Ten years ago the idea of saying “Hey, Google,” into an empty room would have seemed like madness. Eight years ago, asking “Siri” a question would have seemed as pointless as locking your home with a telephone. Now, all of the above are commonplace, and Gen Z will never know a world that isn’t powered by Alexa. So, are we where we are going to be for the next few years? Is tech taking a much-needed breather after the exertions of the last few years? Not a chance! Major growth in online shopping is predicted for 2019, among other changes. Money Examiners expects to see major growth online one year from today.
Big Box Retail Stumbling
Perhaps the online shopping development most on our mind for next year will come from the death spiral of big-box retail stores that failed to adapt to the new economy.
At the turn of the century, Toys “R” Us and Sears drew a large percentage of retail traffic to the mall. Now, the former is dead, and the latter is headed that way. Not coincidentally the malls that called these stores “anchor” are adrift.
Toys “R” Us died first, but Geoffrey’s store wasn’t alone in facing challenges. Best Buy will close stores next year, and the year after. Last spring, Sam’s Club shuttered stores without warning the folks scheduled to work that day. Bon-Ton Stores liquidated its stores earlier this year. Expect more traditional stores to follow suit in the next twelve months. These are big-name retailers, and they are in distress.
Social Media-Driven Purchases
There are 214 million social network accounts in the United States alone. Despite social media’s saturation into the American consciousness, most social media users are not yet pressing “buy” from ads on their feeds.
That may change as early as spring of next year. The catalyst leading to online shopping via social will be loading your payment source to your Snapchat or Instagram account. This day is coming, friends, and it will be a game-changer. Social media is all about impulse (or haven’t you ever posted in haste and regretted it for the rest of the day?) and one-button pay terminals through Amazon Pay, Venmo, and PayPal is impulse personified.
The Rise Of the Voice Assistants
I hope you said that like video game bosses say it, with thunder voices that compensate for personal shortcomings. So far, Millennials and Gen Z’ers occupy the shining light of online shopping, but older people eventually catch on to the new tech. When they do, they will discover that speaking hurts arthritic and carpal tunneled hands less than writing the order out. At that point, watch out, because Baby Boomers still populate the planet!
Explosion Of Online Groceries Purchases
You know, Amazon didn’t purchase Whole Foods to get a good buy on quinoa and kale. It was a strategic decision, based on Amazon’s prescience into booming grocery e-commerce and online shopping. There is little doubt that click-and-collect is going through the roof in 2019, as Target and Amazon take dead aim at Wal-Mart’s early lead in bringing selected-by-the grocer orders to the car.
Those are Money Examiners predictions for 2019, but we know our limitations. Every year, just like you, we look back at the year just past and say, “Didn’t see that coming.” When we are surprised, you will know about it first.