While I am not much of an online shopper, I am realizing that more and more of my friends and family enjoy it and know how to shop wisely. Here are a few examples from those in the know, along with their tips for wise cyber shopping:
I do virtually all of my Christmas shopping online, because I can sit at my computer in shorts and a t-shirt, barefoot, and take care of all 12 grandchildren, their parents, our nieces and nephews and a few relatives and friends in several hours, rather than getting dressed for public view and hitting the malls and big box stores over two or three days. I get suggestions from the grandkids’ moms and then see how much I can find on Amazon Prime, so I can ship to each individual. I hit several other store websites where I can find good gifts for others on my list. And, I’m done in a day or less, and a whole lot less stressed. Unless my computer crashes, and that’s a stress of a different color entirely. The few gifts I don’t buy online aren’t hard to knock out in a half-day of “face-to-face” shopping, and I usually enjoy it, because I don’t feel hassled and I get a kick out of watching people who are.
Julie B. Fix – Houston
I do a majority of my gift shopping online. I like the convenience of shopping when I have time, having the vendor gift-wrap and ship the item right to the recipient. Most of the gifts I buy are for family out-of-state, so this makes holiday travel very convenient, as I don’t have to lug the gifts with me. I also shop online to get the full benefit of my Amazon Prime membership.
Don Rebsamen – Dallas
I shop on line occasionally. My fave stores send me emails about sales or items not available at their physical stores. I like shopping online because I can do it when it’s convenient for me, from my comfy chair without the hassles of checkout lines and finding convenient parking. It is also easier to do comparative pricing online, and where else can you find Amazon and eBay?
Margaret Chabris – Dallas
I would say we do less than 50% of our shopping online, but that’s mostly because living in Dallas, we have access to any brick and mortar retailer you can think of. When we do shop online, it’s important for the retailer to have a generous return policy. If you can’t see and touch or try it on, to see if it fits,the store better make it easy to return or exchange. One of our favorite sites is Nordstrom/Nordstrom Rack, because they allow you to return things to their store. Also you may want to look into what I call the hybrid online retailers like Bonobos (clothes) and Warby Parker (eyewear). They have shops where you can check out the goods, but you actually do the ordering online and it’s delivered to you. I’ve used both and they are great.
Another important point is the shipping policy. Almost everyone gives free shipping these days, but you have to look at the fine print to see who’s going to be in charge of the delivery. Amazon and others will use FedEx or UPS on the front end and then pass it off to USPS, which can be maddening (they don’t have good tracking and aren’t as fast).
Matt Vermillion – Dallas
I will always remember my husband’s dismay when he opened an Amazon box filled with toilet paper. He turned to me with much concern and said, “You bought toilet paper online?!,” as though I had just purchased 36 rolls of used toilet paper. The fact of the matter is that the internet has drastically changed the way I shop. Whether it’s for paper goods, clothes or furniture, shopping online has become more convenient, cost-effective, and much less stressful for me, especially when shopping involves an infant and toddler in tow. I am able to compare prices easily online to ensure I am saving as much money as possible, in a fraction of the time it takes to physically get in my car and run errands to multiple stores. While there are some items I am unlikely to buy online without seeing in person (e.g., an area rug or car), I can only imagine that the number of items I purchase online will increase, especially when there is always the option to return the item with little or no additional cost.
Ashley Hofmeister – Houston
So there you have it. No doubt retailers are focusing more and more attention on cyber shoppers as this trend grows. You can count on savvy professional communicators to help reach all types of shoppers with news about good deals and evolving retail policies. Happy shopping!
We’re Talkin’ Texas,
Hopkins PR is a public relations firm with headquarters in Dallas. We can do everything from crisis communications to media training to traditional media relations. We focus on “Texas PR by Texans in Texas.”