The Future And Online Shopping


Jaden Raney, Messenger Reporter

Amazon, eBay, Etsy… if you have had access to the internet at some point you have surely heard these names. E-commerce sites have been around since the early nineties, but they have taken the world by storm in recent years. Is this because we cannot seem to find the time in our busy schedules to venture to a shopping mall? Or perhaps we just find a thrill in online sales and the efficiency of being able to add items to a cart with the click of a button. Whatever your reasoning is, you and your family members have probably purchased something online before. This is a wonderful thing, but may also be what is causing businesses to, well, go out of business.


Consumers in America have adapted to the convenience of online shopping and even admit to buying their groceries online. Services such as Postmates enable customers to buy food and have it hand-delivered to them in minutes. Not only do people find shopping online convenient, but they may also find there is more variety. Clothing companies that have online stores often have a wider selection than what you’d find in the store, including online exclusives.


There are a lot of humorous claims that “Millennials are ruining businesses” due to their online shopping habits and coincidental lack of visiting certain department stores. Major retailers such as J.C. Penney’s, Macy’s, and Sears have closed down hundreds of stores across the nation in just the past few years. You may have noticed the “store closing” sign at KMart in Paducah. Even companies such as Toys R’Us will be closing down all stores in the US. However, this cannot be entirely blamed on Amazon. Places such as Walmart also contributed to the unfortunate bankruptcy of the children’s toy store. (Aisles of toys, in the same store as all of the grocery goods for the parents.) While online shopping may be a factor for the end of major retailers, it usually not the only cause. Stores in which you can get more than one task complete at once will usually attract more customers than stores that sell a specific type of product.


But what really draws people to buy their goods on e-commerce sites? The selection of these sites has been discussed, but the main thing that causes people to purchase mass amounts of goods is the prices. Despite sometimes having to pay to ship, some find it more worthwhile to purchase what they need and have it delivered to them. People don’t want to spend large amounts of their money on goods. A recent survey by Eventbrite has shown that millennials would like to spend more of their money on experiences rather than material items. The efficiency and cost of buying things online leave more time for experiences and being able to be on-the-go.  


As much attention is brought to e-commerce and its impact on the future of shopping, it doesn’t seem to be fading away anytime soon. There are over 300 million Amazon users and over 30 million monthly users. Though it may be part of the reason why major retailers are closing down stores, it is not the only one. So for those of you who favor buying your clothing or electronics on the web, don’t feel guilty. Because many others do too. Judging by the recent years, it would not be surprising if more people switched to the web as their only form of shopping in the near future. It is now easier than ever to buy your spring wardrobe with a few clicks, and even easier than ever to sell your unwanted items, too. As to what we can look out for in the days to come? Hopefully, more of our beloved stores won’t close down, but to help this problem, maybe use the gift card your family member purchased as the birthday present that you forgot you had. Or keep a balance between e-shopping and going to your favorite stores.