Business Ecommerce Technology

How has the Internet Changed Shopping?

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The internet has changed shopping in so many ways, it’s almost impossible to name them all. The digital era has been a landmark era for so many different reasons. If you asked people to name one, it is likely that they would say shopping! Read our article to find out why. Maybe you’ll see yourself in this article!

Online Shopping 2020

How could any article talk about how the internet has changed shopping miss this topic? Online shopping has experienced a huge boom this year, and we all know why. The pandemic, and the associated quarantine, made it impossible to shop any other way!

The need for online shopping in 2020 saw many shops scrambling to create the online presence they needed. Already established online shops saw huge increases in their customer metrics.

The need to move to quarantine in a short time has had some amazing side effects. Ikea reported that it had run out of desk chairs, due to so many people ordering them online!

Constant Ad Exposure

The major downside of online shopping is the constant ad exposure. Adverts have always existed in print, on TV, and on the radio. But the internet allows them to be constant. How has the internet changed the world, you ask? By making it that much more annoying to navigate. Adverts are bad enough, but it gets worse. The internet notes your presence by leaving traces of itself on your computer. These traces (called cookies) then act to make sure that you constantly see adverts for things you have been looking at. You have to opt out of receiving them by making sure you don’t receive the cookies.

Online Research

Online research is one area that shows how technology has changed the way we shop. We can now do research on our purchases before we commit to them. We don’t have to settle for what we can get within our area. We can now exercise choice in where we go to buy our products.

Many people do research by looking at review sites. There are many review sites, and all of them have heavy traffic. People leave online reviews about everything under the sun. There have been problems with leaving false reviews. But most of them are fine, and very helpful when doing research!

Minimum time in stores

A lot of people don’t like shopping. That’s okay, and the internet has been a massive help for them. It lets them spend the least time in shops and stores possible. They can do research for what they want online first, or simply stay online entirely, if that is what they want.

Of course, this does raise the problem of how online shopping affects employment. In many cases, it, unfortunately, affects employment negatively. Many shops have elected to go fully online, eliminating the need for shop assistants entirely. Some shops go the other way, however. Many shops hire dedicated staff for their online shop needs. 

Mobile Shopping 

Anybody who has done their research into internet shopping knows that the good sites are all optimized. When the internet was first created, mobile devices did not exist. So websites were only made with computer monitors in mind. Now, of course, we all have mobile devices and we use them every day. So website code has to be changed to accommodate this.

This is what we call website optimization. The websites are coded so that they change to best fit whatever screen they are on. So many people use mobile devices now, including for shopping. The best sites know this and have adjusted.

Consumer Reviews

We all know about products that have changed the world because of consumer reviews. Reviews have always existed, of course, but the internet has given them new life!

There are so many customer review sites that it would be impossible to list them all. Everyone uses them, and this has changed the way people shop. The internet lets people compare and contrast products. Reviews that people leave for those products are a huge factor. People are swayed by what other people say. Good reviews mean good business. Bad reviews will mean the opposite. Consumer reviews mean that shopping will never be the same again for anybody.

Social Media

Social media has definitely had a hand in how the internet has changed shopping. Social media is good for both customers and businesses alike. Go onto Facebook, and your favorite company will likely be there too.

This doesn’t just apply to businesses that only exist online. More and more of the big businesses now have an online presence. They have social media and are interacting with their customers.

Social media also allows customers to interact with each other. This can be to band together to discuss a grievance, or simply to help each other find the best value for their money. Social media gives people a shared space.


Amazon has been with us for a while now. It has really come into its own in the past year, though. It has helped many people discover new talents and hobbies during their quarantine period.

Amazon is almost the Ur-example of what online shopping should be. They have it almost down to a fine art. It’s all very simple and straight-forward. Some of the classifications for their stock are a little strange! Once you work around that, the entire process is very smooth. They have designed an amazing website, and make it so easy to buy what you need from them.

Digital Payments

Digital payments are the only way to make online shopping at all feasible. As more and more people use the internet for this purpose, more and more payment styles become available. People can choose the one they feel most comfortable with. It makes everything a lot easier when you’re online.

There are so many ways to pay online now that even banks are getting in on the action. They make it so that you can quickly and easily transfer money around. Digital payments make things quick and easy for everyone. They can even be taken care of on a mobile device!

We know from this year alone just how much we rely on online shopping. Going back to the way things were would be extremely hard. There are both good and bad points to our use of online shops and sales, but we can only do our best.

About the author


Ben Hadfield

Ben Hadfield is an English copywriter and editor. Ben creates high-quality content that will have an impact on enhancing public relations, employee, dealer communications that are used internally and globally. He creates all in compliance with the law and appropriate legislation or regulations (e.g. copyright and data protection). Ben creates and publishes engaging and creative content for Essay Writing Service and adapted to multiple platforms and tools (e.g. digital, newsletter, magazine, reports, presentations, speeches).