I’ve been writing on and off on my consumer review blog at Mouthshut for about eight years now. What started as a very small unit has now grown into a big family with a lot of users commenting on how they found a certain product. The honesty in the reviews is helping us users to make a better informed decision before buying a certain product. Thanks to the rise of the Internet era, a lot many things can be done online, the most recent of which is the craze for shopping online.
Here’s a review of what I had written on Online Shopping and the effect it has on us as a whole. I’m sure most of you will agree too with my points. Feel free to comment.
Note: The below is a slightly modified reproduction of the post in Mouthshut.
I remember the times when we used to start Antakshari with the song,
– Baite Baite Kya Kare, Karna Hai Kuch Kaam, Shuru Kare Antakshari, Leke Prabhu Ka Naam.
You must be wondering why I have highlighted those two words, Antakshari and Prabhu? It is because now, we have changed that song to,
– Baite Baite Kya Kare, Karna Hai Kuch Kaam, Shuru Kare Shopping, Leke Online Ka Naam.
Gone are the days when we used to wait for our fathers to come back home from a hard day’s work and take us out shopping. We used to enjoy these times because for most of us, it was a break from school, from homework, housework or any other work. Along with shopping, there was a chance of probably going to a mela where the popcorn is always butterly delicious and where there is no age bar for going on the ferris wheel. But, you know what? All that has been taken away with the advent of online shopping. Now, sitting at your desk, you can order anything and everything under the sun. From bags to shoes, from goggles to watches, from shirts to socks. Whatever you want.
The online experience doesn’t stop at that. It keeps evolving as and when the numbers go up showing that it can respond to your requirements. Some of the stores now have a new shopping style which lets the consumer stand outside the shop and via the use of a touch screen, look at the various designs and collections that the store has. With imaging sensors, the touch screen puts an image of you on the screen so it looks like you’re actually trying the product without actually wearing it. If it doesn’t look good you can replace it. 🙂 Last, but not the least, once you’re done with the selection, just input your shipping address and swipe your credit card and voila, the items are delivered to you in a day or two. No more waiting for trial rooms to get free, looking at various designs and thinking if it will look good on you. Everything is done with a swipe of your fingers.
But that is just a small thing when you have so many other online stores. In the latest spew of online shopping experiences, we have ebay, flipkart, snapdeal, myntra, jabong and various others that keep coming up every other day promising the user a remarkable experience of a whole new level of shopping experience. Some of them even have a points / credits system for joining up. BTW – That’s how I got hooked onto one of it. 🙂
Great! So now that we have basically understood the gist of what online shopping is about, let’s dive into some of the respective pros and cons.
– Easily accessible at the touch of a finger or a click of the mouse.
– Variety of colors, designs and trends to choose from.
– Can purchase anything from A – Z.
– Items delivered right to your door step without charging the consumer (some sites)
– Handy return policy (some sites)
– Consumer tends to buy more than what is required or needed.
– Credit card companies are benefited immensely by online shopping while giving heart attacks to the consumers at the end of the month.
– Intangible. As in, you can’t touch or feel the actual product(s) until after it is delivered.
– Same or better deal on other site(s) which makes the consumer confused as to which site he / she should order from.
– Unhelpful customer care executives (for certain inquiries)
So what do we have then? Well, for me, the biggest con that I would say is that you lose out on a great shopping experience with your family, where the entertainment is to go out to a nearby mall, do a little window shopping, go into a few shops, try some clothes on, spray some perfumes on yourself or try on some watches and maybe catch a movie too afterwards. However, you do get some really good deals on online stores that you would not get in a store if you went and purchased the product yourself. Sadly, there are two sides to this story and the coin is standing just in the middle.
As for me, my first shopping experience online made me buy a pair of sneakers for which I got a good discount too. The packaging that it came in did look a little old but I was happy when I saw that the manufacturing date was hardly six months ago. Still, I wear those sneakers proudly and I don’t have any regrets in buying it online. It can be an addiction for those who are / show a compulsive behavior to buying things online. So, “Buyers Beware”
Hopefully, you’ll will have a good shopping experience and see that there’s nothing wrong in indulging in this at times but you shouldn’t lose out on the actual shopping because that’s where the most fun lies.