With the advent of online shopping and the ubiquity of smartphones, purchases have fast become digital. Now, social media is shaping the future of retail. Our shopping habits have changed dramatically over the past 20 years. On August 11, 1994, the Sting album Ten Summoner’s Tales became the world’s first secure online purchase, marking the launch of e-commerce as we know it today. In the years since, the astronomical rise of online shopping has steadily pushed physical stores into decline, with an average of 15 high street shops closing each day in the UK alone. Delivering another blow to the once mighty bricks and mortar, the smartphone era has further digitalised our shopping habits. With a world of buying options now at shoppers’ fingertips, mobile purchases have boomed: in 2010, mobile visits to e-retail sites accounted for less than three percent of web traffic. Today, that figure has skyrocketed to over 50 percent. As on-the-go mobile payments have become the norm, retail has evolved from its pre-internet form. But as the industry adjusts to this new landscape, another retail transformation is on the horizon: just as smartphones changed the face of retail, Instagram is making inroads into mobile retail. Read more at World Finance.