eCommerce is nothing new to talk about, however, what has changed, or should I say, evolved, is the way we shop. Yes, the Internet married commerce years back, but their union is finally shaping up.
Though I have already expressed my thoughts over how social media is getting integrated in the fashion industry and the emergence of personal shopper aided by Internet, if we look at the whole shopping experience online, a few trends seem to be emerging. It was always about how smart is your website, but it is now also about a smart consumer. Basically, like in real life, the online shopping experience also revolves around words – deals, bargains, groups, sales and innovations.
Talking about innovations, the latest in news is the British apparel brand FCUK which partnered with YouTube to launch YouTique.
Google video hosting in videos to connect with other YouTube videos, linking to an external place is the new thing. YouTique offers users to shop while a stylist talks about what to wear, when. As you click on clothes and accessories worn by each model, you are taken to FCUK’s site for more information and purchasing options. Definitely, the limitation here is the fact that the user is still taken outside the video. However, Google TV might change this as well and who knows we might be shopping straight out of videos.
Offline deals and coupons were always there and now have been taken online. Twitter’s model of offering special deals via its @earlybird account is an outcome of the same. However, even before @earlybird, there have been models like cheaptweet that would find all deals, sales and discounts from the twitter database to let visitors search and save these. 140proof took the same idea and rode on it by providing these deals to Twitter third party apps.
And if deals do not interest you a lot or if you are a coupon person, you have websites like retailmenot, dealcatcher, upto75 which help you save a lot through coupons. The good thing is that most of these models let you use codes of coupons for online shopping and even print for an offline experience.
Times might have changed but all we are doing is learning from the past. Most of us love shopping in groups, we love to take our friends advice, take them along to help us shop.
Group buying as a model is similar and simple: Consumers get together to buy a deal and there are websites like SnapDeal, Grabbon, Mydala which offer discounts on products and services. Of course, the deals are as short as a few hours, but can also last longer.
When it comes to shopping, another space to lookout for is personal shoppers. Everyone wants their wardrobes to be full of designer labels and their homes done in the latest concepts. Well, that is just what a personal shopper can provide for you.
There are two ways to go about it –
Online sample sales are another trend that is doing rounds of internet. Websites like Ideeli, Gilt, Fashion&You not only offer sales but exclusivity as well. There are new sales to catch every day! These models basically work on the three principals of exclusive deals, limited pieces and more potential buyers than products.
Of course, we can’t forget websites like eBay and Amazon that have already marked their space and established themselves. With the vast world of goods becoming so easily accessible globally, it will be interesting to see how fast Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities in India would be reached out to, and converted into loyal, discounts alert shoppers!
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