I haven’t written a post in a couple of weeks now. The post-Christmas period has been surprisingly busy this year. Well, I guess shoppers have finally realized where the best deals are – online! It took the economic crisis to make this happen, actually it was bound to happen some time or the other. Studies show that more and more people are shopping online these days and here are a few reasons why they do it: better discounts, convenience of not having to leave your home, better range of products. I truly believe e-commerce is the future of retail and with web 2.0 the experience is just going to get better and better. I would say even better than actually shopping at a retail store. How many times have you looked at an item in a retail store and didn’t have all the information you needed (and even the salesman didn’t know)? for e.g. you want to buy a Citizen Aqualand diver watch and you want to know how many and what kinds of alarms it has. It will be very difficult to get this kind of information in most retail stores, but on an online store all the information is right there in front of you. If you have any further questions just write an email to the store customer service and in most cases they will get back to you with the exact information! Add to that much better prices and delivery right to your door-step!
Some people talk about the emotional aspect of shopping – for e.g. you don’t get the exact feeling you get while retail shopping. With retail shopping you can have the thing right then and there and you feel good about having bought it. You can feel it and use it right then and there (or atleast as soon as you reach home). This aspect is lacking in online shopping to some extent. But then I would argue that this aspect lacking is actually a very good thing. It makes you a smarter shopper who doesn’t give in to tempetations and impulse buying! How many times have you bought something just because at that moment you felt like it. You didn’t plan to buy it but just seeing it in front of you and knowing that with just a swipe of a card it could be yours – you gave in. And then later you regretted your impulse decision. You don’t have this problem with online shopping since the emotional aspect – the one that tempts you to have that thing right then and there – isn’t there since you have to wait for the item to arrive via mail (well, in most cases. I am not talking about digital downloads). And in most online stores there is a cancellation period so you can cancel your order within that time period if you feel like it, often without any penalties.
All this convinces me that e-commerce is here to stay. The current economic climate might have dented the growth a bit, but its in no way permanent. People are getting more and more connected these days and every aspect of their life is kind of inter-woven. Social life, work, shopping, interests and hobbies are all merging together in one way or other into the web – into the cloud. The boundaries are getting blurred and we are all heading to the same destination, albeit in different ways.
So if you are one of those who hasn’t shopped online yet (there are still many many of them), now is a very good time to take the first step. Trust me, you will only benefit from this more economical, time-saving, rational shopping experience!