Consumers Turning More And More To Online Shopping

Consumer habits go through shifts and trends. One recent big trend in such habits has been the growth in consumers turning to online shopping.

The big role that online shopping has come to play in the retail marketplace can be seen in a recent survey. The survey, an annual one done by UPS, asked various individuals about their shopping habits. Based on the survey’s results, the survey found that, when it comes to non-grocery purchases, online shopping made up 51 percent of purchases, while in-store purchases made up 49 percent of purchases. While online purchases’ edge over in-store purchases in the survey is a small one, it is notable as it is the first time in this annual survey that in-store purchases have been outnumbered by online purchases.

The survey further concluded that only 20 percent of consumers still rely solely on in-store shopping for their product research and purchases, with the rest either solely turning to online shopping for this or splitting their time between online and in-store shopping.

One thing it is important to note about the respondents in this survey is that making two or more purchases online in the prior three-month period was a qualification requirement for being a respondent. So, the survey’s results could possibly be under-representing in-store purchases.

Despite this caveat, the survey does still serve as a reminder of how much the consumer shopping habits landscape has changed since the introduction of online shopping.

Now, changes in consumer habits, like the big shift towards online shopping, can pose challenges for retail business owners. This includes challenges with adjusting their business’ strategies and practices to adapt to the changed habits. So, when it comes to the growth of online shopping, it can be important for a business owner to think carefully about what ways of adjusting to this shift would best serve their business’ goals and interests.

Also, changes in consumer habits can sometimes end up raising some unique legal issues for a business. Adapting to such habit changes can involve a business reaching out into some new areas in its practices and operations. Sometimes, in connection to such reaching out, legal matters or disputes end up arising that the business has never encountered before. Business lawyers can give representation and guidance to businesses owners that are facing online-shopping-related legal matters or disputes.

Source: Fox Business, “Online Shopping Surpasses In-Store,” June 15, 2016

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