Shopping is an activity where a customer goes to a shop or retail store to look around for available goods or services presented by a retailer with the intention of purchasing something. Although most people consider shopping as an economic activity, some people look at shopping as a leisurely activity where they can enjoy and relax.
Shopping experience may vary depending on some factors. Others may have a delightful experience while others may find it terrible and frustrating. Factors include customer service, convenience, mood of customer and retailer staff, and even the type of goods purchased.
The Evolution of Shopping Trends
- In the Middle Ages people shopped in marketplaces. Seller gathered in a market where you can find a wide range of products from farm produce to home-made products. There was chaos of sounds and people. But the experience was exciting as buyers and sellers bargained with one another.
- In the 17th century, with the emergence of the consumer society, the marketplace expanded to shopping centers. Shops became the meeting place of people where they could socialize. Shopping centers were built near theaters and luxury buildings.
- As tremendous variety of goods became available for the urban middle and upper classes, it gave birth to retail shops. Specific streets and districts were devoted to retail. Display windows were installed. Attractive window displays enticed many customers with bright lights and exquisitely arranged goods. Retail shops offered only one kind of product such as fashion or books.
- Department stores begun to take the place of single-function stores. These type of store is described as a public retail establishment offering a wide variety of consumer goods in different departments.
- Cities begun to create commercial zones to group businesses in one place. These zones are called central business district, downtown, shopping hubs or shopping centers.
- Today, online shopping is becoming popular as people all over the world find it most convenient to order products on the Web from different online retailers, wherever their location may be, and have them delivered on their doorsteps, offices or wherever they find it convenient. The process known as B2C or business to consumer make it very easy for consumer to choose any product online from the website of a retailer and have it delivered on time. The consumer does not have to waste energy going out to the stores. It is time-saving and cost-saving in terms of travelling.