10 Reasons Why Humans Prefer to Shop Online

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It's that time of year again. When all the shopping centres coordinated change their audio playlists to Chirstmas carols at the same time, [who's the guy who decides on the switch date anyway?] when you allow your kids to take candy from a stranger in an oversized red and white fur coat, when you start to regret having kept in touch with so many friends because the of all the presents and gifts you need to buy.

And when we talk about shopping, many Singaporeans, like any other citizens of most countries that are overly reliant on computers first-world countries, are starting to turn to online shopping as their main channel for consumer purchases, as opposed to traditional shopping.

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And because of this growing craze, more and more humans have started setting up shop on the Internet Super Highway. Heck, I even have a couple of friends who have started their own online shops and are already doing quite well. And the reason is simple. It costs almost nothing to set up shop online, as compared to the thousands of dollars one has to invest in an actual physical shop, before even being able to earn your first dollar.

So here's a list of 10 reasons why traditional shopping is losing out to their online counterparts.

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1. Prices lower than the waistline of my skinny jeans

Obviously one of the most important factors [for some, it may be THE most factor] humans consider when doing their shopping is the price. Why buy something at $10 when you can get it at $8? Because of the nature of online shops and their relatively low startup/running costs, more often than not, online shops are able to offer better deals on the same items that can be found in your physical shopping malls. [Provided you ARE able to find them online]

To add insult to injury, some online shops such as www.bestbuy.com even take it as far as to introduce a lowest price guarantee, with the typical "Find a lower price and we will match it" tagline. Which by the way, I feel is an ingenious marketing strategy that gives consumers a false sense of security. I mean, who goes around and continues to look for comparisons of the product that he has just purchased? Unless you are lucky [unlucky?] enough to chance upon the same item at a different location while shopping for the rest of your items, more likely than not, typical consumers will never even get to use this "guarantee" at all.

But the fact remains that to the general public, prices sell. Just make sure you don't get only 1 side of a shirt for the full price when rushing for a 50% discount deal.

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2. Being able to shop Naked

Nothing beats being able to do your shopping in your birthday suit. I mean if it wasn't illegal to do that in physical shopping malls, who wouldn't? Totally saves you the hassle of have to undress just to try on that new shirt or pants that you have been eyeing. And we would definitely be able to cut the waiting time for the toilets by more than half!

Well, while shopping online naked isn't as fun and efficient as shopping naked in a mall, it definitely has its advantages. One doesn't have to spend time to bathe, prepare and dress-up just in case you meet Mr/Mrs Right while strolling down Orchard Road. Also, for people who have no friends are socially awkward, home shopping is the best way to avoid the evil known as "people".

Damn, the delivery guy just rang my doorbell. Now I need to put on my pants.

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3. No Wet Blankets

Have you ever gone out with your friends/partners and found something that you really, really like, but your friends [who apparently do not share your unique fashion sense] all agree that you would be better off spending that money on treating them to dinner later on? How many of us have actually went on to still buy that something after comments like these? Not many.

But with online shopping, there's nobody to judge your incredible fashion senses, quirky colour combinations and seemingly bad decisions. You get to buy whatever you like, whenever you like. Who cares that poka-dotted shirt and striped pants combination makes you look like a medieval jester? The worse thing that could happen is that you could become an overnight sensation on youtube and instagram when your "friends" decide to post your outfit online. And that isn't too bad either right?

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4. Mirrors are bad for Business

Contrary to popular belief, mirrors actually do more harm than good when it comes to apparel shops. How many times have we thought that we found a beautiful piece from the display rack, only to realise that it doesn't really look that beautiful when you put it on? More often than not, that beautiful piece ends up back on the rack once you are out of the fitting room.

But online apparel shops have caught on to this. They have removed all mirrors from their online shops and replaced them with photos of beautiful/hunky models posing in their apparels. Don't forget that these pictures were probably taken in a studio with very good lighting, the models posed in the best angle to make the apparel look great, and probably even photoshopped too.

But humans tend to forget these facts and assume that if it looks good in the picture, it would look good on them too. So, the next time you buy a piece of clothing that looks so good on the model, you might want to think about hiring that model to wear that piece and follow you along Orchard Road to be 100% sure that you can flaunt that beautiful piece.

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5. The power of Teleportation

Not only is shopping online usually cheaper, it also gives you superpowers. And one such superpower is the power of Teleportation. One moment you could be shopping at your favourite branded bags shop, and within a split second, you could be looking for the cheapest deals at a little-known electrical appliance store. In addition to that, you also have the ability to switch between both locations on demand, at the click of a finger.

