There’s so much stuff available to buy on the Internet: products from other countries, stuff you didn’t think you needed but now suddenly realise you do, and that game from your childhood that you really wanted when you were little but your parents wouldn’t let you get it because they were out to ruin your life… but hey, look, here’s someone on eBay selling it. There are so many bits and bobs online with a price next to them and it takes just one click to put them in your virtual shopping cart. But what do you actually buy online?
Do you buy clothes? And if you do, do you have a process, like only buying from shops where you know the clothes will fit you or being very strict with returning unwanted items? My only foray into the world of online clothes shopping resulted in me buying a pair of black sequined shorts in December 2009 that I wore once and are still in my wardrobe, despite the fact I will never wear them again. After all, I might need them for a fancy dress party someday! (Sure.) To be fair to online shopping, though, half the things in my wardrobe are there in case they are one day needed for fancy dress and they were all bought in physical shops. I guess I’m just reluctant to online shop as I can only see what I look like in an item once I’ve paid for it and I’m fairly lazy about returning items.
The world of online clothes shopping could change, though, thanks to new technological advances such as Fits.me. Fits.me has developed a mannequin whose size can be altered which means that items of clothing are placed onto the mannequin which is then photographed as the dimensions of the mannequin change. This means that customers can key in their measurements and see almost exactly how an item of clothing would look on them. Obviously you can’t tell whether or not the colour would suit you or if it’d go with those great jeans you just bought but you can see how the item would drape on your particular body shape. Fits.me is still in its early stages, but I do think it has the potential to make online shopping a whole lot easier. You can even have a go yourself and let me know what you think of it.
I do, however, use the Internet to clothes shop in a different way. I’m a pretty methodical shopper; I shop because I need new clothes and not because I want to spend an afternoon looking at clothes, and so I find online is perfect for finding things that I might like. I look through Topshop.com, take note of anything that I like the look of, check its availability in my local stores and then make my way to the store where I’ve got a plan of attack: find item, try it on, buy or don’t buy. Does anybody else do this? Or do you have any other ways of using the Internet to make physical shopping easier?
As well as being able to buy things over the Internet that you can wear, it’s also possible to buy items that you consume, such as music, books, films and my absolute favourite: boxsets of TV shows. The Internet gives you the option of downloading things on the spot or waiting a little bit longer to get the physical item but whichever way you choose to buy it, it also opens you up to a whole lot of other things you mightn’t have heard of. Have you discovered any gems through the internet, perhaps a foreign song or TV show or film that you would never have heard of if it hadn’t been for the World Wide Web, but thanks to the Internet, you’ve been able to buy said item? I think the majority of my online shopping is spent on foreign TV shows.
The Internet can also be used to buy so many other things – collectables, food, electronics, make up, the list goes on and on – but that doesn’t necessarily mean that just because it’s there to be bought, people will actually buy it. Are there certain items you only buy online or only buy offline, or do you eschew Internet shopping altogether, preferring a bit of human interaction with a sales adviser and actually being able to see the product? What do you buy online?
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