When I was younger, I could still remember that Burger King used to have this self-service soda dispenser where customers could freely access. For some reason (I bet one of it was the abusive nature of people), the self-service system didn’t work. Eventually, like Burger King, in most fast foods and restaurants now, customers are served and sometimes, reaching to the point where the service is unnecessary. You know what I mean and we are all guilty of it. However, imagine if we live in a self-service world? A world without physical establishments. No ticket outlets, no pharmacies, no stores. Just you getting what you want and need in your own time and space. Maybe then everything will be delivered faster and more efficiently. And we could do more things that’s actually value-adding. This is our future.
Actually, this revolution is already being started by online shopping sites on Instagram, Facebook and your favorite online shopping sites. You browse and look at what you want to purchase. Add it to your cart. Pay online and wait for it to get delivered. That simple. Hmm…but there are still people who have not enjoyed the benefits of online shopping. Well, I’m not here to convince you totally but it’s worth a try. That is if you want to be part of the “future.” *insert music please*
These are my top reasons why you should shop online:
You Can Avoid Long Queues. Have you ever been to any of SM‘s 3-day sales, shopped at National Bookstore on the eve of the beginning of the school year, or crammed your Christmas shopping on the day of your Christmas party that happens to be on a pay-day Friday? You’ll end up falling in long lines and in that time frame you will either sigh, give up and blow your brains out not to mention not buying the items you’re holding OR be the warrior that you are and swim in the sea of people while asking a friend to get more unnecessary items for you. Even worse, have you ever been asked by your mother to stay in line at the cashier while she continue to shop? Having to feel the anguish of waiting if she will arrive on time to pay for the items you’re holding especially if you don’t have money on you! Sorry, I have many childhood memories spent queuing at the cashier. HAHA. Love you, Mom!
A study conducted in the UK said that an average adult will spend the equivalent of almost one year of their lives stuck in a queue. This includes getting stuck in public toilet queues and traffic (I will get to that later), among others. Maybe in the Philippines, it will be more than one. *sighs* How much of our lives are we unknowingly wasting? One time, I actually spent 30 minutes just to get cinema tickets when I could have gotten them online through Sureseats or SM Cinemas. And this was for Magic Mike XXL, which was crappy. All in all, I lost at least two hours and 40 minutes of my life. #regrets
You Can Escape From Traffic. Getting from one place to another in the metro is more unpredictable than it looks. This makes getting a new cell phone case or a dress that you don’t really need in the next three days not worthy to drive all the way to St. Francis Square or Makati. There are tons of online sellers in Instagram that offer free or minimal fee for delivery. One of my favorites is Zero Gravity Manila. One time, I didn’t have time to shop for my HK trip so I ordered this cool green sweater and just hoped it would look good on me. If you don’t follow online sellers, you can downlaod apps where you can find legit ones. One of the newer apps I’m using is Shopee. Last week, I ordered an iPhone screen protector from one of their online shops, Randose Manila, for only P200 and days after, it arrived easily on my doorstep.
But if you really need to go somewhere, use Uber. Before, to arrive on time, I allot one and a half to two hours for travel regardless of the distance. I don’t drive so I have to take cabs and other public utility vehicles. Thanks to Uber, this is reduced to 45 minutes to 1.5 hours. (My values are a bit conservative because I HATE being late.) If you still haven’t tried Uber, take my word for it. It will change your life. I’m not exaggerating. (Shameless plug: use my code “noelp153ue” to get free rides. :-))
You Don’t Have to Get Into Awkward Conversations with Salespeople. Imagine entering the department store with over 20 salespeople. Like a cute small rabbit passing by a predators’ lair, your fear will be sensed. You will be asked questions you never wanted to answer. What are you looking for? Who are you shopping for? Just burning time actually but if you insist I’ve been wanting to buy new socks. Is it for your boyfriend? What’s your size? Medium? You are not medium! Okay. Sorry. That’s exaggeration but you get my point. Some people are scared to talk to salespeople and end up buying something they don’t particularly need and want. I have a friend that’s been sales-talked into buying those nail buffers from the Dead Sea just so she can go on her way home. That friend could have been me. HAHA.
