The holidays are approaching fast, and even though the economy continues to struggle, there is already analysis of seasonal shopping patterns. America is all about shopping, and even if the credit cards are already maxed out, people are going to load up on gifts for friends and family. Will I be heading to the malls and battling my fellow citizen for the hottest seasonal items? Nope.
Some people really enjoy getting out and shopping for the holidays. Despite the convenience of online shopping, shoppers gather in cold parking lots on the day after Thanksgiving in order to get seemingly earth-shattering deals. That is the social nature of shopping, and people are more than happy to navigate the chaos. This does not have a great appeal for me, and I am more than happy to sit at home with my laptop and order seasonal gifts.
Traffic. Parking. Lines at the stores. Merchandise that is not in stock. Why would I want to deal with this? I do recognize that the modern shopper is incredibly spoiled when it comes to the convenience of electronic commerce. However, if I can save time in my busy schedule, I am going to do it. I understand that this makes life difficult for the traditional brick-and-mortar shopkeeper, but history rolls along. Times change, and society changes with it.
For me, another convenient part of online shopping is that I can more easily compare products. When you are standing there in the store, you do not necessarily know if the price is good or what sort of reviews have been written. Granted, I have stood in stores and scanned bar codes with my smart phone in order to read up on the product. However, I would rather do that from the comfort of my own home.
Ultimately, I can get away with online shopping around the holidays because I plan ahead. I suspect that a lot of people head to stores because they wait until it gets close to the holidays. By that time people worry that shipping will not be fast enough, or that they might have to return something. Obviously I will head to the store for some things. When I buy a new rake for a local relative, it is still more convenient to head to the local home improvement store rather than have that shipped in a rather large box.
I think traditional stores will survive for some time, but I will continue gravitating towards online commerce.
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