In hindsight, it should be no surprise that most shopping has moved over to online shopping now. Even ‘big’ sales days like Black Friday are seeing a surge in online sales rather than people actually hitting the high street. Online shopping not only tends to give people an opportunity to get better deals, but it also lets people shop without the hassle of crowds. With so many easy ways to pay online now assisting the surge, it looks like there will be plenty of online shopping trends for 2016. Not only will current trends be continuing, but the changing economy after the EU referendum look to shape the way we shop in the future.
More last minute holidays being booked
Although booking holidays online is in general very popular, 2017 looks set to be the year that last minute bookings increase in popularity. There are a number of factors that make it beneficial to the consumer to book last minute. Globally, there are a lot of concerns around safety, and due to the economy being a bit tighter, not a lot of insurance companies will now cover holiday cancellations over safety concerns. While the foreign office is good at keeping up to date with safety concerns in different areas, this would not help if something happened out of the blue and customers wanted to cancel their holidays. Another thing that tempts people towards last minute deals are the prices – and for cheap flights, with Ryanair perhaps. Due to Brexit, it looks likely air fares will go up, so grabbing a last minute deal may be the only way some families can afford holidays – so if you need to go abroad, maybe give Tripadvisor a check to make sure that you’re getting value for money.
People will be shopping for quality, not price
Surprisingly, economic down turn does not always mean that people shop for the cheapest products. Instead, they look for the quality in products they are going to buy. This helps buyers to see the product they are buying as more of an investment than a purchase. Over the last five years, luxury brands have done surprisingly well compared to their cheaper counter parts.
When people buy a product now, and have to part with their hard earned cash, it goes without saying they want their moneys worth. This is the same for the quality of services. The internet has been a wonderful tool to help people see reviews and shop around. As the saying goes ‘if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys’ – as many a cheap eBay user may be able to attest.
People shopping online have the added luxury that a lot of websites offer, which is having the reviews right there on the website. This means they can easily investigate the quality of the product before purchasing – Missguided and ASOS have been leaders in this.
There will be an online shopping trend for experiences as well as products
One of the first rules of marketing is that you sell an ‘experience’ or a ‘feeling’ as opposed to an item. For online retailers, it can be difficult for them to get online shoppers to under stand the ‘feel’ of the product. A lot of stores, especially tech stores like Apple, offer an in store experience which cannot be created online. AirBNB recently announced that they will be providing their service, but for experiences with locals – others will be following suit.
To try and substitute this in store experience, online shopping websites have decided to play catch up, and many of them have started to add personalised little add on’s that make the experience more interactive. Companies that are solely online retailers have been in on this trend for a while, and you may notice when you log on to your favourite online shopping website you get ‘suggested items’ – this is true of places like Groupon, especially.
Now this has been identified as something that not only draws in, but keeps customers, other companies are adapting it to their niche. You will find that a lot of online hair and beauty retailers now offer you the chance to make your own beauty ‘profile’ which they will then match to products that can specifically help your needs. Avon do this a lot, for example.
Online subscription boxes are going to become a ‘thing’
Beauty boxes have gained traction and popularity in the last year, largely made popular by bloggers and youtubers. The basic premise is you spend a set price each month, the subscription price, and then you get a certain amount of different items in each box. For the consumer, this means you get a great selection of products that are worth more than you pay and that you may not try on your own, and for brands this means they get their product out to a large number of customers in one hit.
Now that they have gained popularity in the beauty sector, subscription boxes are spreading through the online shopping market quickly. Certain niche boxes like vegan boxes or gluten free boxes are doing really well, and it is likely that other companies and brands are going to start catching on to this one in a big way in 2017. Companies that offer toys are already taking off – a problem for traditional outlets like Currys, Tesco and Argos.