On­line shop­ping made easy

ArabAd - - COVER STORY -

Across the globe, shop­pers are in­creas­ingly turn­ing to the web to buy the things they need. On­line shop­ping of­fers cer­tain con­ve­niences—from de­liv­er­ing your or­der right to your door to broad se­lec­tion and low prices—that brickand-mor­tar stores can't. But for cer­tain cat­e­gories, tra­di­tional re­tail stores still hold the cards.

The most pop­u­lar e-com­merce cat­e­gories, not sur­pris­ingly, are non-con­sum­able—durables and en­ter­tain­ment-re­lated prod­ucts. Almost half of global re­spon­dents in an on­line sur­vey in­tend to pur­chase cloth­ing or make air­line or ho­tel reser­va­tions us­ing an on­line de­vice in the next six months. On the other hand the on­line mar­ket for buy­ing gro­ceries and other con­sum­able prod­ucts is com­par­a­tively smaller. The hands-on buy­ing na­ture and per­isha­bil­ity of th­ese goods lim­its the use­ful­ness and prac­ti­cal­ity of buy­ing on­line.

Nev­er­the­less, the global au­di­ence is will­ing and ea­ger to shop the web. On­line pur­chase in­ten­tion rates have dou­bled in three years for 12 of 22 mea­sured cat­e­gories. While con­sum­able cat­e­gories will con­tinue to trail non­con­sum­able ones, the fre­quency of pur­chas­ing th­ese prod­ucts is in­creas­ing e-com­merce's ap­peal. And be­yond buy­ing, dig­i­tal is an in­creas­ingly im­por­tant re­search and en­gage­ment plat­form.

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