Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Savvy Shoppers Abandon Their Cars and "Park" Themselves in Front of Their Computers Instead

Savvy Shoppers, the ones with both a discriminating eye and those who are price conscious, shop online these days. There are many reasons why a shopper will choose to "park" herself in front of her computer rather than brave the crowded parking lots of the nearby mall. But, according to Nielsen/NetRatings, Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Harris Interactive, the top reason is to avoid crowds, a reason cited by 38% of respondents in a recent study.

Case in point, I have a couple of lipstick colors that I repeatedly wear from my favorite cosmetic company. And, my "nearby mall" is very nearby, just down the hill, only 2 minutes away. I decided last weekend that I could hop down to my preferred department store and replenish my lipsticks faster than I could buy them online. So, even though I am an avid online shopper I made the decision to hop in my car and brave the parking lots at the mall. BIG mistake. (*groan*)

First, it took me at least 7 turns through the parking lot before I found a spot. Finally, I spotted one and raced to get to it before some one else. I then had to schlepp a good distance in the rainy, cold Portland weather to get inside the store. Once I was inside my favorite department store, I discovered they were having a big "event" in the cosmetics department. (*double triple groan*)

I stood at the counter of my favorite cosmetic line for about 20 minutes before someone acknowledged me. I, then, had to wait another 10 minutes while the associates rummaged through their stock looking for "my colors" and traded me off between employees who were busy serving several customers at once. At long last one stressed employee popped her head up from behind the counter and informed me they were out of stock of my lipstick colors. The associate tried to call my attention to the new "Spring Palette" so as not to lose a sale but I wasn't interested.

I turned around and headed right back out of the store and into the cold, rainy weather and back across the football field-sized parking lot to my car, into which I hopped and proceeded to drive right back home in order to park myself in front of my computer and my favorite online cosmetics store's site.

I had to wait three days for my lipsticks to arrive on my doorstep but the ease and effortlessness of shopping from the comfort of my home in front of my computer was worth the wait a million times over when compared to the frustration of braving the crowds at my recent sojourn to the mall only to be turned away empty handed, which brings me to my next topic: the wider selection of products available online for the savvy shopper! More on that laterz. Tatyana