We all experience things differently, so why should shopping be any different?
For some, shopping is best experienced with friends and ample time to browse all types of clothes and products. For others, shopping is a chore best experienced alone to allow a quick entrance, purchase, and exit.
Depending on your shopping style, you may or may not be attracted to alternative shopping methods. Yes, I’m talking about online shopping. Whether this initially sounds appealing to you or not, you may be surprised to see how online shopping can fit into your lifestyle.
Some may be skeptical of releasing credit card information online or trusting items they haven’t seen in person; it’s understandable. When you look at the possibilities of online shopping, though, you’ll see the convenience factor really can’t be beat.
The king of the hill in the online shopping industry is Amazon. It is the unquestionable major player in this remarkable universe of online shopping. Amazon puts all other sites to shame, and for good reason, too.
What is Amazon?
Amazon is something like the world’s largest Sears catalog. With limited goods supplied in brick and mortar stores, more options are available through alternative purchasing methods. Both catalog and online shopping expand the number and type of items available and deliver them to your doorstep. The only difference with online shopping is that everything is done “virtually,” or more simply, on the Internet..
Before Amazon came along, online shopping was primarily limited to individual online stores. If you wanted a new pair of shoes, you ordered from the DSW website. If you wanted a new comforter, you ordered from the Bed, Bath & Beyond website. If you wanted a new TV, you ordered from the Best Buy website.
You get the point.
Amazon changed the game completely. Amazon is kind of like the online version of a modern-day Costco, only better. True, you don’t get the free samples, but you skip the lines, the crowds, and the insane parking lot. From books, to videogames, to clothes, to décor, to food – Amazon has it and a wide selection of it, too. In fact, Amazon’s slogan is “Earth’s Biggest Selection.” Fitting.
What if I like shopping in person?
If you enjoy the tangible experience and social aspect of shopping, the least you can do is make your trip more efficient. Check out or try on the item in person and then compare the in-store price to the prices listed by Amazon. In most instances, Amazon will have a cheaper option as it is known for its affordability. This way, you can still participate in the tangible shopping experience, but the actual purchase of the item is done online.
Or, perhaps the color of the item you’re interested in isn’t available in the store, but it can be found online. This is another way to take advantage of the options online shopping provides without abandoning your shopping hobby.
Amazon can be a convenience, but it doesn’t necessarily have to replace all shopping. You can still hit the mall on your casual Saturday afternoon. Stroll around with some friends, try on some clothes, ask for opinions and advice – the whole shebang. Chances are, the social experience is only enjoyable without crowded stores and lines that wrap around the building.
Amazon is perfect for saving money and time during the holidays when shipping gifts across the country to family. Unless you enjoy long lines at the post office, this is a great feature for anyone who doesn’t see family during the holidays, like some snowbirds.
With Amazon, you can take in the digital trend replacing Black Friday, which is called, “Cyber Monday,” the Monday that follows the Thanksgiving weekend. The deals are out of control; the crowds are non-existent.
Returning items is made simple, too. With every order, Amazon provides a postage-paid mailing label to return your shipment if necessary.
What makes Amazon so great?
As mentioned, Amazon consolidates all of your purchases onto one site. Sure, the items you buy may be sent from different companies/locations and may arrive on different dates, but it makes your online shopping experience much simpler.
You may be thinking that a site this large will be difficult to navigate. The opposite happens, actually. Amazon is broken up into departments, such as Sports & Outdoors, Beauty & Health, and Home, Garden & Tools. Each department is further categorized by the items that fall within it. When looking for a specific item, you can choose a subcategory to browse. You can also type into the search box and your desired item will likely appear.
Not only is Amazon a website, but it is also an application that can be downloaded onto a smartphone, expanding the instances and scenarios by which you can place orders– your home, while in line at the bank, or the waiting room at the doctor’s office. Anywhere, anytime.
Amazon even takes time to get to know you! Well, kind of. Your search history and the items you click on are tracked. Amazon will then make suggestions for what might interest you and will also notify you about sales or available coupons for an item you’ve searched for. For example, Amazon gives recommendations on similar authors you might enjoy, like a concierge service without the hefty price tag!
If you’re shopping on budget, as many people are, Amazon makes it easy to compare prices of the same or similar items. When an item is searched, the price appears next to the item’s picture, making it easy to compare prices as you scroll through search results. There is also the option to sort your search results by price, having the lowest price items appear first.
Once you master the basics and joys of online shopping with Amazon, you can check out other features that the site offers, including free shipping, movies, music, and more.
Amazon offers a safe and unlimited space to do your shopping. I’m of the i-Generation, and I still often discover new Amazon perks, if that tells you anything at all. It’s fast, convenient, and practically foolproof. Why not take five minutes to explore the Amazon site? You may be surprised at the opportunities it offers you.
Have some questions about how to navigate Amazon? Submit your question and “Ask a Pup!”
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