Shift in consumer habits towards the internet

In a Fox article, a market-research firm reports that big-box retailers in the US are having a hard time competing with the internet. Big-box retailers are stores like Circuit City, Best Buy, and Comp USA.  According to the author,

“Today’s consumers are even willing to browse for a book in a local store then order it from Amazon at a higher price simply because they want Amazon to understand their entire library, to optimize future recommendations. This is more than ‘showrooming’ – this signals a fundamental shift in consumer perception of value.”

This shift is largely due to the interactivity of the internet. Consumers can compare prices, look over huge selections of online products, read peer reviews and recommendations. Also, with the high price of gasoline in the US, free home delivery is very attractive.

This places the potential shopper in the comfort of their own home to look for products, compare prices, and make evaluations – even in the middle of the night.

The key is the interaction: providing customers a rich experience with minimal user-interface problems. Designing for the web needs to focus on creating engaging, interactive experiences.


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