Shopping online – smart shopping?

Shopping online – smart shopping?

Walk this way….

So, you’ve got an hour to kill for your lunchbreak, you work near a major shopping centre, and you want to buy something. Do you:

A. Use your iphone to search for what you want and then buy it online?
B. Walk into a shop and browse the array of goodies on display and buy something that way?

It seems that unless you and your iphone are permanently attached at the hip, or you can’t go for an hour without getting your Facebook or Twitter fix, you would choose B. Which makes sense. You can try before you buy, whether it be clothes, cosmetics, jewellery, shoes, handbags. And you can be content knowing that you’ve purchased something you like at a price you were happy to pay. No stress. No paying for postage. Walking out with that item on the same day you bought it. All good.

But can the same be said about online shopping?

The Online’th degree

Now, if you were to order any of these items online, you have all these things to consider:

• How long will the item take to be delivered?
• What if the item gets lost in transit?
• What if it gets stolen?
• What if the clothes or shoes you’ve purchased are the wrong size?
• Or that lipstick is so the wrong shade for you and looked much better on the catalogue model than it does on you?
• Or the jewellery isn’t the quality that you’d been led to believe?

Maybe shopping online isn’t worth it after all?

So you’re not happy with your purchase and you want to get a refund or an exchange. You have these factors to consider:

• You need to pay additional postage costs to return the items (provided you can return them for a refund)
• What if the company doesn’t refund your money?
• What if there’s only an email address you can contact the company on and no contact phone number?
• What if they don’t have the size you want so you can’t exchange? (So you have the refund issues to think about!)
• How long will it take for them to refund your money?
• What if there’s some hidden refund charge you weren’t aware of?

So what turned out initially to be a very stress-free and pleasurable experience turns out to be quite a drama.

Or…

You could be so happy with your online purchasing experience that you would buy from that online store/s again.

Convenience and choice

I’ve only had very good experiences when I’ve bought something online, so I’m an advocate for online shopping, as well as the walk in retail experience.
Any negatives of online shopping aside, at just the click of a mouse button you can search for practically anything – from clothes to handbags, shoes to gifts, electronic gadgets to books… The list goes on. You can book an exotic holiday away, look for a property to buy, search for the perfect restaurant to take your special someone, look at wedding venues, and so much more, all online, without having to leave wherever you are, and with just one click, (or a couple), so you’d probably be able to put up with any negatives.

And with the non-online retail sector suffering a bit of a downturn in sales, with the online shopping world so appealing to many customers because it’s fast, convenient shopping right at your fingertips, does this mean there’ll be an end to the walk in, walk out retail shopping experience that many of us grew up with?

My cents worth…

I don’t think it will be the end. At least I hope not. After all, there’s something to be said about going into a shop, looking, feeling, touching, trying, that you can’t get online.

In my opinion, both modes of shopping have their place in the world, and we should shop both ways. I just hope that people will still buy items the old-fashioned way. After all, shopping this way is helping our economy, which in turn is helping all of us.

We’re keeping the bucks here.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Corri
    Jul 01, 2011 @ 12:39:22

    Think you are right … there is definitely room for online shopping and the old fashioned browsing!

    Reply

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