Real Talk

REAL TALK: The Lost Art of Window Shopping

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I know it may be hard to believe for some but there was a time before online shopping. We’d walk into actual brick-and-mortar stores to see what that particular store had to offer. As a kid, our voyages to the mall were an exhilarating experience! We didn’t have much money so I learned the art of window shopping at a young age and I enjoyed every single minute of it. To physically try on clothes, admire the little details firsthand and feel the material between my fingers gave me such a rush. Here I am, almost 33 years old, and I still get that same feeling when I walk into a store I love. It was, and still is, my mecca.

Now a days (how old does that make me sound?) a shopping experience has been reduced to adding to cart, entering credit card details, checking out and waiting 3-5 business days until you get to physically admire your purchase. In some cases when you finally get that chance its saddened by the realization that your new item doesn’t fit or doesn’t appear as it did online. Unfortunately somewhere on our way to innovation we lost the novelty behind it all.

But I get it – this new frontier of e-commerce shopping allows us to save money in some regard. Marketplaces like Amazon, online search engines such as Google and even social media are all offering us cheaper prices for the goods we want. So the discovery aspect of the window shopping experience kind of loses its luster if you’re paying full price. The question that all shoppers ask themselves – whether in-store or online – ‘Who is the cheapest?’ or ‘Am I getting the best price possible?’

My purist heart will always favor shopping in-store, but you better believe if I could find the same item online at a fraction of the price I’m pulling the trigger virtually. Sure, I may have to wait longer to actually attain said item but isn’t saving a couple bucks worth it? Now, if only we could lower shipping costs, offer free returns (online or in-store), or receive our goods faster? All jokes aside, I will always hold my experiences window shopping as a kid close to my heart. It was my time to admire beautifully displayed pieces and imagine scenarios in where I’d wear them in my make-believe land. I’d run home and scour my closet for look-alike items and would feel immense joy if I were able to recreate my vision with my own wardrobe and a few borrowed from mom.

I’d love to hear your thoughts – do you prefer online shopping or physically shopping in-store? And why do you favor one over the other?

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