Online shopping – Not such a great thing after all?

“The internet isn’t killing the high street, poor customer experience is.”
Right?
Well I used to think that way, at least until Covid took away our easy access to the shops. Now I’m not sure which experience is better, in-store or online.

I’ve always been a fan of shopping online. What could be better than ordering something from your phone, then have it show up at your door without having to even go outside?
On top of that, you can compare prices instantly by simply typing the product in to Google to see if anyone else is selling the same product for a better price.

Online shopping seems to be getting better and better – Amazon are even developing Drones to deliver products to your door just minutes after the order is placed. How cool is that!

Lockdown has made me think a lot about all of that though.

Shopping online just isn’t the same, is it.
Buy something online, and in most cases it won’t be in your hands until tomorrow at the very best, or sometimes it could even be weeks away.
Then there’s more delay if what you’ve ordered doesn’t fit, or it’s not quite what you had in mind. Or what if it ends up being a fake/knock-off, which seems to be Amazon’s thing recently.

I’m finding you just can’t always recreate that feeling of treating yourself if it’s done through a screen. Ordering something online just isn’t as exciting as buying something in a store, and walking out with it. And it’s only now I’m realising that.

But it’s not even about the actual shopping for me I don’t think.
I don’t particularly care for “shopping” as such, but I’ve realised I do love to have a wander around a city/town, having a look around the shops, poking around at the cool new stuff at the Apple Store, ‘sampling’ the free teas in Whittards, stopping for coffee or lunch, and treating ourselves a to whatever we fancy, then having the unwritten, pre-agreed “screw cooking dinner at this time, takeaway?” situation on the way home.
You don’t get that sort of stuff online.

Between lockdowns, when stores have been allowed to open, it’s been good to get back out there to have a wander.
It’s made me realise the novelty of sitting at home ordering from the same screen isn’t the future I want to live in – I miss the “inconvenience” of having to drive somewhere and look for a parking space, and walk to a store to physically have a look around, amongst other people.

I like shopping online, but I don’t think it’s the future of shopping. Or at least I hope not.

With more and more shops closing their doors for good, could this finally be the end of the highstreet as we know it, or will our need to get out of the house revive it when Covid blows over, creating demand for new stores with fresh ideas?
I guess time will tell.

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