Some online sites like Shopee and Shopping This Easy have a live chat function. You can contact the seller directly minus the hassle of calling and text-messaging. In person, it’s hard to say no but in online shopping, you can easily click that X button and close the window. The only enemy is yourself. *evil laughs*
You Will Enjoy Sales and Discounts And EVEN MORE Sales and Discounts! Most online sellers/sites are not taxed so prices are generally lower than in retail stores. They have endless sales and discounts. Some even give discounts and gift coupons upon account creation. Some when you sign-up for their online newsletters (Lazada and Zalora Philippines give P250 off on your purchase). Honestly, I get really confused with all the voucher codes. There’re too many to mention. Years ago, I bought an “Ab Rocket” from Groupon Philippines, which sadly closed down days ago. Also, like yesterday, Shopee had this Super Sunday thing where everything was P250 off storewide. Zalora, on the other hand, gave discount voucher codes worth P750 for the long weekend. And just in time for the holiday rush, there’s also a big day for online shopping on the 12th of December this year: an ONLINE FEVER celebration. Watch out for this year’s biggest online shopping event at ZALORA! You wouldn’t want to miss massive sales, promotions, and deals this Christmas. It’s just like Oprah’s Favorite Things!
You Can Canvass Like a Breeze. Online shopping gives you the power to be in multiple stores at the same time. You can simultaneously compare offers from one seller to another to know which one perfectly suits your needs. It’s just a matter of patience and a bit of research. Most online sellers sell almost the same items. Just like when the selfie stick became a hit. More competition means better prices for customers so be a vigilant Instagrammer. Do your research before making a purchase!
You Will Find the Most Novelty of Items and They Will Make You Feel Special. When the sophomore album of One Direction, Take Me Home, was released. I was one of the people who pre-ordered from the One Direction Store a special gift set, which included a photo book, a box, a shirt, a baller ID and a Take Me Home DVD with an electric signature of Irish babe Niall Horan. I also pre-ordered a fan edition of Kris Allen’s second album Thank You Camellia from MyPlay Direct and had my whole name printed on the sleeve under the Thank You credits. Even though my packages went through customs and were taxed, let’s just say I didn’t regret getting these unique and one-of-a-kind items.
You Will Feel the Joy of Anticipation. Do you know the feeling of waiting for something to arrive? The feeling you get waiting for Christmas Eve or that simple joy of waiting for Friday to come? I feel that whenever I wait for my order to be delivered. It’s like waking each day with a purpose.
You Can Shop 24/7. True Story: I have this friend who I’ll hide under the name of “May.” Four years ago, she was shopping in Landmark. The mall closes early on weekdays and is probably the first to close in the whole Makati area. This becomes a problem for people like her who ride the MRT and use the passage between Landmark and Glorietta. She has not finished her shopping when the steel doors were starting to be pulled down. The closing door and its sound created panic among Landmark’s remaining customers. Most people ran towards the door which was left almost half-open. Afraid she would get locked in, May also ran. That’s why you should never follow the crowd. She ran as fast as she could but as she neared the exit, she hit her head on the edge of the closing door. Five stitches and 3 weeks later, she created an online shopping account. Okay, that last sentence was a bit stretched. It’s okay May, who doesn’t get carried away when shopping?
You Can Give and Get Feedback, FAST! The thing about online shops is that their strength and weakness lie on the comments/reviews section. As long as your feedback is valid, it will definitely be heard. I bought a laptop case from a small online seller in Instagram (I forgot the name, sorry). However, once I got it, I noticed slight discoloration on its edges. I DM-ed my complaint to the seller along with a picture immediately. She responded right away, and she shipped me a replacement the next day. I didn’t even need to return the defective one.
So there you have it, my top reasons why you should shop online. The bottom line is that online shopping provides the customer with convenience. However with that convenience, the onus is on you, the customer, to make sure that you are getting what you pay for. You need to be careful with third-party sellers. Make sure that they are reputable merchants by doing a bit of research and reading reviews of their products and services. Also be careful with your online banking accounts. Always keep your passwords updated. Coupons might not be applicable to certain locations or may only be available within a specified time period. Some online merchants might not be able to accommodate item return or exchange. These should always be indicated in the terms and conditions so it pays to read the fine print carefully.
Oh and one last thing to remember: don’t get too addicted, okay? Always do anything in moderation! Shopping included! 🙂
What do you think? Have you ever shopped online before? What was the first ever product or service that you bought? Share your online shopping experience in the comments below.