‘Retail Therapy’ used to be an amusing term for binge buying when a person in crisis or financial difficulties deliberately went out to malls and stores shopping for comfort. Now, in these unprecedented times people are forced to shop from home and while online shopping may be a comfort to some, it is a necessity to all and comes with several advantages over brick and mortar retail stores.
Here are the top 5 reasons to shop online during the pandemic.
Online Shopping is Convenient
By early 2020 statisticians were quoting a thirty to fifty percent rise in online shopping figures. This was par for the course as lockdowns were put in place and people were forced to make almost all their purchases for consumables online. The truth is that even before the pandemic online shopping was considered a convenient way to obtain goods. With the tap of a few buttons on your computer or mobile device one can order, confirm payment and observe the shipping status without much effort. Thus, being stuck at home during lockdowns has allowed many to stave off boredom with online shopping. However, uncontrolled purchasing online, while convenient, can also be a pain in that it could become an unhealthy habit and burn many a hole in already threadbare pockets.
No Safety in Numbers
The old adage, safety in numbers, cannot be applied in these times. The pandemic has put paid to large gatherings of people in public places. Shopping malls have suffered the most, with social distancing protocols dictating how many people may occupy a given space at one time. Thus, shopping from the comfort of one’s home has become the norm as people prefer to avoid large crowds and rather do their shopping online.
A Wider Variety of Goods
The internet has always boasted a wide variety of goods and before the pandemic many people balanced their shopping between physical stores and the internet. They’d buy tangible goods that they could see, touch and test inside the shop while things that were not easily purchased in these physical stores were sourced online. Almost all brands have an online presence too and brand loyalists have enjoyed a greater variety with more accessibility to their favorites online during the pandemic, as shoppers saw the online presence of their preferred brands growing stronger during the pandemic.
Another great feature about shopping online is that with so much competition consumers can easily and quickly compare prices. No more accepting the stony-faced store clerk insisting that a product you are interested in is the only type there is, and that is that. Nowadays, with online stores offering such a huge variety of goods and variations of the same product, it is easy to pop into another online store to see if the same product is sold cheaper or with better enhancements. Better prices for the same products are easy to source and compare, putting pressure on e-tailers to offer better and cheaper goods than the next store.
Fast Shipping and Delivery
E-tailers are competing to get their goods delivered to customers’ doorsteps as quickly as possible. This healthy competition has also seen the rise in courier services and other shipping companies opening up as post offices are snowed under, literally, with a barrage of goods being sent country and nationwide. Consumers are able to choose the best and cheapest shipping and delivery options online, putting pressure on stores to partner with delivery companies who offer fast and secure services straight to customers’ doorsteps while observing the strictest health protocols.
In conclusion, with the rapid growth of mobile devices in particular, it is easier than ever to simply browse for goods online. Equally, when the pandemic does see its end and physical stores reopen, a lot of consumers will remain wary and would have gotten used to the convenience of online shopping. Chances are the world will see a good balance between online ‘retail therapy’ and that of physical shops where people will once again be able to visit in their droves as they search for the things they need and want.