There’s no arguing that the internet has changed the way we shop forever. In a pre 1990 world, we would only have goods delivered to our door if we’d ordered through a catalogue. Nowadays, we expect pretty much everything to be delivered to us.
It’s apps though that have really created the biggest breakthrough in online shopping. Here’s some of the ways that it’s changed the way we shop for good.
We can compare prices in store
Almost all of us have walked around a store and on finding something we liked, looked it up online. Bargain hunters can use this tactic to get the best price on the items they want to buy, all without actually leaving the store. They can even buy the product through the app if they’ve decided that app has the best value. It’s almost instant and takes a lot of the legwork out of price research.
‘Bricks and click’ is now a successful business model
‘Bricks and clicks’ stores are those that allow you to pre order your items online before coming into the store itself to collect them. Some stores, such as Argos, have simply adapted their already successful system to include online ordering. Others, such as fashion retailer Next, have incorporated the ‘Bricks and clicks’ model into their everyday workings. The USA are leading the way in adopting the business model, with time in the apps of such stores up by 40%.
We can use apps to find our way around a store and check stock
Nearly every store you can think of has their own app, and they’re turning out to be useful even while you’re in the physical building. Stores in the US are leading the way here, offering customers ‘in store modes’ that help them find their way around. On a recent visit to the US, we found that most stores, especially big box stores like Walmart and Target, had their own wifi networks for customers to use.
Several stores have found that the most visited sites on their networks are their own websites. Stores like Kohl’s are now taking advantage by creating ‘personal assistant’ style apps that can show customers around, check stock for them, and more.
Apps help you get instant feedback on purchases
This is more of a side benefit, but it’s one that we’ve all used at one point. Imagine you’re looking to buy somebody a gift. Maybe you’ve seen something in a store, and you’re not sure whether it’s something they’d want. You can jump on the Amazon wishlist of that person and see if it’s there. You can even take a photo and send it to someone through Facebook Messenger or Whatsapp and get their opinion. It takes a lot of guesswork out of shopping.