Consumers are increasingly comfortable using the internet to order goods for parcel delivery services as online shopping becomes a more natural and engrained activity, according to an ecommerce expert.
Andy Mulcahy, head of communications at e-retail industry body IMRG, argued that people are becoming used to ecommerce, no longer seeing it as an alternative to high street shopping but treating it as an extension to traditional bricks-and-mortar stores.
He added that using the web to research products and consider the value offered by alternative outlets is another aspect of ecommerce which has become second nature to many consumers.
"It is now very common for people to perform at least some kind of product research or comparison online before making an offline purchase decision," said Mr Mulachy.
The pervasive popularity of this process is making shopping online an increasingly "naturalised" activity for the majority of consumers, according to the IMRG chief.
Retailers are attempting to take advantage of this by stressing the social elements of online shopping through a variety of f-commerce techniques aimed at mirroring the offline experience of talking to shop assistants or friends, Mr Mulachy suggested.
"In short, the online marketplace is becoming more like [an actual] 'marketplace', providing a far more interactive and social experience for the consumer," concluded the ecommerce expert.
Writing for Econsultancy, ecommerce expert and blogger Graham Charlton recently stressed the role brand engagement through f-commerce can play in driving traffic for retailers, although he also pointed out that it can often be difficult to monetise these new hits.
He concluded that despite the issues with usability and convincing consumers to buy goods over social media channels, retailers need to attempt to engage with Facebook and other sites in a bid to improve their f-commerce offering in order for it to be a success.
Author: Paul Burn