eCommerce is now so well integrated into the purchasing habits of the general populace that some trends seem to be moving in the direction of transforming the shopping experience of the walk-in buyer to more closely mirror that which they enjoy online. Companies at the forefront of this movement such as Nordstrom and the Chicago based pop up shop IRL carry no stock but aim to provide customers with a buying journey that generates orders. The key term for the future growth of any online sales team here is the buying journey, the experience that encourages the interested browser to become the purchaser. Whilst these companies are not based in the UK, it is an interesting concept that has the overtones of a new incarnation of Argos.
Whether this approach will catch on and lead to a kind of halfway house shopping experience that is neither wholly online nor high street store remains to be seen, but it does suggest some interesting logistical questions when you shop on the high street for something that will be delivered to you.
Increasingly, whether engaging in business to business purchasing (B2B) or business to consumer (B2C) the aim is to develop the kind of journey that the consumer will wish to repeat. Even though the purchasing party in these two groups will have different requirements and expectations of the experience, the principle is solid. Give them what they wish for and they will return.
In contrast, there has also been the suggestion that online shopping habits will be encouraged to diversify, the Instagram phenomena may see us able to click on items and purchase directly from the view screen without the need for separate searches. Sites like Pinterest also encourage sales from numerous B2C companies via engagement with their own interface, which is the very model of diversity.
Regardless of which direction our online buying habits ultimately take, the increased activity will undoubtedly result in more work for parcel delivery companies across the globe. An industry which has also moved towards the model of numerous companies in one online shop window.