How e-commerce is changing people’s shopping habits


Even though e-commerce has been around for a long time only 5% of all goods produced are bought online. But e-commerce is still growing. It is breaking into traditional markets more than ever before. Not just books, CDs and holiday trips are bought online, but all sort of other products and services that were unimaginable in the past. Today, more and more online shops get their customers from social networks like Facebook and mobile phones.

In the past going shopping was fun, something that you did with your friends or relatives. It was a social event. Today, Facebook and other social media networks are the driving force behind online shopping. Companies target potential customers and online communities. If they advertise their brands and products in the right way people will talk about them, and news spreads throughout the online world much quicker than in the real world.


Over 75% of all customers buy products after they have read reviews about them on the Internet. They ask their friends about quality and design of certain products. An American-based cosmetics company, for example, has asked female customers to exchange beauty tips via the Internet.

Companies also encourage online shoppers to play games that focus around their products. A British based firm lets users play a game with play money in which they can go and buy virtual versions of products and have their friends comment on them.


The new smartphone generation is likely to have an even greater impact on online shopping. While in a real store, customers often get reviews and price comparisons directly on their mobile. In many cases, when they see something they want to buy they leave the shop and buy online or go to a nearby place where they get it for a lower price. There are even apps which show you if there is a certain product on sale within a short distance of your location.

E-commerce is only at the beginning, with many more new shopping experiences to come.




Related Topics



  • advertise = to tell the public about your products or services
  • app = computer program that works on your mobile phone
  • based = here: the country it comes from
  • brand = type of product made by a company
  • break into = here: to become a part of the market
  • certain = special
  • comparison = to find out how cheap products are
  • costumer = person who buys a product
  • distance = space
  • e-commerce = buying and selling products and services over the Internet
  • encourage = to talk someone into doing something
  • exchange = swap, trade
  • experience = the way you feel something
  • female = woman
  • firm = company
  • focus = center
  • force = power
  • goods = products
  • mobile phone = small telephone that you always have with you
  • on sale = cheaper than normal
  • online community = place on the Internet where people get together and share their experiences
  • potential = possible; would-be
  • quality = how good something is
  • review = opinion on a product
  • service = work or a job that you do for money
  • smartphone = portable phone that has the functions of a computer
  • social = with friends
  • social media network = websites that allow people to get into contact with each other and share things
  • spread = to move from one place to another
  • target = aim at; try to get
  • traditional =normal; something that has been around for a long time
  • unimaginable = hardly possible
  • via = over
  • virtual = not real