When we think about how much technology has changed our daily lives in the last decade or so, it can be hard to believe we’ve evolved so dramatically. From making travel plans to connecting with long-lost friends and family, the digital age has ushered in new ways to do just about everything.
This is especially true in the realm of e-commerce. Now that online shopping is becoming the preferred purchasing method for millions of people, our lifestyles – especially significant life moments – are shifting to accommodate this change.
It’s hard to argue against the idea that getting married is often one of the most significant and meaningful moments in someone’s life. Accordingly, weddings are often steeped in tradition – from the white dress to the ceremony style. However, the increasing popularity of online shopping has changed the wedding scene to better suit the digital age.
For instance, before the rise of the Internet, wedding registries looked pretty different from how they look today. Engaged couples would physically visit brick-and-mortar stores to set up their registries, and would let their wedding guests know. At that point, guests could then visit those retailers, pick out a gift from the registry, and either mail the gift or physically bring it along to the wedding.
Nowadays, that landscape has evolved. Couples can sign up for their registries online, and guests can just visit retail websites, choose and purchase a gift, and have it sent directly to the couple.
Similarly, online vendors have simplified the wedding planning process. Whereas in the past couples were limited in where they could buy their decorations and outfits – especially wedding dresses – due to regional constraints, online shopping has allowed engaged couples to purchase wedding-related products from all over the world. According to Vizcaino-S, “Now with the potential for brides to shop online for wedding dresses, they have more options than ever before.”
For example, Azazie provides affordable, custom size, and made-to-order bride and bridal party clothing for customers across the globe. By cutting out the middlemen by supplying dresses directly from designers to brides, they’re able to provide brides with more options and lower their prices. This is a great option for any couple, especially considering the fact that the average wedding costs a whopping .
Online shopping has also made it easier for scattered family members to get involved in another precious life moment: the birth of a child.
In the past, unless they lived near the new parents, loved ones had to go to brick-and-mortar retailers, figure out what the parents may need, purchase the gift, and then either visit the parents to deliver it or send it in the mail. Now, similar to buying wedding gifts, online shopping has made it possible for well-wishers to look up a parent’s baby registry and send a needed gift directly.
In fact, baby registries are getting more popular than ever with the rise of online shopping; the usage of baby registries has seen a increase in recent years. This has become a great way for family members and other loved ones to feel a stronger sense of connection with the family’s newest addition; according to Vizcaino-S, “As much as people may feel that the Internet has made human connection harder, the truth is that online shopping has allowed family members from all over the world to feel more involved in people’s lives at important moments.”
Many of life’s most significant moments are heavily linked to traveling – from catching a flight to visit a new baby to booking lodging for a wedding. Unsurprisingly, online shopping has deeply affected this process, as well.
Back in the day, travel agents played a significant role in the average person’s travel planning, as they could research the best deals and help set up itineraries for anyone looking to make a trip. Now that ecommerce is so huge, however, the need for travel agents is steadily declining: the number of full-time travel agents in the U.S. dropped from a high of in 2000 to around 74,000 in 2014.
Travel agents are certainly still useful for more complicated travel planning, but online shopping has empowered the average consumer to become more independent and avoid paying others to do something they can do themselves. Vizcaino-S mentioned, “Online shopping has allowed consumers to take matters into their own hands and do their own research to save money.” Customers use websites like to find cheap flights, to save money on lodging, and or to book all-inclusive trips.
Although brick-and-mortar shopping certainly isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, online shopping has deeply impacted how we experience significant events in our lifetime. With online retailers like Azazie taking industries by storm, planning and buying items for our most precious moments has caught up to this day and age.
What are some other ways e-commerce has affected how we celebrate big events?