Shopping is an activity in which a customer browses the available goods or services presented by one or more retailers with the potential intent to purchase a suitable selection of them. A typology of shopper types has been developed by scholars which identifies one group of shoppers as recreational shoppers, that is, those who enjoy shopping and view it as a leisure activity.
Online shopping has become a major disruptor in the retail industry as consumers can now search for product information and place product orders across different regions. Online retailers deliver their products directly to the consumers' home, offices, or wherever they want. The B2C (business to consumer) process has made it easy for consumers to select any product online from a retailer's website and to have it delivered relatively quickly. Using online shopping methods, consumers do not need to consume energy by physically visiting physical stores. This way they save time and the cost of traveling. A retailer or a shop is a business that presents a selection of goods and offers to trade or sell them to customers for money or other goods.
Archaeological evidence suggests that the British engaged in minimal shopping in the early Middle Ages. Instead, they provided for their basic needs through subsistence farming practices and a system of localised personal exchanges. However, by the late Middle Ages, consumers turned to markets for the purchase of fresh produce, meat and fish and the periodic fairs where non-perishables and luxury goods could be obtained. Women were responsible for everyday household purchases, but most of their purchasing was of a mundane nature. For the main part, shopping was seen as a chore rather than a pleasure.
In Britain, medieval attitudes to retailing and shopping were negative. Retailers were no better than hucksters, because they simply resold goods, by buying cheaper and selling dearer, without adding value of national accounts. Added to this were concerns about the self-interest of retailers and some of their more unethical practices. Attitudes to spending on luxury goods also attracted criticism, since it involved importing goods which did little to stimulate national accounts, and interfered with the growth of worthy local manufacturers.
The modern phenomenon of shopping for pleasure is closely linked to the emergence of a middle class in the 17th and 18th-century Europe. As standards of living improved in the 17th century, consumers from a broad range of social backgrounds began to purchase goods that were in excess of basic necessities. An emergent middle class or bourgeosie stimulated demand for luxury goods and began to purchase a wider range of luxury goods and imported goods, including: Indian cotton and calico; silk, tea and porcelain from China, spices from India and South-East Asia and tobacco, sugar, rum and coffee from the New World. The act of shopping came to be seen as a pleasurable pass-time or form of entertainment.
By the 17th-century, produce markets gradually gave way to shops and shopping centres; which changed the consumer's shopping experience. The New Exchange, opened in 1609 by Robert Cecil in the Strand was one such example of a planned shopping centre. Shops started to become important as places for Londoners to meet and socialise and became popular destinations alongside the theatre. Restoration London also saw the growth of luxury buildings as advertisements for social position with speculative architects like Nicholas Barbon and Lionel Cranfield.
As the 18th-century progressed, a wide variety of goods and manufactures were steadily made available for the urban middle and upper classes. This growth in consumption led to the rise of 'shopping' - a proliferation of retail shops selling particular goods and the acceptance of shopping as a cultural activity in its own right. Specific streets and districts became devoted to retail, including the Strand and Piccadilly in London.
The rise of window shopping as a recreational activity accompanied the use of glass windows in retail shop-fronts. By the late eighteenth century, grand shopping arcades began to emerge across Britain, Europe and in the Antipodes in what became known as the "arcade era." Typically, these arcades had a roof constructed of glass to allow for natural light and to reduce the need for candles or electric lighting. Inside the arcade, individual stores were fitted with long glass exterior windows which allowed the emerging middle-classes to window shop and indulge in fantasies, even when they may not have been able to afford the high retail prices.
In Europe, the Palais-Royal, which opened in 1784, became one of the earliest examples of the new style of shopping arcade, frequented by both the aristocracy and the middle classes. It developed a reputation as being a site of sophisticated conversation, revolving around the salons, cafés, and bookshops, but also became a place frequented by off-duty soldiers and was a favourite haunt of prostitutes, many of whom rented apartments in the building. In London, one of the first to use display windows in shops was retailer, Francis Place, who experimented with this new retailing method at his tailoring establishment in Charing Cross, where he fitted the shop-front with large plate glass windows. Although this was condemned by many, he defended his practice in his memoirs, claiming that he:
Shopping hubs, or shopping centers, are collections of stores; that is a grouping of several businesses in a compact geographic area. It consists of a collection of retail, entertainment and service stores designed to serve products and services to the surrounding region.
