The future of shopping and leisure is online
Shopping for day-to-day items has been gradually moving towards the online sphere for a while now and has become ubiquitous due to the coronavirus. With a heavier reliance on the need to access goods without leaving the home, even more shopping and leisure sectors have moved online, making it easy and convenient to browse, try and purchase nearly anything via the internet. With fewer overheads for the company to cover, the savings are passed on to the buyer, making products cheaper. Whether it’s bookshops, fast fashion, groceries, games, furniture or even hardware, there’s an e-shop or online service for nearly anything. Here’s a list of shopping sectors to keep an eye on for shopping on the web.
For bookworms, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of browsing a bookshop in person. They’re peaceful, calming and relaxing. However, there are so many fantastic online bookshops nowadays that if going to a physical store isn’t possible, it needn’t be an issue. It’s not necessary to use Amazon and there are also loads of second-hand bookshops for those who aren’t bothered about buying brand new books. World of Books is a fantastic second-hand online bookshop that sells inexpensive titles and has loads of deals for buying bundles.
Fast fashion has grown massively in popularity over the last few years. With big companies such as Pretty Little Thing, boohoo and Missguided not having any actual physical shops, their online clothes stores are extremely inexpensive. It has become a lot easier to stay on trend and it’s also a great solution for those who hate shopping in busy high streets and malls.
Another industry that has become very common online is gaming. There is a whole range of websites on which to play or to buy video games – both second-hand and brand new – making it quick and easy to have fun without having to leave the house. This is great for gamers who have their eyes on new releases, as it’s possible to pre-order and ensure a copy will be delivered on the day of release –no more queueing up outside a shop in the rain to get a copy of the latest GTA or FIFA. And no more nights out to play games that can now be accessed fully online, including the likes of Monopoly and the opportunity to test your gambling skills on sites such as SkyCity Online Casino.
Grocery shopping online has been around for a while, with the big UK supermarkets offering home deliveries, but there has been a boom in this sector in terms of niche products and specific requirements. There are now websites that will allow you to select products from local, ethnic and organic shops and they will be delivered straight to your home. Some even use bicycles, so that the deliveries are carbon neutral.
Even DIY/hardware shops have seen the need to move online and this is a sector that has followed the growing trend. It’s now possible to order anything from sheds, fence panels, paint, garden furniture, cement, timber and kitchens from hardware stores. Shops such as Wickes and Homebase are great for this and have made those dreaded trips so much more convenient. There are also click-and-collect options to save on delivery of larger items.
Another sector that has seen the benefits of going online is home furniture. There are now so many places to choose from that sell really beautiful, high-quality stuff. There are the obvious choices, such as IKEA, but there are also companies like Made.com that sell everything from furniture to bedding, lighting and home accessories. They all have great pictures of what an item looks like in a well-decorated home, so it’s just like going to a shop in person, but with less hassle. It has made shopping for furniture much more accessible and straightforward, especially for those who don’t drive or own a car.
In addition to some of the second-hand shops mentioned above, there are entire websites and apps dedicated to people reselling their clothes and belongings online. Not only is this great for the environment as it keeps items in circulation and away from landfill, it also means things are able to be sold very cheaply. It also makes it easy to declutter the home. Websites such as ebay and depop are perfect for this, especially when charity shops are closed.
A sector that has become much more common to use online rather than in person is travel and tourism. It’s so easy and convenient to compare flight times, prices and holiday packages on the internet. It also means last-minute and spontaneous travel is possible. This is an industry that will see an inevitable boom when lockdown lifts and travel abroad is given the go-ahead.
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