Is Online Shopping Killing The Shopping Experience?

A few years ago my closest girl friends and I would have a fun day out by heading in to town, trying on an endless amount of clothes, feeling happy when we got in to the smaller size or distraught when we had to pick a bigger size. Fast forward to 2013 and with every shop at our disposal on the internet, do we even need the high street anymore?

Over the last few years we have seen E Commerce websites such as Ebay, ASOS and NET A PORTER boom whilst major high street chains battle going in to administration.

Online shopping is a more convenient way to shop as we all know that the traditional way of shopping isn’t a few hour engagement. Shopping requires a lot of time and patience. First of all, you have to decided where you are going to go. Then when you get to your destination, you have to fight with other drivers over that car parking space which you clearly saw first. And if that was enough grief, you then have to go in and out of several shops that are filled with customers, on your mission to find that perfect dress and 9/10 times you return home feeling fed up and empty handed.

Shopping is now seen as a chore but it never used to be that way. I used to love shopping because of the experience that comes with it. One of my favourite shops Kurt Geiger have a visual display called the “Shoe Chandelier” which is a big chandelier hanging from the ceiling decorated in some of the most beautiful shoes I have ever seen. It looks like a glimpse of heaven.

Then of course we have the shop assistants that play a big part in creating the shopping experience. Can you remember the last time you received excellent customer service? It made you feel good right? I have worked in retail for six years and I still get excited when a customer comes to me and says she needs a pair of shoes for a wedding or to make her ex boyfriends new girlfriend jealous at a party shes going to. Together we turn the shop upside down (not literally!) and behave like we are the best of friends as let her try on as many shoes as physically possible to ensure that we find the perfect pair of shoes. Customer service makes the shopping experience more memorable and this level of customer service cannot be found online.

Online shopping is antisocial and lonely and you can’t even see what the item of clothing looks like on until it arrives 3-5 working days later. And then of course what about the dreaded postage and packing. Next day delivery or Saturday deliveries are usually from £7.50 upwards and then there is always the chance that your package arrives after the expected date, making you one unhappy customer.

Online shopping is widening the gap between the organisation and its customers. Instead of creating relationships with the organisations front line staff, customers just stare at their computer screens and clicking away and have no real interaction with the organisation except for receiving a “Your order has been dispatched” email which is followed by annoying daily emails trying to steer you back on to their website.

Shopping online can often be more stressful than the traditional ways of shopping so next time you feel like buying some new clothes, head to your nearest high street and treat yourself to the shopping experience we all used to love.

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