The first modern shopping mall in the US was The Country Club Plaza in Kansas City which opened in 1922, from there the first enclosed mall was designed by Victor Gruen and opened in 1956 as Southdale Centre in Edina, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis.
Home mail delivery systems and modern technology (such as television, telephones, and the Internet), in combination with electronic commerce, allow consumers to shop from home. There are three main types of home shopping: mail or telephone ordering from catalogs; telephone ordering in response to advertisements in print and electronic media (such as periodicals, TV and radio); and online shopping. Online shopping has completely redefined the way people make their buying decisions; the Internet provides access to a lot of information about a particular product, which can be looked at, evaluated, and comparison-priced at any given time. Online shopping allows the buyer to save the time and expense, which would have been spent traveling to the store or mall. According to technology and research firm Forrester, mobile purchases or mcommerce will account for 49% of ecommerce, or $252 billion in sales, by 2020
Neighbourhood shopping areas and retailers give value to a community by providing various social and community services (like a library), and a social place to meet. Neighbourhood retailing differs from other types of retailers such as destination retailers because of the difference in offered products and services, location and popularity. Neighbourhood retailers include stores such as; Food shops/marts, dairies, Pharmacies, Dry cleaners, Hairdressers/barbers, Bottle shops, Cafés and take-away shops . Destination retailers include stores such as; Gift shops, Antique shops, Pet groomers, Engravers, Tattoo parlour, Bicycle shops, Herbal dispensary clinics, Art galleries, Office Supplies and framers. The neighbourhood retailers sell essential goods and services to the residential area they are located in. There can be many groups of neighbourhood retailers in different areas of a region or city, but destination retailers are often part of shopping malls where the numbers of consumers is higher than that of a neighbourhood retail area. The destination retailers are becoming more prevalent as they can provide a community with more than the essentials, they offer an experience, and a wider scope of goods and services.
Shopping frenzies are periods of time where a burst of spending occurs, typically near holidays in the United States, with Christmas shopping being the biggest shopping spending season, starting as early as October and continuing until after Christmas.
Some religions regard such spending seasons as being against their faith and dismiss the practice. Many contest the over-commercialization and the response by stores that downplay the shopping season often cited in the War on Christmas.
The National Retail Federation (NRF) also highlights the importance of back-to-school shopping for retailers which comes second behind holiday shopping, when buyers often buy clothing and school supplies for their children. In 2017, Americans spent over $83 billion on back-to-school and back-to-college shopping, according to the NRF annual survey.
Seasonal shopping consists of buying the appropriate clothing for the particular season. In winter people bundle up in warm layers and coats to keep warm, while in summer people wear less clothing to stay cooler in the heat. Seasonal shopping now revolves a lot around holiday sales and buying more for less. Stores need to get rid of all of their previous seasonal clothing to make room for the new trends of the upcoming season. The end-of-season sales usually last a few weeks with prices lowering further towards the closing of the sale. During sales items can be discounted from 10% up to as much as 50%, with the biggest reduction sales occurring at the end of the season. Holiday shopping periods are extending their sales further and further with holidays such as Black Friday becoming a month-long event stretching promotions across November . These days shopping doesn't stop once the mall closes, as people have more access to stores and their sales than ever before with the help of the internet and apps. Today many people research their purchases online to find the cheapest and best deal with one third of all shopping searches on Google happen between 10:00 pm and 4:00 am. Shoppers are now spending more time consulting different sources before making a final purchasing decision. Shoppers once used an average of five sources for information before making a purchase, but numbers have risen to as high as 12 sources in 2014. 041b061a72