Tuesday, March 29, 2011

How Being A Working Mom Has Changed How I Shop

There's nothing like a little retail therapy to perk a girl up... so what happens when you become a crazy working mom with barely 5 minutes to spare in a day?  I remember the long leisurely afternoons spent either with girlfriends or alone browsing through stores and SHOPPING.  These days, I almost never shop in stores.  The best it gets is a rush to the mall on my lunch hour with a very short and detailed list.  Gotta go, get in and get out.  The only exception would be when I'm traveling for work and I find myself with a blessed few extra hours.  But that really is a rarity.

And that's where online shopping enters my picture.  I have become a PRO at shopping online.  The girls at work make fun of me as everything from my vitamins, photos, clothes, books, etc. get delivered to the office.  Need to buy a gift?  No problem... I buy birthday gifts from Toys 'R Us for my niece/nephew in Toronto, gift certificates for my family, presents for my husband... all online.  Although you don't get the shopper's high of touching, feeling and trying things on, you do get that great lift when the package arrives! 

I have to say, I've been pretty lucky that most of what I have bought clothes-wise has actually fit.  Once you find a store where you know the sizing and what styles suit your body, it's not so hit and miss.  I love getting things on sale at Victoria Secret - they have great deals, their clothes fit me well and they're really cute!  I buy skin care from Sephora, order pictures from Kodak Gallery and workout DVDs from Amazon... to name a few.  And I'm not alone - according to an article on Marketwire, 83% of consumers are shopping online at least once a week!  In addition, more and more consumers are using social media such as Facebook and Twitter to look up retailers.  I am all about reading reviews on Amazon before making a purchase.  It's amazing how social media has influenced our buying patterns.

Time really is precious and the internet has really changed how many women shop.  Now with all of the mobile apps available, shopping is yet to face another evolution.  They have apps where you can scan a barcode and you can find out the cheapest place to buy.  Imagine standing in a store (if you actually make it in one), trying something on, and then scanning the ticket to find it at a much better deal (either online or at another store)... it will force retailers to become much more competitive.  And if you buy online, more and more sites offer free shipping... or at least free shipping with a purchase over $50-$75.  Of course there is always the worry about how secure your credit card is when used online, but look for secure sites with an SSL certificate.  All major retailers have one.  I have to say (knock on wood) that my husband and I have had more trouble with our cards being compromised when used in-store than online.  My husband recently had his bank card compromised when he used it at one of our own bank's ATM machines!

So online shopping has become just one more way for me to find balance in my crazy life.  It can't completely replace the in-store shopping experience, but it sure comes in as a close second!  You certainly can't beat it where convenience and comfort are concerned, not to mention choice, choice, choice!  Just like I always say you can pretty much find an article on anything on the web, so too can you find any product.  Happy shopping girls!

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