Buying anything from anywhere is fraught with choice these days: organic, ethically-sourced, hand-crafted, machine crafted - we live in a wold of myriad choices. That said, the principal choice these days is in effect the choice between ordering online or shopping on the High Street. We'd like to take a fair view of both options here. ParkerBrand is based in Louth, Lincolnshire; a small market town in the middle of the wolds with it rolling landscape of patch work fields. Famous since the early medieval period as a market town and exporter of wool and fine farm beasts, it is steeped in trading history. We really do like to buy locally too - especially the award winning local produce from independent shops and artisan makers. However, most of that can be ordered online and delivered to the door, even from them. The nature of commerce is changing, as we all realise.
Between 2010 and 2019 there was a ten percent rise in people shopping online, accounting for a thirty percent share of the market. By the end of this decade it is predicted that almost 55% of all purchases will be online. We all know that the pandemic changed many things, including our shopping habits. It certainly boosted online shopping for all teh obvious reasons. Many people who had never shopped online tried it for the first time. So, online or on the street let's weight up the Pros and Cons.
High Street Retail
Walking down the street in your town or city centre it is easy to see that the twenty first century is gathering pace. But while there have been some famous names that have disappeared such as Debenhams there are lots of small independent traders finding their place and local shoppers are certainly supporting them Many of the big out of town shopping centres are being repurposed too. So, the high street is transforming rather than dying it seems. But what are the pros and cons of Shopping on the High Street?
- You can examine items right there and then to see if they meet your needs or suit
- Immediate satisfaction - you get what you want right there and then
- There is an exact and immediate point of return for items that may have a fault
- You don't need a printer to print return labels and the like if you decide you don't want
- Return is free - you just have to get to the shop.
- You're out and about in the open air and among people
- Driving into busy town centres and paying for parking
- Choice: there may be less options in terms of size and colour
- Pressure and influence from Sales staff
- Less able to compare prices and compare prices
- Queuing at tills
- Limited time and stock for special offers and sales.
- Crowded streets and shopping centres
- Often long walks with heavy bags
PC's, tablets and especially mobile phones are employed to purchase from anywhere in the world. It's still amazing if you stop and think about that for a moment. The whole history of humanity behind us, all that trading along thousands of miles of the Silk Road and suddenly you can get almost anything from anywhere at the touch of a button. It's still amazing. But like everything in life, there are upsides and downsides and we explore them here:
- You can use specific words to search for exactly what you want within seconds
- Can be done ordered anywhere - from the comfort of your sofa or even at the beach!
- Instant comparison of prices between suppliers of the same item or via dedicated comparison websites
- No pushy sales staff - you've time to make a highly considered purchase
- Full range of sizes, colours and even combination purchases are available
- Instant access to reviews from previous customers on the website or from dedicated review websites
- Often larger discounts as online shops do not have the same overheads as traditional High Street shops
- No crowded shops, queues, crying babies and general chaos
- Takes time to for items to arrive - although most webstores have fast delivery options
- Your delivery may be lost or delayed - good companies provide tracking for you very quickly and use reputable couriers
- Can't get a feel for something until it arrives
- Requirement to send pictures or short films to illustrate issues
- Payment usually required to return goods if you decide that you don't want them within the statutory 30 days
- No feeling of a 'shopping experience' - the exciting sights and sounds of in-store shopping
- Giving your personal details over the web - although you are protected in the UK and the EU by a raft of laws regarding the safety of your data
- Despite trawling all over a city centre or shopping centre you still might not find what you want or urgently need
ParkerBrand: What Sets Us Apart As An Online Retailer?
Our loyal customers aren't shy on feedback and we like that. Any serious business (and while we like a joke, we are very serious about what we do) listens to and acts upon feedback. We are consistently told that that there are two main aspects that set us apart from other online retailers of domestic machinery and tools.
Firstly, we have a phone number and you can call us directly during office hours. People like that they can ask us about aspect of what they wish to buy - even though we have exhaustive product descriptions, clear photographs and even pdf manuals. Secondly, our customers really appreciate the fact that we support both our products and our customers. This includes the fact that we offer a warranty on our machines, but also stock a very wide range of spare parts and accessories for those items not covered after a certain period or for replacement after years of use. If you need help you can email or call the Customer Care Team in Louth, Lincolnshire.
No matter what the pros and cons of shopping online it is certainly the case that we are a hybrid; we utilise new and established technology combined with old-school care and attention to our customers from a British family firm and those two things will never change no matter what happend around us.