Five Things You Need To Know to Prep for the Future of E-Commerce

Despite the presence of well-established online retail giants like Amazon and Zappos, the e-commerce world is a still rapidly shifting and developing space. In many ways, brands and consumers alike are still catching up with the potential that the technology available to them allows. Here we’ll take you through five of the big things that could change the e-commerce game.

1. The Fight Against Showrooming:

This March, a specialty food store in Brisbane, Australia gained international notoriety for posting a sign in their store announcing that visitors would be charged a five-dollar fee for browsing without buying. Why? To combat showrooming, the practice of looking at products in-store to then purchase for less online. According to Adweek, 60 percent of consumers are intentionally showrooming and less than ten percent of consumers are buying from the same website as the store they are using to showroom. For digital natives (i.e. Millennials) that number drops to less than five percent. The browsing fee plan of the Australian store may have been misguided (charging people to browse your goods is not a permanent solution to the problem if you want to keep people coming to your store), but the fact remains that big-box and small business retailers alike are trying to combat showrooming. Best Buy says that the practice is “now dead to [them]’ thanks to year-round price matching policies, a method which Target has also adopted. Brick and mortar isn’t going anywhere, but it is certainly going to have to adapt to a world where buying online is starting to make more sense to many buyers. Which brings us to…

2. A Mobile App Revolution:
More and more of e-commerce will be going mobile. A recent study from comScore also found that 86 million Americans are using their smartphones to shop…


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The Newsfeed

"I play [games] constantly until 4 in the morning. When I’m not on my game I’m checking my phone. And the whole time I’m doing all of that my desktop is on the internet.”—Male, 22, OH

Twitch is airing every episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, in celebration of the late Fred Rogers’ 90th birthday and the show’s 50th anniversary. The esports streaming service is expanding to nostalgia entertainment (which young viewers can’t get enough of), but they have a unique twist. The show will be available for co-viewing, with popular Twitch streamers chiming in from time to time. (Mashable)

Over one-third of 18-34-year-olds have stopped using a brand after hearing negative news about them, more than any other generation. Among the brands that most consumers said they gave up on were Wells Fargo, Target, Papa John’s, and Uber. However, Critical Mix and kNOW also found that young consumers are more willing to forgive a brand for bad press: While only 30% of consumers overall would use a brand again after a scandal, 41% of 25-34-year-olds would. (MediaPost)

Alamo Drafthouse is bringing back VHS—offering free rentals for Millennials that wax nostalgic for analog products. Their first store, Video Vortex, is opening in North Carolina. Not only are they “fostering a movie-loving community” with the extensive gratis collection of 75,000 titles, but they’re making money off of the added “beer, food, and merchandise.” No VHS player? No problem. They’re renting those as well. (BoingBoingEW)

Researchers were surprised to find Gen Z students were “relieved” to ditch their smartphones for a few weeks. Screen Education’s study of 62 12-16-year-olds found that 92% thought “it was beneficial” to disconnect from their smartphones while they were at camp. And even though 41% admitted they felt frustrated at times, 35% were able to cut down their use after camp and 17% convinced a friend to curb their time spent on smartphones, too. (PR Newswire)

Beauty brands love augmented reality, but an app can’t replace in-store experience. Not only did Ypulse found time and again that young consumers expect Experiencification and flock to marketing activations (like pop-ups), but brick-and-mortar locations build loyalty. People think they’re scamming Sephora when they re-do their makeup gratis, but that time-spent-in-store is really “turning the ‘scammers’ into buyers.” (Quartzy)

"I love my smart phone. It is just like my best friend [and] I just can't do without my smartphone...”—Male, 27, CA

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