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In a Galaxy Far-Far Away

Posted On: October 24, 2023

In a Galaxy Far-Far Away

Every great sci-fi film has a tendency of setting a scene that is visually enthralling and for the most part completely incomprehensible. Whether from a distant galaxy, a somewhat dystopian or mostly unbelievable future that is ridiculously far-fetched or equally unobtainable – albeit supremely intriguing.

Now, indulge me for a second as I lean over and pick up my mobile phone, that’s been charging on a pad, order a from my favourite restaurant across town, and have it delivered to my door, whilst I finish this piece, to illustrate a rather enlightened point. 

Whilst that happens, these words will be sent over the cloud to my publisher, during this, I’ll push the button on an app, which initiates the thrusters on my wireless Bluetooth vacuum and finish cleaning this room in which I find myself at present

That said, just a few measly years ago, I was already a young man. The very notion of a phone you could roam with, whilst not being ‘connected’ was something from just such a sci-fi film. Take-aways was something for once a month, limited in choice and you had to collect it yourself. Vacuums were in fact lumpy, loud, machines you plugged in and pushed around with unnecessary effort.

Point being, I’m not the exception. I am part of millions that rely on simple, easy-to-understand, reliable solutions, not just for work, but everyday tasks. Yes, these technologies fulfil functions, but more importantly, they make life easier, less complicated and did I mention, offer significant convenience, and time savings. None of which were conceivable in a recent past.     

I for one, despise being unproductive. I simply loath the notion of wasting time in a queue or battling with anything that doesn’t benefit me directly whilst requiring undue effort. 

That being said. Let’s take a view on online shopping. I am pro (and biased, yes – look at the author) online shopping. As a marketer, I have come across every conceivable misconception related to online shopping and found most of these are fuelled by the misinformed, ignorant or dare I say, age in-appropriate demographic.

So, let’s get the obvious issues out in the open, where they belong. Concerns around fresh meat, fish, fruit & vegetables quality, and the safety of your card details when paying online. You’ve made it clear, timely delivery is a major point and then there’s the ill-conceived perception around product variety.  

Allow me then to dispel some myths. Online shops do not, contrary to popular belief try sell you old stock. They are not fundamentally aiming to deliver fruit & vegetables that are dated and your payment is in fact going through a third-party secure provider that links to the bank directly and your details are not even kept on record. Roughly translated, as safe, if not safer, than swiping in-store.  

Truth be told, there are far more benefits than negative considerations around online shopping, and I assure you, I have personally waded through a zillion galaxies of case studies around this topic, read research papers and taken into account surveys including thousands of individuals during my time in the field, and most importantly – I have utilised (albeit sometimes with trepidation, granted) online shops for several years, across several continents and within many different industries and I can tell you it makes life better. End of story. Or is it?

In a recent survey we’ve come across some fascinating new feedback regarding online consumer behaviour. The primary reason being ‘time’ as a driving force for utilising online services – would you believe that? Whether you’re in your twenties and have social engagements, your thirties with demanding children or your sixties and want to focus on work. Time in our society has become the single biggest commodity and carries the most expensive price tag, emotionally. You certainly don’t want to waste it considering washing-powder, carrying bags around or trying to park. 

Second to that, ‘frustration’ (in several forms) around actual shopping in stores and thirdly, the ability to ‘plan’ your shopping feature as drivers in behaviour. Sure, we are all chasing savings, yet it featured last on the list – interesting, don’t you think?. The afore mentioned, really hits home however when your groceries are beamed over to your front door and your biggest issue is getting your chilled and frozen goods into your own fridge while other, more important priorities receive attention.

Here’s another thought to ponder. You’re not left rogue in an isled product-filled  world, surrounded by impulse purchase robots. If you’re anything like me, that ‘maybe’ turns into a ‘definitely’ and a ‘possible’ translates into a ‘yes, of course’ when my daughter is with me, or I’m hungry on that last store visit of the day. Online shopping alleviates this. 

Furthermore, and this is another hugely misunderstood reality – the online store has less overheads, equating into reduced prices carried forward to the consumer. You needn’t have a business degree from Harvard to understand that one. Oh, the delivery costs money? Sure it does, but if you head over to our website you’ll soon realise we have this covered too. 

Another important consideration is choice or variety of product, which is without a doubt, and I’m speaking from first-hand knowledge, equal to, or greater than any normal store because of exclusive online promotions, the instant gratification factor and let me express it bluntly, growing demand in this market segment. We simply cannot afford to offer you less variety, as you’ll go elsewhere to find it, and we wouldn’t want that, would we?. 

All this still happens in a business-like manner behind the scenes, unlike that sci-fi future. We have humans and not artificial intelligence, real one’s that will assist you with issues, choose your fresh meat or vegetables and even call you when an item is out of stock, there’s a query on your order or just to ask how you’re doing today. 

Despite dealing with new technological advancement, trust me, you want real, responsible people that care behind the scene,s that you can trust. And, for the record, you can confidently buy your meat and vegetables online as our butcher and grocers are trained and making exceptional efforts in ensuring every cut and freshly packed fruit or vegetable item is of the highest quality. I have tried and it’s great! 

That said, we keep ourselves accountable and we make every effort to ensure that any issues are corrected, our service improved constantly, and your experience is exceptional. Again, if this does not happen, you’ll find another way to bring the melons home and we, simply put, value our customers way too much, as this affords us jet thrusters and intergalactic transport modules so we can fetch fresh produce from distant constellations and do it all again next month. 

So, if you still think your phone should be connected to a wall, your vacuum must be pushed and your documents printed, then I’m most likely not going to convince you otherwise, but I thought I’d remind you that there are simpler, more efficient, and cost-effective ways to do your shopping in a brave new world.

The aliens may not yet have arrived, but online shopping is here to stay and I for one think that’s great. Consider this an invitation to join me and the thousands of others that have found a way to save time, money and frustration on the efficient side of retail.