Blog #4 – Is online shopping killing the traditional mall?

I am an online shopper. I love Amazon and Chapters and several other clothing sites. So, apparently do lots of other Canadians. According to this article, 60 cents from every dollar spent on line goes to Amazon. That’s a lot of money directly into Amazon’s pocket (and out of mine!). Why do people use on shopping? I believe it is partially due to the social media influence on social media. According to Stephens (2017), 10 percent of all merchandise is purchased on line and he anticipates this will increase to 30 or 40 percent over the next decade.

Customer Service – Amazon Rocks

I am not sure which is worse – walking into a store in a mall and being bombarded by staff pushing merchandise at you or being totally ignored because the sales clerk is on a cell phone. When you buy online, you can browse with the option of calling in if you need to.  Granted, with Amazon, the descriptions of the products are generally so good, you don’t need to. Most sites have live chats available. Chatbots are being more popular.  The link describes a chatbot in detail but it is essentially an automated voice designed to assist a customer with an issue.  Interestingly, chatbots are predicted to become more popular in the few years.

And – no hassle returns.  I think Amazon probably has the best customer service I have ever seen.  No wonder – poor customer service affects their bottom line.  I also like the way they use social media to advertise.  They will send you an email – I have a choice to open it or not.  For me, it is 10 times better than the way some companies use when you leave something in a shopping cart.

People used to hang out at shopping malls.  Recent trends (Stephens, 2017) indicate that is not so true any more.  People have to park, run into a store, find what they want, pay for it, and leave.  I like the option of sitting in my office, investigating several prices at several sites, choosing the one I want, and have it delivered to my door. No parking hassles for me!  If I want to return something, I just put a return label on it and return it.  No back to the mall with all that involves for me.

Amazon is becoming a major threat to retailers.  Why?  According to this article, “The threat that Amazon presents is that they don’t think like a retailer,” he said. “They think like a technology innovation and data company that just happens to sell things. ”

Business.com suggests that there are three main reasons why online shopping is better. I agree with each and very one of them.

  1. It is easier. Absolutely – see my above comments.
  2. It is more social. Ok – this one took some convincing.  Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter have all placed “buy now” buttons on some advertising.  Pinterest’s pictures will direct you back to the site where it came from.  I am not sure how this is more social.  I am still not convinced and would be interested in knowing what you think.
  3. Customer service is better. Again, absolutely – see my above comments.

Are you an online shopper? I would be interested in knowing your thoughts.

Facebook:  Are you helping to kill traditional shopping malls?  I know I am.  See my latest blog at http://bit.ly/2vL7cIA

Twitter:  Online shopping rocks?  #Amazonrocks #Parkinglotssuck #Shoppinginmyjammies

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9 thoughts on “Blog #4 – Is online shopping killing the traditional mall?

  1. I have never been much of an online shopper but then I had kids! Online shopping is not only easy but its super convenient! I can even do my groceries online and they bring them right out to my car and load it up, like how crazy is that!

    I do agree with the social part, I dont really see how it is more social since I dont even have to interact with anyone to purchase. I know Old Navy is great for returns as well you just ship it back to them. I don’t even have to go and see someone in store should I need to make a return. There are even lots of places now that will ship clothing to you just to try it on before you buy it!

    The one issue I have with Amazon is you have to check to see where it is coming from. I have had lots of friends get scammed from Amazon, buying what they thought was authentic Kate Spade phone cases, when really it was a picture of a KS phone case on a phone case!

    • That is interesting about Amazon and scammers. I have never had a issue. I certainly hope your friends complained directly to Amazon. I also hope they filed a complaint with their credit card company. That’s ridiculous – if scammers used their talents for good instead of evil, this world would be so much better. Thanks for the comment.

  2. I am a big online shopper, I find it faster, easier and less-stressful. I can take my time and look at the items I want and I can have them sent straight to my house. I do occasionally still go to the mall and try clothes on and buy them there but if the store offers free shipping and I know my size then why bother?

  3. I 100% agree. I hate to say it, but shopping malls have failed to adapt to the online shopping wave. They only have themselves to blame. If they want to survive, they better make it compelling and back it up with top-notch service! Even from a competition standpoint though, prices will always be better online…so it is only a matter of time.
    good post!

  4. Hi Christine. I pretty much only shop online except for groceries – everything else is all online. Clothes, cosmetics, gifts, houseware, everything! I find that even store websites have more variety than the actual store in the mall. I also find that websites that don’t have a physical store offer cheaper prices since overhead costs are cheaper. Lately my favourite website is well.ca and shipping is free if you spend a minimum of $35 which is a fairly low amount. The website sells cosmetics, toiletries, books, snacks and all kinds of other stuff. You should check it out!

  5. In the past year I’ve started doing a lot of online shopping – mainly since I discovered 1861.ca. It’s not just that I like the clothes, but the customer service is wonderful. I hate walking into a store and being swarmed with salespeople, so having the luxury to browse at my own speed is definitely a huge plus. I’ve shown the site to some other friends and they’ve started buying clothes there too. But we don’t all live in the same city. So online shopping has become our way of shopping together – we can send each other links to clothes we like and get their opinions.

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