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The Rise of Digital Retail and Subscriptions Continue

Posted: June 2, 2021 | Updated: June 2, 2021

Today’s consumers aren’t too concerned about the places they shop. They are more invested in the ways they shop. They are looking for places that are easy to shop at while also being safe and manageable. There’s also a desire for people to want to share what they are doing with others.

The mix of social media and simplicity are two points that will likely influence retail activities. Today’s digital retail industry has more than made itself ready to respond to these newfound desires that customers hold.

Digital retail has never been more essential. Hundreds of millions of Americans are actively buying things online. They’re also looking into subscriptions for recurring payments, including payments for streaming services and other items.

Rising Sales Numbers

Digital retail providers have seen massive sales numbers so far in 2021. The Adobe Digital Economy Index reports that the global digital economy brought in $4.2 trillion in sales during the first four months of 2021. The United States made up close to a quarter of those sales.

These numbers have been rising as businesses are transitioning to digital platforms. People are more likely to stay home and shop from there instead of going out to physical places. Americans spend tens of billions of dollars on digital retail purchases each month.

New Ways How People Can Shop Online

Customers are finding it easier than ever to buy things online. There are many unique ways how people can complete their transactions while online:

  • Customers can browse through virtual storefronts. This point is convenient for online auction or marketplace sites that offer items from multiple sellers.
  • Retailers are starting to focus on particular audiences. These include clothing websites that concentrate on specific people or unique fashion items.
  • Some retailers can also support multiple payment methods. Digital wallet and money transfer systems can work in some cases. Cryptocurrencies may also work at some sites, although most retailers have been reluctant to consider these choices.
  • Augmented reality sales may also rise in popularity. People could use virtual catalogs or other three-dimensional reviews of items to see what’s available. Such reviews are essential for clothes and other fashions.

The assortment of shopping options will likely grow as technology progresses. People are finding some of these at-home sales options more inviting than going to traditional retail sites. The ability of people to do more things while online makes digital shopping inviting for many to explore.

Physical Retailers Adapt

Physical retailers have been adapting to the rise of digital sales by offering a new way for people to purchase products. Customers can go on a website, buy a product online, and then pick it up a few hours later at a local retail store. The process is convenient and safe, plus it can help customers save money on shipping costs in some situations.

This adaptation shows how digital retail is changing the industry. Even physical sites recognize the general value of online sales.

Subscriptions Are More Prominent

Digital customers have been using subscription-based services more than ever these days. These include many things that people pay for each month.

Streaming services are among the most prominent things people subscribe to each month. People can make recurring digital payments to these providers to remain members. They can go to their accounts and adjust how they will pay for services.

But the subscription-based market has been growing to where more items are available through recurring payments. The case of Blue Bottle Coffee is one example to explore. The company has seen a rise in its subscriber base in the past few years. Blue Bottle sells premium coffee grounds by delivering them to customers every few weeks. Customers have developed great relationships with Blue Bottle, as they are always looking forward to the latest shipments. Blue Bottle has grown in prominence to where it has a couple of physical cafes in a few international markets.

Social Media Makes An Impact

Businesses have long used traditional advertising methods to highlight their wares and explain what makes their businesses interesting. But customers are flocking to other places to learn about where they should shop. Specifically, they’re heading to social media.

Customers are looking for brands on social media platforms more than ever. People in the coveted 18-34 market are more likely to use social media to find new brands.

These customers also want to buy products through social media. They would use direct checkout solutions on Facebook, Instagram, and various other platforms if they were available.

Simplicity Is Critical

People also want to simplify their shopping experiences. They want to complete their transactions in as little time as possible.

Part of why subscription-based processes are convenient comes from how simple they are. People can automatically pay for what they purchase there.

Meanwhile, customers often abandon their shopping carts if there are too many steps towards purchasing items. People might not want to create accounts with websites, nor do they feel comfortable with some of the expenses or advertisements they might run into when buying something. Simplicity will be critical in ensuring people can complete their transactions well.

What About Influencers?

Digital retail and subscriptions are also growing thanks to influencers. Influencers are people on social media platforms that promote different brands or retailers. Customers are willing to subscribe to services or buy things from websites if they notice trusted online personalities support these places.

Retailers will need to work with influencers and have them promote products. Given how many influencers can have hundreds of thousands of followers on social media, the potential reach for such messages could be significant.

An Exciting Future

Digital retail transactions are rising in prominence. Subscription-based services are also becoming more popular. The online retail world is growing in many ways and will continue to be worth watching, especially as more retailers focus on their online efforts. Even the most prominent physical retailers will likely flock towards supporting more digital sales soon.

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