Let’s face it: entering your credit card number on your laptop or phone is both inconvenient and kind of meaningless. If you’re like me, you check three times that the number is accurate, and die a little inside when you thought your browser would have stored it but didn’t, and now you have to enter it again. Then you enter it, click “Order,” get a confirmation email, and later one that says your purchase has shipped. This is the exciting part - it’s on the way! But three days later, you get home to realize you missed your package by 20 minutes, and can only go pick it up tomorrow.
Shopping online removes the excitement of whatever newness you’re about to experience. Sure, you can do it from your bed, but is it really fun every time?
E-commerce does not provide the endorphin rush one gets from an in store experience, finding the perfect product by pure chance and leaving with it. There’s a ton of meaning behind the moment when your cashier puts every article in the bag, walks around the counter and hands it to you. The purchase is validated - the experience is real. You walk away really feeling like you accomplished something, whether that’s true or not.
Sure, sometimes you can be swamped with work and really don’t have time to take a trip to the mall. In those times, you have no choice but to resort to online shopping. The experience, though, can sometimes feels more like a chore than a leisurely activity. A feeling of tangibility and materiality is missing, and it doesn’t feel like you have gone shopping at all.
As Business Insider explains, the claim that the convenience of e-commerce will take down the in sotre experience cannot be completely backed up - stores are where customers go to see and feel products. This palpable phenomenon is what makes or breaks the sale. In fact, 69% of those surveyed have “reverse-showroomed:” this means they have researched a product online and then bought it in store.
The idea that brick and mortar stores are obsolete isn’t news - it also isn’t true. For one thing, online shopping is a dry experience based in numbers and anonymity. Brick and mortar shopping provides a sensual experience that cannot be matched by the blue glow of your laptop screen at 2am.
The emotional experience of shopping in-store is just that: emotional. Your story usually sounds something like “I’m so glad they had what I was looking for” or “I was so excited to see the new collection,” right? Excitement and happiness, among infinite others, are emotions that underlie recreational shopping. As consumers, we crave that experience almost as much as what we’re there to buy. And that’s a feeling nothing can replace.