How e-commerce is changing people’s shopping habits

Even though e-commerce has been around for a long time only 5% of all goods produced are bought online. But e-commerce is still growing. It is breaking into traditional markets more than ever before. Not just books, CDs and holiday trips are bought online, but all sort of other products and services that were unimaginable in the past. Today, more and more online shops get their customers through social networks like Facebook and mobile phones. They are the driving force behind online shopping. Companies target potential customers and online communities. If they advertise their brands and products in the right way people will talk about them, and news spreads throughout the online world much quicker than in the real world. The new smartphone generation is likely to have an even greater impact on online shopping. While shopping in a real store, customers often get reviews and price comparisons directly on their mobile. In many cases, when they see something they want to buy they leave the shop and buy online or go to another nearby place where they get it for a lower price. There are even apps which show you if there is a certain product on sale within a short distance from your location.


Exercise 1
Match the expressions in bold in the text with their definitions:

1. __________ = to promote a product or service
2. __________ = mobile phone application
3. __________ = to enter
4. __________ = group of people sharing common goals
5. __________ = when two things are compared
6. __________ = how far something is
7. __________ = something that gives power
8. __________ = buying things online
9. __________ = things we buy
10. __________ = influence
11. __________ = sold at a lower price
12. __________ = possible
13. __________ = critical description of something
14. __________ = to expand
15. __________ = impossible to imagine


Exercise 2
Combine the expressions from both columns to form collocations as in the text:

1. shopping
2. traditional
3. online
4. social
5. driving
6. potential

  • customer
  • force
  • habits
  • markets
  • network
  • shopping


I know English idioms!

The topic of this lesson’s reading text is e-commerce, which is an alternative to the traditional way of doing shopping. What we pay most attention to when doing shopping is not to pay too much. If we want to say in English that something was, unfortunately, very expensive we may say that it “ cost and arm and a leg”. Study this example:  The renovation work of our company office cost us an arm and a leg.


Phrasals, phrasals…

When we do our shopping, online or in the real world, it’s important to compare things in different places. In English we say that we “shop around”. Like in this example:
When you’re buying a flight, you should always shop around for the best deal.



Grammar corner

Here’s a sentence from this lesson’s text: “Today, more and more online shops get their customers through social networks like Facebook and mobile phones.” The underlined part is an expression of comparison and means “coraz więcej”. As we can see, it is formed of the second form of adjectives or adverbs (“more”).

Try and say these phrases in English using the structure above and words in brackets:
1. coraz szybciej (fast)
2. coraz drożej (expensive)
3. coraz częściej (often)
4. coraz mniej (little)


e-commerce – handel internetowy
shopping habits – nawyki przy robienia zakupów
to be around – istnieć, występować
goods – artykuły, towary
to grow – rosnąć, rozwijać się
to break into – wchodzić na (np. rynki)
market – rynek
unimaginable – niewyobrażalne
driving force – siła napędowa
behind – za, tu: odpowiadający za
to target – celować w
community – społeczność
to advertise – reklamować
brand – marka
news – wieści
to spread – roznieść (się)
throughout – przez cały
generation – pokolenie, generacja
review – ocena, recenzja
comparison – porównanie
directly – bezpośrednio
nearby – okoliczny
apps (= applications) – aplikacje
certain – pewien, dany, konkretny
on sale – na wyprzedaży
within a short distance – w bliskiej odległości
location – lokalizacja


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1. to advertise
2. app
3. to break into
4. community
5. comparison
6. distance
7. driving force
8. e-commerce
9. goods
10. impact
11. on sale
12. potential
13. review
14. to spread
15. unimaginable

Ex. 2
1. shopping habits
2. traditional markets
3. online shopping
4. social network
5. driving force
6. potential customer

Ex. Grammar corner
1. faster and faster
2. more and more expensive
3. more and more often
4. less and less