With predictions that more than half the world now uses a smartphone and more than half of the world’s web traffic – when paired with the development of increasing coverage from super reliable internet connections – is now created via mobile devices, it is unavoidably undeniable that the convenience of ‘online’ has swiftly become increasingly addictive.
Western Europe is thought to have one of the biggest B2C e-commerce markets in the world; in addition to this, it is predicted that more than 90% of the world’s internet connect to their online worlds via a mobile device. Without assuming a direct correlation, it seems safe to garner that the better quality the internet connection, predictably, the more time is spent online; proof of the speed at which digital connectivity is continually impacting upon people’s lives around the globe.
The act of browsing online on a mobile device, doesn’t directly correlate to a purchase being made; what with the endless possibilities that the beast that is the internet offers; at risk of sounding like we are all suffering an existential crisis, browsing can be classified as a form of ‘entertainment’. Yet unavoidably, as the number of online consumers continues to grow year on year; an increasing number of us are developing a deepening dependence on the delights of e-commerce.
In response to this rapid up-rooting to the virtual world, an increasing number of retailers are assuming their online presence. Just as the consumer is perceived to have demanded this customer-centric technological retail experience, the more it seems now, that retailers are making it mandatory for the consumer, to make more purchases within the retailer’s digital domain, as opposed to paying a visit to their physical stores on the high-street. Which is further exacerbated by a growing number of the population who are now more comfortable than ever with online shopping for numerous reasons which include: convenience, speed, choice and price.
Aside the fact that there certainly are stores which have transported themselves from the high-street to the digital age in record time; some may argue, there are certainly also a handful of retailers who have always had an online presence and have indeed managed to monopolise the retailing realm of online purchasing.
Take Amazon for example; the world’s leading e-commerce company.
This consumerism conglomerate is almost defined by its impressive ability to occupy a domineeringly diverse mixture of sectors, providing everything from clothes and technology, to cosmetics and fresh food, not forgetting their dedicated ‘Prime’ delivery service, which further enables them to unashamedly dominate the e-commerce arena.
The way that Amazon works, almost plays on consumers’ weaknesses. Amazon seemingly takes advantage of our lack of time, our suppressed budgets and our lack of independent thought. Whilst we cannot condemn all online shopping as an all-consuming activity; Amazon definitely makes ‘shopping’ overtly easy, holding the consumer firmly within its grasp, the perfect accomplice to our constant browsing and purchasing of items, needed or not, from the comfort of our sofas, beds and desks; with the added bonus of ultra-fast delivery thrown into the mix.
At times, it seems that there is nearly no greater pleasure that can be derived, than from that of online shopping within our modernised digital culture; however, swiftly following this is the downside of e-commerce…let’s just say that there has never been a better time in which to purchase items that you have never actually seen and don’t really need, in double-quick time.
Yet we return time and time again, because Amazon never fails to deliver, providing us creatures of comfort with endless ease of access to purchase anything, at anytime from anywhere.
Being so dependent on e-commerce, it sometimes seems that we simply cannot (or will not) imagine a world where Amazon, or any form of online shopping for that matter, ceases to exist.
With Amazon appearing in the news, it seems that our fears have been quashed, setting up new warehouses and distribution centres internationally – in the UK and USA to name but a few, it is safe to say that the comforter which is Amazon is here to stay, so we won’t have to ponder what a life void of the effective and efficient e-commerce which we have grown so accustomed to, would look like; at least not in the immediate future…