A story about a foot stool......
Last weekend I took my mother to House of Frazer as she had seen a foot stool in a magazine that she wanted to buy. We trawled around the home department until we gave up and asked a member of staff. We were told that the foot stool was not stocked by this store but we could order it online from their website. As my mum (aged 88) looked slightly puzzled (she has never touched a computer in her life) the shop assistant took us to a section of the store with two computers. These were for customers to do their shopping on. It allowed House of Frazer to offer their full spectrum of wares in a virtual world but all under one roof and if you needed a ‘real’ shop assistant for advice there was one, ready and waiting for your questions or you could click away without being pestered. It was an odd concept; online shopping in a traditional style shop. I pondered about the concept all weekend and then seeing this week’s topic on Ciao, I decided to explore it some more.
The search for the weird and wonderful
Online shopping has opened up a completely new dimension to shopping. You can buy anything from anywhere. Type the name of the product you seek into a search engine and you will be taken (in a fraction of second) to a ‘store’ that sells your item. Ok, let’s think of something random and see if we can buy it... I want... a vase and I want it to be shaped like a cow wearing sunglasses (typed verbatim into Google.) Let’s see how easy it is to find such a quirky piece. On hitting enter, it brought up 3,199,000 results in 0.20 seconds and on the second link; I have found my cow gift. Priced at a handsomely £8.99. Thank you very much. If I set off to Manchester, armed with a map it would probably take me a whole day to get round all the shops and still not find what I was looking for.
They call me Bargain. Bargain Hunter
My personal favourite advantage to online shopping is that I can price match. Ever conscious with my pennies, I want to make sure that if there is a saving to be made, I am the one taking advantage of it. Sticking to the cow theme, I really want to buy a pair of Moc-cons cow print socks but I want the cheapest pair I can find. I have just typed this into a price comparison website and within seconds I have a list of 25 different retails that sell the funky socks. Now all I need to do is scan through to find the best price. £11.96... too much £8.99... better....£7.74? Brilliant and free delivery? Why not! These socks are travelling from London, I would never have been able to get to London to buy them. Online shopping has opened up the buyer’s market and we can buy anything, from anywhere.
Raising a glass to our beloved review sites!
And the reason we are all here, consumer reviews! If I was to go around the Trafford Centre and ask people their thoughts on certain products, I would get escorted out of the building for being crazy! “Excuse me madam, have you tried this blusher, what are your thoughts on it?” “Excuse me sir, those shoes you are wearing, how do you find them?