The shopping experience has changed a lot during the last 10-15 years. I remember the days when my mom and I would meet at the mall and spend a day shopping. We would make a date out of it: spend some money, have lunch and coffee, window shop, and try out few things we would never buy. We would enjoy carrying our new priceless possessions around if only to show off what stores we visited. Other people would also spend hours at stores. All were trying to score the best deal. Families would make an outing of it by having lunch at a mall and entertaining children by picking into toy stores. I would see husbands/boyfriends, who did not find an excuse to be left alone at home, on their cell phones; tired children following their parents; young adults traveling in groups laughing.
Those were the days of me actually going to the stores. Not any more. For the most part, I shop online now. Yes, people still go shopping and many enjoy the process. But, with modern technology, more and more stores have improved their clients' online shopping experiences. Sites became very easy to use: pick what you want and pay. If you are an existing client, all your information is already pre-filled for you. You do not have to worry about carrying things around, forgetting them at a store, spending your precious time on a Sunday, or not finding your size.
There are many benefits to shopping online:
We can visit many different stores in a matter of minutes. We are not limited to the stores that are in a single mall. Just type in the URL;
We are saving time and shopping faster. Saving our precious time for exciting activities with our friends and family or just sleeping;
The colors and sizes are almost always available in a better selection than in physical stores. I am sure we all experienced the sadness when sales rep confirms that all they have is on the floor;
Additionally, few brands have items that are online exclusives meaning you cannot find them in the store. I love to score something that is unlikely to be worn by some else in the office;
Online shopping offers a better opportunity for trying things outside your normal selection. Seeing an item on the model might entice you to try it on. And just maybe, you will expand your style;
With no physical or time restrictions, shopping can be done in one's bed or office at any time of day or night.
With so many benefits, it is easy to miss the warning signs:
Do we need that many things? Think when you are buying. Do not clutter your closet; this will not do you any good. I do purchase a lot of items in different sizes and colors, but I buy clothes that will improve my outfits. I don't get just for the sake of getting;
Keep in mind that getting multiple items means you HAVE to return. It does not matter whether you prefer to return in person or by mail. Just keep in mind, you have to return. Do not keep something thinking: I will lose or gain weight, I will wear it someday, I will get few other things to go with it. Be practical;
Online shopping is not a social event. Before I would enjoy bonding with my mom or friends; now, I miss out on the opportunity to spend time with them;
Advertisement has become very good at making us want things. Before you know it, you assume it was your idea to go and check out that shoe website. But think - why am I here? Is it because I want these shoes or is it because the shoe advertisement has been following me around?
Be aware of Twitter, Instagram, and any other social platform. This is just another way advertisement is influencing you. Celebrities and famous people promote what they wear. And these brand names get stuck in our heads. Do not fall for this cheap trick. Of course, you might want that dress or those heels. I am not saying abstain; I just suggest - think.
Few things to make your online shopping a better experience:
Know your measurements. Every brand has different sizing. Know your numbers, and that will guaranty a better fit;
Do you need it & will you wear it? Improve your closet, do not clutter it;
Place items in your basket & "sleep on it." Most of the time, we buy impulsively and sometimes regret a few days later. I use this trick all the time. I place things in my basket then wait a few days. If I want it, I buy it in a week. Often, I do not;
Buy from websites that offer free shipping and returns. Save your money;
Commit to returning things. Do not keep things that are ok just cause you are lazy. They will clutter your closet and bring no value;
If you are a person, who likes to return to the store. I do. Think of getting items from brands whose stores are in the same mall. It will save you a drive and time;
Wait for sales. All websites have sales during holidays' seasons. You can score some fantastic deals without a hassle of getting through a crowded store that no longer has your size.
Hope this helps!