Retail Is Changing: 3 Ways We Are Buying Differently


2019 has brought with it a whirlwind of changes. Businesses that have been around for decades are disappearing. Trends that dominated the 90s and 2000s have begun to sink back to the earth.

The business itself has shifted from in-person mandatory meetings to Skype calls and Slack conversations.

The biggest difference, however, is the noticeable difference in how retailers are operating.

Retail has always been tied to American culture. Ads from the 20s until now are still used to capture the nostalgia and consumer habits of a time that has passed.

Shopping centers, the birthplace of suburban values and culture are no longer the powerful centerpieces they once were.

In this article, we will go over a few of the reasons that this is the case.

There are three reasons that the way we are buying is changing:

– We Rely On Our Phones/Computers
– Companies Are Fighting To Innovate
– Malls/Walmart/Old Trends Are Dying

Digging in, the change in buying population has happened in what seems like the blink of an eye. Whereas traveling salesmen, shopping centers, and mail-order catalogs were the way to buy, in 2019, we rely on our phones and computers for a majority of our purchasing.

Walmart has a fraction of the power that it used to beyond rural/poorer areas. Amazon has become a powerhouse of shipping and fulfillment that brings with it all the trimmings of convenience and diversity of choice all at a fraction of the price of what used to be possible.

The internet of things in retail industry has paved the way for newer ways for shoppers to shop and connect with brands.

Smart shopping means that shoppers are able to use technology to predict, interact, and influence what they buy.

As the industry modernizes, the old guard is being changed out because of their inability to innovate. Examples like Blockbuster become Netflix, Walmart becomes Amazon and more. There is no shortage of examples of businesses that refused to innovate and for that reason, 2019 has been a massive step forward with technology becoming more seamlessly integrated into how we shop.

The reliance on Google for buyer research is one of the biggest alterations as well. Shoppers are more aware of what should happen and what shouldn’t happen during the buying process. They have become more adept at picking out which products are just a waste of money and which are actually worthwhile.

There is a lesson to be learned. The future of buying is in understanding your audience better than they understand themselves and subtly shifting their buying choices toward your ideal situation.

What Does This Mean For The Future?
It means that in all likelihood, we are moving towards drones making most of our home deliveries, and greater automation of the buying and selling process. Soon, designers will work with the data that we offer to develop products perfectly suited for specific people. As 3D printers become more advanced they will also in-home automatic download and fulfillment of products as well.

Inevitably, the line between being sold to and buying will become a bit blurry. But that’s part of the fun.