THE INTERNET IS FOR.... EVERYTHING
First it was information. Then it was communication. In time, e-commerce became the norm. Now, we are sitting in the comforts of our own homes and buying everything from bobble-head figurines to silicon spatulas shaped in the likeness of a certain dark lord.
However, the idea of home shopping isn’t all that new. Before we relied on the click of a mouse or the tap of the finger, we were racking up credit card bills buying dubious products on TV shopping channels. What the internet brought to the table was a social element to shopping. Whether you purchased directly from online malls, blog shops or auction sites, there was a new level of interaction between buyers, sellers and everyone else who wanted to chime in. And the scene continues to evolve.
In this issue, we explore major emerging trends of e-commerce, mainly the introduction of new elements to the online shopping experience such as e-concierge services that don’t just let you shop online, but will go hunt for the things you want and buy them for you, adding a human touch back into a digital service. The booming sharing economy has also become a global phenomenon, blurring the lines between buyer and seller where everyone can choose to sell or rent their own services, as long as there is a demand. You can apparently even rent chickens online now.
And the backbone of this new digital marketplace is the ubiquitous smartphone and a robust app ecosystem. What? You thought I was going to say the internet? The internet gets due recognition of course, but it is the smartphone that allowed us to take the internet with us everywhere we go. It is also the smartphone that pushed UI (User Interface) and UX (User Experience) design, simplifying the way we interact with the internet through apps that make it all possible.