Shopping online: new models and constant changes

Shopping online: new models and constant changes

While this year’s Cyber Monday and Black Friday have just come and gone, Alibaba has turned in a record-breaking Global Shopping Festival when $25.3bn was spent online during the 24-hour show. This no longer surprises anyone, given that 70% of millennials say they would rather shop online than go out to stores. The market is not just a case of giving users a host of experiences, the entire online shopping supply chain, ranging from payment methods to delivery services, is constantly changing. 

Go online to build loyalty

More and more companies are offering customers branded credit cards. Ride-sharing giant Uber is the latest.  American users can order one directly from the Californian company’s online platform since beginning of November.

Sign-up bonus: the Uber card offers a $100 cash reward if $500 is spent on the card over the first 3 months. And the list of perks goes on... Uber has teamed up with Airbnb, who shares the same business culture and values, to offer a 2% discount when booking accommodation with the card. The same preferential treatment is applied to travel reservations, restaurant bills and even Netflix and Spotify subscriptions via Uber Visa. The card targets the life styles of modern urban millennials who often use ride-sharing. While largely following Amazon’s previous branded card initiative, Uber may have found a way to repair its recently tarnished reputation. Having come under fierce competition, the Californian company certainly plans to turn things around by building loyalty. 

The advent of sensory e-commerce 

Haptic technology. You may not yet have heard about what may have a big impact on the future online economy. This latest tech could take the online shopping experience to a whole new level: feeling and touching.  Every other project currently under development, using ultrasonic vibrations or attempting to simulate feeling via electric fields, has only reached prototype stage.

French start-up Hap2U is taking on this promising new market, where this invention could open up massive new online business. Just imagine being able to feel fabric quality before buying a t-shirt or a chair from our tablets!

The Grenoble-based start-up is initially seeking to develop the technology with big firms. Once backed by research and development, the second stage is to reduce size to fit into tablets and smartphones. Given Hap2U attended this year’s Las Vegas CES and managed to raise funds a few months ago, they appear to be well placed to succeed in their venture. 

Bricks & mortar stores serving online shopping!

For a long time we thought the remorseless growth in e-commerce would mean the demise, or at least the start of a decline, in bricks & mortar stores. Not at all! We all buy goods and services more and more often online. We also expect the fastest delivery possible and many consumers cannot stand waiting over 24 hours! Some retailers have noticed this and decided to turn their physical stores into a new asset.

No. 1 Americanretailer Walmart plans to add a brand-new home delivery service to all its nearly 5,000 stores throughout the country. It will ask its store staff to do home deliveries after they finish work on a voluntary basis. The existing chain of hypermarkets and local stores within 12 miles of 90% of the population means store staff can carry out rapid deliveries located on their way home. Meanwhile logistics is getting a revamp and is being made much simpler. Trucks can deliver to the nearest Walmart instead of going to customer homes. As such, the stores will take on a second business activity by becoming a local central warehouse. While still under trial, if it works it will be rolled out nationwide and will prove that bricks & mortar retailing and e-commerce don’t always have to do battle and can actually live in peace together.