Clicks or Bricks?

Have you ever considered the stress, time and expense of shopping at a mall versus online shopping?  Most of us have never been made aware of the pros and cons.  I was amazed to witness a presentation given by Jaco Jonker CEO of Bid or Buy (BoB) where he outlined the astounding differences.  I’ve included a short summary of why it is beneficial to shop online instead.

When you schlep to the mall this is usually the scenario –

  • Getting to the mall is a mission.  The traffic is hectic over weekends because everyone who works during the week is shopping on Saturday and Sunday!  Not to mention the increase in stress at month end. 
  • When you finally reach the mall you then have to go through ticket machines and quite often jump out your car to press the ticket button, jump back in and apologise to the queue behind you.  Ladies have short arms you know!
  • Then you need to find parking and for this you need a science degree.  If you can’t parallel park like me then you drive around for hours until you can alley dock with ease.
  • Then you need to make a mental note of where you are parked so that you can find your car when you’ve finished shopping.
  • On entering the mall you fight the crowds along with prams, screaming toddlers and all the frustratingly slow walkers who always land up in your path.
  • Once you find the shop after asking the information desk you then fight the crows in store and try to find the items you want.
  • Usually you can’t find what you are looking for and can’t find an assistant to help you either.
  • Once you find a shop assistant they either run away, continue to talk to their counterparts or pretend to ignore you (and chew gum which is annoying).
  • After you tap them on the shoulder to focus their attention on you and as you open your mouth to ask for assistance they start shaking their head immediately.  The answer is always NO it’s not in stock.
  • For the items that you do manage to find you make your way to the till and find that 10 tills are open but only 2 are in operation.
  • You wait in the queue for what seems like hours and the elderly or severely lonely start talking about the weather or moaning which sends you to sleep.
  • As you reach the till you hand over your items only to find out that some of them don’t have a tag which means more time spent waiting as the assistants try to find the correct bar code.
  • Retail outlets accept credit cards, cash and debit cards only.
  • Often you cringe as you watch your items being crushed as they place heavy weight items on top of light weight items!
  • You then leave the shop, fight the crowds again, make your way to the parking payment machine, stand in another queue and head to your car.
  • If you can find your car on the correct parking level you get a gold star.  I spend hours trying to get my bearings because all parking levels look the same.
  • Once you reach your car you have to pay a hovering parking attendant for watching your car and then you notice your side door has been scratched by some selfish shopper who drives a beaten up jalopy and therefore cares less about your prized possession.
  • On leaving the shopping mall you make your way back through the traffic jam and head home to enjoy a stiff double G&T to calm your nerves. 

The Experience of Online Shopping is quite different though –

  • Online shopping is an experience.  You can shop from the comfort of your own home.
  • You can relax and listen to music, enjoy your favourite drink and each munchies while you browse the various online shops.
  • You can create wishlists and return later to buy from your list rather than have to search again.
  • There is NO stress involved apart from mouse batteries that fail!
  • If you get bored or distracted you can attend to what’s at hand and come back to your online shopping experience when ready.
  • Searching for items is easy when shopping online.
  • Comparing prices is easy when shopping online.
  • The checkout process is smooth and instant, there is no waiting or queues
  • Delivery and packaging is included.  You don’t have to carry anything or struggle with lots of bags.  Everything is delivered to your door when you shop online.
  • Access to online shopping is instant and available 24/7.
  • The client has instant choice in terms of where they shop online, when they shop online and which products they chose to buy online.
  • In general there are multiple payment options available to those who shop online
  • Online shops offer items at discounted rates and clients benefit from the group buying model i.e. GroupOn.
  • Online shopping is safe.  Your credit card information is safe.
  • You don’t have to drive or spend unnecessary money on petrol, vehicle wear and tear, parking tickets, parking fees or parking attendants. 

So you see by being educated about the pros of online shopping you will agree that it is a WIN WIN situation on every level. 

Next time you feel like shopping why not try clicks instead of bricks?

Prepared by Odette Butcher, Chief Experience Officer, Celestial Gift Experiences

About The Bucket List Genie

Everyone has a bucket list of things they want to do in their lifetimes, whether it is a single momentous achievement or a long list of experiences they want to mark off to say "been there, done that". Odette is one of those people with a bucket list that reads like a phone book and she wholeheartedly chases down every adventure.

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