The History of Online Shopping and the Endless Scroll

Scroll. Browse. Click. Add to Cart. Buy. Repeat.

If you shop online, these words describe an experience that is almost too familiar. But undoubtedly that’s what most of our retail shopping interactions now consist of. With the world at our fingertips, we have access to so much more than we did before. But that wasn’t always the case. Let’s scroll back a few years and explore the history of online shopping.

The way we shop has changed volumes over the years. From simple bartering during the Middle Ages, to the growth of the local “mom and pop” store down the street, to the creation of the department store where you could get multiple goods in one place, it literally took us hundreds of years to see that transformation take place. But it’s been in the last 50 years that retail shopping has really seen a dramatic shift. We’ve moved from traditional shopping malls to online shopping and over to an omni-channel experience which blends the two. It’s more than a healthy dose of innovation in such a short amount of time. And frankly, this new shopping experience often leaves us dissatisfied.

The online experience was supposed to reduce the amount of time we spend shopping. It’s simply not the case. In a recent survey focused on omni-channel retail, BigCommerce found that women spend on average 5 hours shopping online each week. Can you remember the last time you went shopping at a mall for 5 hours? That is an incredibly long time to spend browsing the internet, or really doing anything (except sitting on a beach). Think about how much time you could spend with your children, loved ones, or enjoying some of the luxuries in life like wine or a great book. But the thing is, shopping does take time, and it’s often hard to find a few options you love amongst the hundreds of items you come across online. You find yourself reading each description, mousing over the image to see the details, wondering if you have shoes to go with it, and ultimately tossing it in your cart—because someone else might get to it and why not?

Which brings us to where the history of online shopping stands today. The forever-scroll is not sustainable, and it’s often tiring. It’s easy to think of at least one thing we should be doing (exercising) instead. This is why online shopping is moving to an even more personalized approach. This new approach is focused on delivering a highly curated experience that considers your preferences pre-purchase. Whether it’s on-demand dinner services like Blue Apron, a monthly subscription service for media like Netflix or clothing rental services that take care of your everyday wardrobe needs, (well wouldn’t you know it) like Armoire—it’s clear that consumers are turning to life-hack solutions that give back valuable time to those busy days.

Armoire uses smart data to interpret each of our customer’s unique preferences. As a result we better understand individual style and are able to custom-tailor a highly personalized experience by recommending pieces our customers will love. That means, along with giving our customers back valuable time, we’re also able to give them the freedom to explore and test the limits of their personal style. So instead of contemplating whether to purchase those pants you can’t live without, you can simply try them out for a few days without the commitment or guilt of having it relegated to the back of your closet. It’s quick, it’s low-risk, and it’s rewriting the history of online shopping.

ad a brief history of online shopping's endless scroll and how Armoire's clothing rental is changing the way women shop.

That’s exactly why people are jumping on the rental bandwagon. While it’s a departure from traditional shopping, data shows that women don’t want to spend hours shopping, but they undoubtedly want to enjoy the convenience of looking great with a variety of options that won’t clutter their closet.


About Armoire

Armoire is the modern woman’s solution to a stress free closet. For $149 month, you get access to a continuous rotation of high-end apparel, curated with your preferences in mind. Select your 4 favorite items to receive in the mail, and keep for as long as you want. If you fall in love, you’re in luck — you can purchase the item at a deep discount. Refresh your 4 pieces whenever you would like; we take care of the shipping and dry-cleaning. With brands like Theory, DVF, Milly, Parker, and many more — you get great style, with little to no effort.

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