Like preferring to hold a book in my hand over a tablet, my sentiments on e-commerce are similar. I’d much prefer to walk into a store to make a purchase, rather than do so online.
I’m a sucker for a good sales pitch, I succumb to a grand window display, and I’d rather dreamily run my fingers along the silk blouses than scroll endlessly on my phone or computer all while hoping I don’t click the wrong thing sending me back to square one.
A little hypocritical for someone that capitalizes on the advantage the web has provided her to express her thoughts on the fashion industry, you say? Well it’s not that I’m opposed to e and m-commerce. In fact, I find it especially intriguing.
In the spring of 2013 I participated in a leadership conference that required research be done prior to participation. Divided into groups based on college majors, my group researched e and m-commerce and the affect it has on the clothing, textile, and interior design industries. We researched what a day in the life is like for a (fictional) interior designer that utilizes primarily all app-based utilities on her phone and tablet to complete her workday. What we learned from our research and creation of this character (her name was Alice) is: 1) our phones are in our hands a freaking ton, 2) e-commerce is growing increasingly fast, 3) there are still millions of people that don’t trust technology enough to commit to online shopping.
In our research we found a bit from a Sherry Turkle who studies people’s relationship with technology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She says that the answer to the question of “why the rise in e-commerce?” lies in the fact that they [phones] are “always on, always on you.” Because our cell phones have this capability, Turkle says, “the devices effectively become an appendage to our body and mind that plays a role in everything from our social interactions to emotions.”
And isn’t that the truth?
But for someone like myself that really values a great in-store aesthetic, exceptional customer service, and a perfectly curated merchandise assortment, I find that shopping online removes those critical pieces of the traditional shopping experience. See, you may can throw a pop up on my screen asking me if “I need to chat” because I’ve been idly waiting, but nothing (I repeat nothing) replaces the sincere sound of “hello, can I help you find anything in particular today?”
I was compelled to post on the topic of e-commerce after reading this article on Refinery 29. “Spring” is a new shopping app with multiple intriguing functions and features. Check it out, and tell me what you think!