ‘unboxing’ videos which are popular among early adopters of consumer electronics. Thinkwithgoogle.com states that videos with titles which include the word, ‘haul’ were viewed more than 1.1 billion times and views of such videos are up by 70% in 2014. This trend is expected to continue into 2015 so before you get all bundled up and out to the shopping neighbourhood of your city, do a couple searches on Youtube and Pinterest to see if you can’t find a video or post of what you are looking for.