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DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGIES

by Corie Brown

What I personally think is one of the biggest breakthroughs in our generation is online shopping or E-commerce, to be more specific. Being able to shop online is a technical innovation nobody would have thought would happen about 30 years ago. The fact that you can order clothes, shoes, appliances, and even a whole mattress online and have it shipped to your door within 3-5 business days is definitely a technological innovation that has not only shaken up the way we live our lives, but has completely flipped the market as we speak.  69% percent of Americans have purchased at least one thing online in 2018. World-wide, China is number one in terms of having the largest E-commerce market in the world with the U.S. coming in second.

One of the main attributors to this new online shopping era is Amazon. Amazon has had one of their biggest sales of the year, “Prime Day”. With this, it is a Black Friday sale in the middle of summer where thousands of products are on sale. Just from this Prime Day sale, they accumulated over 5.8 billion dollars in sales. Amazon has proven itself to being a gateway for hundreds of companies and vendors able to sell services and items like electronics, groceries, clothes, books, music, etc. Amazon alone makes up 54% of the online shopping traffic compared to the other retailers that make up the remaining 46%. With Amazon creating a huge influence to the online market, it definitely enhances the customer’s experience of convenience and quality products (for the most part) at the tip of your fingers.

Now as far as positives, Amazon and other online retailers has made shopping for anything you can possibly think of available to anyone. With the feature of Amazon Prime, you are able to have items shipped to you within 2 days for free. The convenience and usability of Amazon Prime and other online retailers can be useful for people who may not have stores that carry the desired item or for people who need express shipping for that particular. With a survey conducted by NPR, one of the contributing factors of E-commerce is speed, physically getting to a store, and availability. While all this does seem great, there are also a couple of downsides to this way of life. One of those is that it runs most brick-and-mortar companies out of business. For example, Sears has been a victim that has unfortunately had to close down several shops across the country due to being over-shadowed by the impossible competition of Amazon.

Some also say that online shopping could be changing the overall shopping experience all together. With the heavy focus on capitalism in the U.S. and buying the cheapest and receiving it in the shortest amount of time, most feel that it takes away from the basic human interactions that physical stores offer. E-commerce has served as a new essential for society today and has impacted how companies and retailers have a new approach on commercialism. If about 39% of people prefer purchasing through different online outlets, then it won’t be long until online shopping will become the norm of consumerism versus venturing out to different establishments. If balance can be maintained between the two, then people can embrace the diverse shopping experiences that online shopping and physical stores offer.

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