Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Over the past decade or two, a growing number of consumers have turned their backs on their local shopping malls and headed to the Internet instead. Whether they are driven by the convenience or perhaps the lower prices - on some items, at least - it would appear to spell bad news for mainstream retailers. Personally, I’m a big fan of retail therapy on the web, and here are five reasons why I’m unlikely to go back to the high street for a while yet.
Let’s face it, we’ve all endured days when we’ve had to put up with heavy rain and cold winds as we trudge from store to store, or perhaps even the discomfort of trying to find what we want on clammy hot afternoons when we’re surrounded by fellow consumers. When it comes to browsing products on the worldwide web, the weather is unable to have an influence. Too hot? Open a window. Too cold? Put a sweater on. It’s that simple.
One of the beauties of the Internet is that, to all intents and purposes, it never closes. If you want to shop for a new pair of shoes on a Sunday evening or perhaps a second-hand laptop in the early hours of a Tuesday morning, you don’t have to worry about whether the shops are open. Thanks to the 24/7 web, you can head to the virtual stores any time the desire to spend a little money takes over.
If you’re looking for a specific item, such as a jacket, in the shopping mall, you may only be able to compare the relevant prices in a couple of stores, but on the Internet it’s possible to check from dozens of retailers in a matter of minutes. And the pleasing news for online consumers who are on a tight budget is that web prices are often noticeably lower than they are likely to be elsewhere.
A trip to a mall, even for people who are big fans of the stores, can be full of complications. It may be difficult to find a parking space, for example, especially on a busy Saturday, and the shops may be full of eager shoppers all desperate to track down the bargains. These issues don’t matter at all to online consumers, and neither does having to contend with pushy sales assistants who are intent on earning their commissions.
It perhaps goes without saying that every shop can only carry a certain amount of stock, purely because their capacities will be limited by the amount of physical space they are able to use. For the consumer, this can sometimes lead to frustration when certain items are unavailable in their desired sizes, styles or colours. This is unlikely to be a regular issue on the web, because online retailers have access to huge stocks.
David Showell is from the UK and is a regular Internet shopper. He works for http://www.carrentals.co.uk/.