A couple of nights ago, as I was idly passing time on my phone, I opened up the App Store and proceeded to download four or five new apps. Three of these were shopping-related. When asked if I wanted to receive notifications, I granted the applications permission. I quickly realized the danger of my decision. Less than 24 hours later, I was beginning to receive alerts, tempting me to view discounted items that would still inevitably accumulate to a steep amount if I made purchases every time I was notified of a sale.
This type of interactive commerce may very well be the future of shopping. An article on ReadWriteShop recently outlined three e-commerce tools that are setting the trend.
- eBay’s digital shopping windows: large digital screens allowing users to view and purchase products on display
- Zero Effort Commerce: an app that learns users’ shopping habits and can be programmed for different conveniences, such as making purchases before running out of a certain product or offering customized item suggestion
- eBay Valet app pilot: an app designed for selling products that transfers much of the work to eBay, such as estimating a price, taking professional photos of the item and sending a shipping box and label
Apps such as these will make shopping and selling more accessible than ever. It will be interesting to see how advances in e-commerce shape purchasing trends—particularly apps that monitor spending habits and offer tailored recommendations. For a shopping-lover such as myself, a new level of self-control will certainly have to be developed, but I believe the benefits will outweigh the setbacks.