Why I won’t be shopping online this Christmas

The internet is pretty big. Christmas is pretty big too. I can’t quantify one in terms of the other, but they’re both pretty big. It was inevitable that the two would collide in a flurry of special offers and nauseating positivity and it is this pairing that is up for discussion today.

digital marketing Christmas shopping

My original brief centred on the contention that “all Christmas shopping is done online”. I’m not an expert on the topic and felt that my ability to make this article work required at least some knowledge of what I was writing. It was therefore necessary for me to change the title to something I could adequately respond to. This is what I came up with: Will I be doing all my Christmas shopping online? Furthermore, why would I choose not to do my Christmas shopping online?

 

The answer to the first question is no. Here are a couple of reasons why.

 

My first one is that I’m a paranoid cynic. I don’t like shopping online at Christmas because there are a whole host of people out there who want to scam me out of money, or are willing to send me the wrong goods in the wrong size or the wrong colour or a combination of all of these things. Call me old-fashioned, but I like to know what I’m buying when I’m buying it. Obviously, this doesn’t apply to all goods (DVDs and CDs come to mind), but that’s my stance and I shan’t be changing it any time soon.

 

Basically, online shopping allows for an un-rectifiable mistake to be made, and Christmas isn’t long enough to give me the time to be worrying about sending stuff back and getting it changed and all that nonsense, so you’ll forgive me for going into the shop and actually touching that which I plan on buying for my loved ones because that’s just the kind of person I am and those scam artists aren’t going to get the best of me no sir-ee- bob!  I love my friends and family too much to be getting them the wrong gifts so excuse me if I just want the gift that I want and not the gift you feel like giving me because that is not on the cards and if you do me wrong I’ll go beserk and you won’t hear the end of it so just let me have my gift and we won’t have any trouble okay.

 

Sorry, I went a bit irrational there. I think my point is that Christmas is a period often fuelled by adrenaline and I can’t help but feel that the potential for disaster is something that would be wholly unwelcome in the “season to be jolly”. I know for a fact that the slight chance of making an error of judgement isn’t worth the risk that could be evaded entirely by going to a shop, so that is what I’ll do.

Shopping-Centre-beats-online-shopping

There is a second key reason as to why I won’t be doing my shopping online this Christmas. It’s because it’s so boring, so devoid of the old cliché, Christmas Spirit. That infectious hustle and bustle, watching families run around a town centre while your sharp breath makes wispy clouds in the air, the struggle of holding all your bags without toppling over, getting your coat and scarf on and battling the elements, taking a lunch break and finding a table that has an extra chair so you can put all your stuff down, checking your watch so you can ensure that you don’t get a parking ticket, splitting up from your friends and partners so they can’t see what they’re buying for you, getting things gift-wrapped in front of you while you wait, passing a random shop and going in for a quick browse only to find the perfect gift – something you hadn’t even thought of beforehand – and that feeling of victory you get when you imagine its recipient really smile when they open it, taking a quick five minutes to find a gift for yourself (because you deserve it after the year you’ve had), knowing your debit card is taking an absolute battering, and sitting down with a cup of tea when you get home, knowing that, today, you did a good thing for everybody you love…

 

*sigh*

 

It’s exquisite. It’s glorious. It’s Christmas.

 

And to think that the fashionable alternative is sitting on your backside, doing lots of clicking and then waiting for a brown box in the post… What a world in which we live.

 

Now it is time to be serious. It would be wrong of me not to merit some of online shopping’s benefits. We have international shopping, and shopping for those who can’t move as much as they’d like. It’s efficient, it’s fast – it’s very fast – and the discounts are often unthinkably generous. You can shop in five places at the same time, you don’t have to carry anything, and you get to stay warm and eat mince pies, dropping tiny crumbs into the keyboard of your laptop. I admit, it has its charms.

 

You can see why people are so taken with it, and online shopping is only going to become more powerful as time goes on. As digital marketing continues to cement its place as a fundamental part of how society functions it does not surprise me to hear terms such as “Cyber Monday” making headlines. In fact, whilst researching this post I came across an entire article dedicated to advice about which dates are ‘ideal’ for online purchases. The seeds have been sown for an incredible advancement of how we buy and sell and the implications of this social and technological evolution are equally wonderful and terrifying.

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Globalisation and convenience are things our children will take for granted, but at the expense of shops and human interaction. Needless to say, digital marketing, especially at Christmas, is destined only to grow in power and reach, and I feel that my romantic idea of Christmas shopping is not long for this world.

 

I hope you’re with me on this one, comrades. If so, I’ll see you down the shops. I’ll be the guy who is out of breath, carrying a hundred bags, with a red-nose and watering eyes. Oh, and a big fat smile on his face.

 

Merry Christmas!

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