Sure, if you want to try something on before buying, hold an item in your hand, or have a cup of coffee next to the book stacks, you’ll probably still want to visit the mall. But there are items those human-staffed, shelf-stocked stores can’t help you with the way online shops can.
Shoes for Nonstandard Feet
In the olden days, those with tiny feet or huge ones were at the mercy of brick-and-mortar stores with only the most popular sizes. Ill-fitting shoes or special orders were the only choices available, and there was no hope of finding much selection. These days, shopping at an online shoe store lets you select your size and see a previously unimaginable variety of styles and colors.
Books Off the Beaten Path
Any real-world bookstore can sell you the latest bestsellers. But if you’re looking for, say, all the books by a new favorite author, reference books for a subject you’re obsessed with, or a book that’s out of print, online booksellers are a better bet. The ability to search for what you’re looking for, find multiple formats at a click, and buy used books from fellow shoppers brings those coveted pages into your hands pronto.
Tech You Don’t Quite Get
You know you want that shiny new object of desire. But there are so many options to consider, and a live salesperson’s line can leave you feeling like a sucker. Online tech sources can give you the specs, help you compare different options, show you videos of the item in action, and let you know what other shoppers have to say. You’ll feel like an informed consumer even if you still don’t quite know how it all works.
Once you get used to shopping from your sofa and getting things just the way you want them, it’s hard to go back. You can always make your own coffee.