The changing face of the high street- 16/01/2019

The battle between high-street shops, and shopping online is one that has become more competitive over recent years. I’m sure everyone of us has had the crisis where we’ve got a night out but nothing to wear. Do you pop into town to pick up something new, or do you go online and have a browse? It is clear that most students do the latter, logging into ASOS, PLT or Boohoo, there so many more options available than your local high-street, and its delivered straight to your door.

Although you often have to pay extra for postage when shopping online, this amount is usually the same as the cost of buying a bus ticket to town. Online shopping means you don’t have to search the rack for your size, you can see what is available nationwide at the scroll of your mouse. Online shopping makes the process of finding an outfit quicker. You are able to filter your search to narrow down the number of options – black midi dresses only? Well instead of having to hunt around the shop, you only have to filter your search. The ease of shopping online compared to the hassle of hunting around in shops highlights why high-street shops profits are declining, and even in some extreme cases are closing down.

Alongside the end of HMV, House of Fraser has declared that is closing 31 of its 59 stores, its Norwich store being one of them. It is important to note that House of Fraser sells a range of products from house hold items, furniture to clothing and accessories. In theory, a store that sells a variety of products should not be suffering. However, large stores like House of Fraser rely on shoppers entering the store and browsing everything they have to sell. Wondering around the store usually leads to us placing extra items into our baskets. This process is hindered when shopping online, it is harder to sway from what we set out to buy when you can search for exactly what you need. The rise of efficient and quicker shopping is clearly taking over from time consuming wandering around the shop floor.

Yes, it is clear that online shopping has made the shopping experience more efficient, both in taking up less of your time but also meaning you spend less money. However, one of the downsides is the cost of delivery. Unless the website has a special discount code, the cost of delivery can vary from £3-5 for each website. A trip into town might cost around the same amount, but you can visit any amount of shops you like. Each checkout you make online means an extra delivery charge.  Recently, the issue of delivery has been made better now many online retailers offer deals on delivery, usually with seasonal promotions but also selling a year of next day delivery for around £10. This is proving widely popular and encourages shoppers to return to their website the next time they are in need to an outfit because they have already bought their delivery.

Unfortunately, it seems the days of spending an afternoon shopping are behind us, and instead our products will continue to be delivered straight to our door. Online shopping has become cost effective and time saving, and we students can’t pass that up.

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