Two cents blog

Shopping offline in an online world

by Sharon Hunter on 6 May 2016

Online shopping has become increasingly popular, offering everything from fashion, home wares, wine, groceries and beyond. You would be forgiven for thinking you would never need to step into a store again! With online retailers relentlessly chasing our dollars with pop-up ads, it’s a non-stop sales pitch every time you logon to check the news, watch videos, or stalk ‘friends’ on Facebook. If you dare register your email while window shopping online, you are then chased with emails offering incentives to come back and buy (those sneaky ‘percentage off for first purchase’, that’s how they get you!). It makes you wonder how brick and mortar stores can survive in this environment, given their rising costs of rent and retail staff. Wouldn’t it just be easier to close up shop and go totally online?

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Well, thank the shopping Gods they haven’t all closed their doors, because I’d be in trouble! You see, I like to do this old-school thing where I actually go into shops and experience the personal service I receive in-store.

When I shop for clothes and shoes, I like to try on my items to see if they fit. I want to get it right the first time. I like that the person in-store helps me with my purchase and makes me feel special. I like the tactile nature of the exchange – getting to touch, see and hold what I’m buying. I get to see if it suits me, or if it makes me feel something. But, most of all, I love the fact that I walk out of the store with my gorgeous shopping bag in my hand and take my purchase(s) home with me straight away. Instant gratification.

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These days you can buy online and collect, which sounds great, especially if you’re short on time – but it’s not quite the same. Also, if you buy online and get the wrong the size, you then need to arrange to return it. If you’re like me, you often don’t get around to returning it in time, so then you end up with items that are the wrong size or just plain wrong. Whereas when you shop in-store, if you are unhappy with your item you either change the size or you just don’t buy it. It’s simple and I like it that way. That’s why I’m 99 percent sure I will always be an in-store shopping girl. What about you?

 

Sharon Hunter is Financial Controller at BCM

- Gillian on May 6

Online shopping is great for gifts and items that you're happy to wait for. But I'm with you on the instant gratification point. And even with virtual reality or other methods that can help you imagine what you'll look like, getting a clothing item on your body is the only way to be sure. Shoes are the main item I wouldn't buy online. It's hard enough getting a pair to fit in store let alone getting into an online shoe lotto. All up, if it suits my needs I'll shop online, but if not, I'll still go the old fashioned way.

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