Online shopping and why we love it

online shopping and why we love it

Which do you prefer: online shopping or off-line shopping?

We’ve been doing a lot of talking lately about online shopping, and you may have gathered from all of this that The Fashion Police are big fans of the kind of shopping you can do without leaving the comfort of your chair. Or your bed, as the case may be.

We know not everyone has the same affection for online shopping as we do, though, and some of you are downright scared of it (“How can you spend money on something you haven’t even tried on?” is a question we get fairly regularly) so here are just a few reasons why we love online shopping…

Stress-free shopping

If you’re not exactly a “people person”, online shopping is the perfect way to browse your favourite stores without having to deal with the crowds: the slow-walkers, the stroller-shovers (i.e the people who shove their stroller into your heels or nudge you with them rather than simply saying “Excuse me”), those people who seem to pop up everywhere you go, and want to look at exactly the same thing YOU’RE looking at. We’re sure you know what we’re talking about. At sale time, this shopping hell gets even more unpleasant: who WOULDN’T prefer staying curled up in bed, with a nice cup of wine coffee by your side, and getting shop in blissful solitude? 

Online shopping: shopping for lazy people

We’ll just say it: we’re lazy. We’d rather the shops came to US, rather than us having to go to the shops. Seriously, you have to drive there, park up (and often pay for the privilege), trail around overheated, crowded stores (see point one), and all of this, only to leave without actually finding anything? No thanks: we’ll just stay in bed and let the lovely courier company deliver it all straight to our door…

Better selection of clothes

One thing we’ve noticed in our years of online shopping is that most brands stock a far greater selection of clothing on their websites than they do in store. All too often we’ve made a trip to the mall (We DO still grave the mall with our presence every now and then…) in a bid to see a particular item in person… only to find that they just don’t have it: or, indeed, any of the other items from the website. (Dorothy Perkins, we’re looking at you here…) What gives? Probably a lot of things, all of which mostly come down to the difficulty of keeping every store in a chain fully stocked with every single item a customer might possibly want. There are no such problems with online shopping, though, so you tend to find a far wider selection.

Better size ranges

If you’re petite, tall, or plus-sized, you’ll know that it can be really hard to find clothes that fit you, because even those brands which DO have a “specialist” line don’t tend to stock that line in every store. In some cases, specialist sizing lines will only be available in “flagship” or other selected stores, so if you don’t live near one of those, you’re out of luck. Websites, on the other hand, are much more likely to stock the full range of sizes, so you’ve a better chance of finding what you’re looking for. This goes for “regular” sizes, too: how often have you rummaged through a rack of clothes, only to find they have every size but yours? Online shopping isn’t infallible in this respect, and stock levels can be an issue online as well as offline, but at least you don’t have to waste gas money or shoe leather to find out they don’t have your size in stock.

Easier browsing

Entering a clothes store can feel a bit like walking into Aladdin’s cave: you never know what you might find. That’s a good thing in some respects, of course – especially if you’re the kind of person who enjoys the “challenge” of a good rummage – but it also makes it easy to miss the things you might really love. With online shopping, on the other hand, you can often choose to filter the selection available to suit your particular needs, so you can view all the clothing in your size, say, or in a particular colour: much easier than a seemingly endless “rummage”.

Take advantage of coupons and sales

We don’t know about you, but we’ve yet to make a purchase online without first of all doing a quick Google search to see if there are any online discount codes or other offers we can take advantage of.  (Sites like Discount Codes are designed for this very purpose.) You can still sale shop and use coupons in-store, of course, but it’s that much easier to actually find them online – not to mention the fact that many retailers will throw one-day online sales, or have other offers, which apply only to their website. Another big benefit of online shopping is the ability to do a quick price comparison and see if the same item is available anywhere else at a lower price. Everyone loves a bargain, right?

Read other people’s reviews

In recent years, many brands have started to allow shoppers to add their own reviews of the items available to the websites they bought them from (We particularly like Topshop’s). This kind of unbiased information can be absolutely invaluable when you’re trying to decide whether to buy or keep something, as you can find out things like how well it’ll wash, and what it’s like to actually wear, before you’ve even added it to your cart. You COULD wall around stores asking other shoppers for their opinions, of course, but don’t blame us if they look at you funny…

 The downside of online shopping

Of course, online shopping isn’t without its downsides, too, the biggest one being that you’re buying clothes based on a photo on the internet: and trust us, the camera DOES lie. Not only do colours appear differently on different monitors and screen resolutions, the item itself can be made to look different depending on how it’s being worn and styled in the photo. Add in the fact that you can’t see what the fabric is REALLY like, and you can’t try it on until it gets to you, and you could be in for a disappointment. Reading reviews, of they’re available, will definitely help in this respect, but there’s really no substitute for being able to see something “in the flesh”, as it were, and try it on for yourself.

When you add in the fact that online shopping has a delayed gratification aspect to it, in the sense that you have to wait for the item to be delivered to you (and then have the hassle of returning it if it doesn’t fit), and we can definitely see why it isn’t for everyone, as much as we love it ourselves.

What about you?

Do you love online shopping, or do you much prefer to hit the shops in person?

6 Comments

  • February 6, 2013

    Ana

    I don’t do online shopping for clothes, because for a weird reason, I feel like the same size number is usually different for store to store.

    What might be my size in Zara, is usually one size bigger in H&M for instance. And sometimes its worse and two pairs of pants in the same store with apparently the same size are actually quite different (again H&M).

    There is also the problem that the models are too slim and we don’t really have pictures of the costumers (for obvious reasons) with the clothes on.

    Honestly I just prefer to go to the store, except during the sales. They drive me crazy.

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  • February 7, 2013

    Tanya

    I have recently become huge fan of online shopping, mainly because now I fall into category of stroller-shover, as you call it 🙂 It is stressful to shop with two kids and almost impossible to try anything on, which makes it almost equal to shopping via internet. I also find it more exciting to look for bargains in the comfort of my home. And the enjoyment of receiving new stuff at your doorstep is like getting a present. I like to pretend it wasn’t me who paid for it 😉

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    • February 7, 2013

      The Fashion Police

      The “stroller shover” reference was about people who constantly shove them into your legs when you’re walking near them, not just people who have them in general: I’m sure you don’t go around ramming into people 🙂

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      • February 7, 2013

        Tanya

        See, Amber, that is the thing … I am not sure where I shove it – it is a double stroller and the front is so far from me I can never be sure if I don’t accidentally just “brush”it of someone’s legs 🙂 And because I am generally a nice person and don’t like to create conflict, I rather stay at home and shop online. Better for me and for fellow shoppers 😉

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  • February 11, 2013

    serinde

    Australia and overseas shipping – they are not good friends. watchagunnado. I like the idea of online shopping, though vintage should always be done in person

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  • February 18, 2013

    bookmole

    Love it and hate it. Love it for sale clothes at Evans, and Marisota; hate it for shoes and bras, both of which need trying on. And having a kindle means only online shopping for books…

    Daughter has, single-handedly, broken the high street – she buys everything on line, spending up to £400 a transaction. Then she gets the parcel, tries everything on, and returns 99% of what she has ordered. Apparently, this is how The Youth of Today shop. According to Daughter…

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