The retail industry, as we know it, is changing. As peoples lives become increasingly consumed by web and mobile applications it is only natural that avenues of e-commerce such as ‘click & mortar’ retail gain in popularity among web users. The problem here is that the ‘convenience factor’ that this stream of retail creates can, in most cases, be more of an inconvenience and create more problems for the consumer. Factors such as shipping costs, wait times, the inability to try it on, hassle of sending it back, payment securities, damages and of course no cash options, should act as a huge deterrent and why one should think twice before buying online.
The clothing industry, in particular, has its own challenges, a customer loses the ability to see and feel certain details and fabrics a garment may or may not provide. Also, sizes run very different from brand to brand and sometimes even within the brands themselves sizes can differ. Remember, many pictures online are enhanced to the fullest in order to maximize potential sales, so don’t be fooled by typical online sales tactics.
I include myself in this group of very unhappy online shoppers. This past Christmas my wife found a pair of shoes she loved and unfortunately due to her small stature could not find a pair in her size in nearby shops. So instead of driving a little further out to purchase them I decided to surprise her and order them online. HUGE MISTAKE!! The online shop shoes.com did have the product and was willing to ship to Canada before Christmas. The cost of the shoes at the mall were $59.99, once shipping and duties were paid, MY total cost for the shoes were $119.75. The item did eventually arrive, however it was 4 days late! When it did arrive the shoes had a noticeable scuff on the leather that could not be removed, and on top of that, because the sizes of this shoe run small, they did not fit! No problem, I’ll just exchange them right? WRONG. Popular e-commerce sites such as this one and most others, do not do normal exchanges, you have to repurchase the item in the correct size and return your purchased item for money back, minus, of course, your shipping and a restocking fee. Another problem that arises many of the time is that by the time you realize you need a different size it may be unavailable or sold out, leaving you with wasted costs! SO my total credit returned on a pair of $119.75 shoes was now $51.80. My wife’s shoes which cost $59.99 at the mall, now cost me a grand total of $187.70, along with much of my time and patience. Let me also mention that the replacement pair has still yet to arrive, so this lovely experience may possess yet another chapter and alternate ending!! This is what many online shoppers have to deal with on a daily basis. AVOID THESE HEADACHES….SHOP AT YOUR LOCAL RETAILER.