As well as being a lifestyle blogger, I’ve spent the past ten years plus working in the fast paced industry they call retail. I’m a PR Manager by ‘trade’ so to speak, and I’ve currently worked across some of the biggest name fashion and beauty retailers, both UK and internationally. One of my highlights so far was working for a premium department store head office in Sydney called David Jones – a little like Harvey Nichols, except it’s Australian. No matter which retailer I’ve been tasked to work my beauty and fashion PR magic on, I’ve noticed one common trait: the online sector just keeps on growing.
I was recently approached by BBC Radio 4 to take part in a radio documentary on Boxing Day about whether I’m a true online shopper, or a traditional bricks-and-mortar store girl at heart. Unfortunately, with Christmas being the craziest time of the year for me with work, I had to decline, but I thought about it again when I came across some research uncovered by swiftmoney.com/short-term-
When it comes to which one do I prefer – in-store or online – I have to say hands down I’m an online shopper. And incase you’re a business reading this blog post and want to understand why 31-year-old like myself would prefer this option, I’ve listed all the pro’s below.
1. It fits into my life
I’m a super busy full time PR girl, slash blogger, slash makeup artist, slash girlfriend, daughter, sister, friend… so in short, I’m never sitting still. Which means I’m constantly running around from work to events, home to socialising, so time spent in shopping centers and High Streets are limited. I’ll make the extra effort for necessities, like food shopping where I’ll drive to a Supermarket.
But if I want a new outfit for an upcoming Saturday night, I’ll go to my iPhone first, laptop second, visit to a store third. Online shopping is like that trusty best friend; it is always there. No matter whether it’s a crisis in the middle of the night, or to pass some time browsing on your lunch hour, online shops are just sat there waiting for you. 24/7.
2. I can shop from anywhere… including my bed
Reflecting the point above, I rarely have much spare time. But if I do, I sure don’t want to spend it walking around outside trawling the High Street, or battling the crowds at a shopping centre. You’ll usually find me with my feet up, on the sofa, iPad in hand. Or, I’ll be lay in bed watching the TV, scrolling through my phone. Which brings me to my next point…
3. It works hand-in-hand with social media
Hate it or love it, social media is ruling the world and it isn’t going to end anytime soon. With the 16-40 nation being glued to Instagram and Facebook, online retails use this as a platform to capture their target audience, and make it super easy to shop.
Many a time I’ll be scrolling my Facebook feed and see a carousel of gorgeous clothes. I’ll click on the Facebook page, then the website, and before you know it, a slinky black jumpsuit is in my basket ready to ship. Or, I’ll be on Instagram and spy my favourite influencer sharing some mirror selfies, and all of a sudden I’m like ‘I want that faux fur coat!’. Again, I’m swiping up on the insta stories link, and I’m browsing away. Then adding to basket. And then…. Well you get my drift.
I regularly feature my favourite retailers on my own Instagram here, and I trust my posts definitely create brand awareness for online shops, if sales aren’t always the first thing it generates,
4. You can use cashback sites
A lot of my friends and family actually chose to shop online because it can bring them additional cash benefits, such as cashback. I have to admit this isn’t one of my reasons, but it should be, because I do know a few success stories from friends who have let their cashback add up via a cashback site, and after 6 months, have earned almost £100 to deposit into their account!
This especially works on those larger, hefty priced items or services, like insurance or electrical purchases.
5. As a blogger, online shopping has practically given me a career
OK so here’s a little bit of a selfish reason, but the booming industry of growing online retailers has helped shape and form my career. For my day job, I work predominately now in digital beauty and fashion PR, as the world of online shopping has opened up tasks across SEO, content and PPC. As a blogger, I’ve been able to become a paid, almost full time blogger due to working with online retailers to drive traffic and sales for them.
As online services get smarter, such as working with Google on rankings etc, the easier it is for online retailers to grow. They can now get exposed to millions of potential audiences that a bricks-and-mortar store could never reach through other forms of promotion.
I actually have my own online boutique, which runs very secondary to everything else I currently juggle, but there’s no way in a million years I could successfully set this up as a standalone store. Online retailing gives start-up companies who have brilliant products a fantastic platform to get themselves out there to the army of shoppers ready to browse and buy in the speed of a click!
For a few more interesting pointers on online shopping vs in-store shopping, there’s a super interesting infographic below (because let’s face it, the above is just all my opinion, but there are actually tons of pro’s to in-store shopping!)