That's the power of online shopping. One's teleportation power is only limited by the maximum number of tabs their browser can take before the system hangs. Basically, online shopping has eliminated the need for legs when it comes to shopping. And we wonder why we are getting fatter.

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6. Crowd Control

Nobody likes to be squished within kissing distance of hundreds of other strangers. [Unless there is loud thumping music, alcohol and strobing lights. Hey, maybe they should introduce that to our public transport system, then everyone would stop complaining.] Coupled with the fact that you still have 25 more presents to buy, while lugging 4-5 shopping bags along with you, having to squeeze through a sea of other humans is the last thing you need.

In my opinion, being able to skip the crowds is one of the major plus point of shopping online. You don't have to worry about being elbowed in the stomach while rushing for that last shirt on offer, or having to control your bladder while queuing up for the cashier.

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However, something that you can't escape from is the mad rush for limited stock offer items. Much like their brick and mortar counterparts, online shops also frequently have sales and time-limited promotions. And during these sales and promotion periods, the hardcore online shoppers will be camping in front of their screens, getting ready to click-spam the website once the promotion kicks in. Well, as I always say: "Fastest Fingers First".

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7. Having the Eye of Sauron

While shopping at your regular departmental store shopping for a new shirt, it is almost impossible to sift through every single shirt in the men's department. You would most likely miss out a rack or two just because you didn't plan your route well enough to cover every single shop and brand in the mall.

However, when shopping online, you basically have the all-seeing Eye of Sauron. With more and more "All-seeing" shopping sites such as www.zalora.sg gaining popularity because you get to see the entire collection of shirts across all the different brands from one single place. What's more, there is always the all important "Search" function that let's you find whatever you are looking for quickly and effortlessly. So, if you still can't find something that you like, you can only blame your extremely high expectations and lack of impulsiveness.

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8. No overly-helpful Sales Promoters

I don't know about you, but most of the time, when I have a legitimate shopping query and am looking for a service staff to assist me, they are either all occupied or non-existent. However, when I'm just browsing through, all the service staff seem to give me their fullest attention, asking me if I need any help, or furiously recommending their "Best Sellers" and "Hot Promotions". And this really pisses me off. If I needed your help, I would have already asked you.

Shopping online frees you from the eyes of all these promoters and sales assistants. You can leisurely shop at your own pace without being worried about these pesky humans trying to entice you to buy anything. Heck, you could even spend 5 hours browsing the same product and still nobody would be staring at you suspiciously. But there's always 2 sides to a coin. On the flip-side, when the time comes where you really need help, the only place you can go on an online shopping page would be the "Contact Us" page.

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9. Late Night Shopping

In sunny Singapore, most of the shopping mall close around 10pm everyday, and by midnight, the only place where you could "shop" at would be Mustafa Centre. However, as the economy grows, prices increase, stress level rises, and our pay stays the same, most humans tend to have lesser time to do their shopping. Any by the time we really finish up all our chores for the day, most of the shopping mall are already closed for the day.

This is why more and more people are jumping on the online shopping bandwagon. Online shops don't have closing hours. It doesn't matter whether you woke up at 6am from a nightmare where the word "SALE" was removed from the dictionary, or you just stumbled home at 1am from a heavy night of drinking, and are having wild thoughts of buying used underwear, you can always go online to your favourite shops to have a peak at their products.

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10. Multi-Tasking

One of the biggest advantages of shopping online is that you get to do loads of other similarly unproductive stuff at the same time while you shop. While walking in an actual shopping mall, watching your favourite youtube video of fainting goats while walking around meant that there was a chance that you would miss out a good bargain or two.

But when you are shopping in front of your screen, in 1 window, you could be deciding which colour of underwear you want to purchase, googling for "what colour underwear suits me most" in another window, and surfing gay porn listening to your favourite music on iTunes, all at the same time. In fact, you're probably replying to whatsapp messages on your phone and watching a drama series on TV too.

Does this dress make me look fat?
No, your fat makes you look fat.
Image taken from google search

Call me old fashion, but personally, I still prefer the good old method of physically going down to the shop and hand-picking the items that I want. Sometimes things may look beautiful on their own, but only when you really try them on, that's when you realise that the cutting doesn't compliment your body shape, or the material is much thicker and hotter than you thought.

I mean, no matter how many words we use to describe the product, how good our monitor resolutions get, and how advanced we get in 3D holographic technologies, nothing can replace the good old "touch and feel" right?

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