Everywhere I look on the high street today, brands are constantly advertising their online stores. "Shop Online Its Easy" "Save More When You Buy Online". With retail seemingly stuck in a rut, I'm wondering if stores are focussing too much on their online content as opposed to their individual stores.
Stereotypically as Brits, there is nothing we all love more than to be stood queuing in a shop on a Saturday afternoon surrounded by the buzz of happy ( and angry) shoppers.
We also love being able to see what we want to buy - we want the experience of it before we actually purchase it. We want to raid River Island's rails and run into the fitting rooms with our friends and have a good old laugh at each others outfit selections. We also want to be able to have a choice. Us girls love seeing something in Topshop but then 'hanging on' and looking around all the other shops just in case we find something even better; but more often than not we end up right back were we started.
But what would be the fun of doing this online? There's no fun in waiting for the web page to load or even freeze just as your putting the payment through. Or even getting all the way to the end of the transaction only to be told the item is no longer in stock (some brands really need to work on their e-retail services!) We want to see it, feel it, have it and wear it NOW!
I think I've shopped online once and wouldn't rush to do it again. I missed the whole shopping experience. The getting dressed up in a morning to go into town, looking at store's window displays, being inspired by the mannequin styling and even being influenced to buy more as you have everything under one roof - you can't view everything on one page (well you can but who really wants to wait for that to upload?!).
When I internet shopped, I think I tricked my mind into thinking that it eliminates the aching feet of trawling around the shops, the nasty suprise of when you no longer fit into your usual size 10 jeans and the having to stand in a long queue to pay. But instead I got a crampy finger from over clicking the mouse pad, waiting a day or two for the item to be delivered and then still getting the nasty shock of not been able to fit my leg into Topshops new denim range! (Well they do have small sizing afterall...)
I think I'll be sticking to good old fashioned retail therapy - the experience is too conversational to miss!
(Image 1 from www.topshop.com
Image 2 from www.riverisland.com
Image 3 from www.catalogs.com)