Amazon introduced Prime in 2005, letting customers pay $79 for a year-long two-day free shipping shopping spree. It changed the entire industry. Prime got people used to buying everyday items like toothpaste and Cocoa Puffs off the internet, and it got people used to window shopping from the comfort of their bed, both of which now are all the norm for online shopping.
Amazon brought together everything into one place, which was convenient, but limited in its personal touch. The online retailer giant was the impetus for that first wave of innovation, and it’s also a big reason for the new look of e-commerce.
You know its coming – you can feel it, hear it, and see it – the low but powerful rumbling of change – the next big wave of innovation in ecommerce.
Buying and selling online has become second nature and a core part of our lives – yet there is fundamental change underway in how people are thinking about ecommerce and how transactions of all kinds should be woven into the fabric of an engaging online user experience.
E-commerce offers a number of conveniences to shoppers: auto-replenishment reduces the need to plan regular purchases for products like diapers, vitamins and diet aids; shipping allows shoppers to never have to make a physical trip, as well as avoid the need to carry home heavy goods such as pet food; and saved shopping lists let consumers shop more quickly for the goods they buy most often.
The rate of price changes online (about weekly) is already significantly more frequent than the rate of price changes in-store.
This revolution is not limited to e-commerce either. The digital revolution led to the rise of cord-cutters, which have sent the television industry in a tail spin. Netflix entered the market, letting people stream movies and TV shows from their home. Now, many cable networks are offering their own streaming services, and user generated content is growing ever more popular on sites like Twitch and YouTube.
As new players enter the e-commerce arena, the available market expands to accommodate them. New consumers are attracted to diverse options and spend more money, and existing markets are made more efficient by the introduction and innovation of technology. Think Amazon’s efforts in drone delivery and 2-hour shipping, as well as its dominant efforts in widely-available cloud computing.
The global village leverages producers and consumers at a global scale – offering the best of convenience and trust in addition to exceptional price and selection, all with enhanced personalization.
As driver-less cars and creepy robot butlers start becoming the norm, don’t expect your online shopping habits to stay the same as the next age of technology approaches.