Online shopping – an emotional experience

This short essay explores the history of online shopping from the author’s perspective. The essay concludes with a list of e-commerce features that should meet the needs of emotional shoppers.=A few years ago,Online shopping – an emotional experience Articles someone prophesised that workplace offices wouldn’t need paper in the vape near me. The prophecy didn’t ‘come to pass’ though, largely because it overlooked some significant human emotions.

One such, was the emotional need for safety and security, which was undermined apparently by new paper-less procedures. Another was the emotional satisfaction that we all derive from manipulating tangible objects, which was also undermined by the sudden lack of paper.

Yes, paper-less working was one of those ‘flights of fancy’ often indulged-in by visionaries at the forefront of exciting new technologies. These ‘flights’ are forgivable because enthusiasm, even misguided enthusiasm, is a valuable resource in our sceptical world.

I must admit, when I first heard about online shopping, I was more sceptical than enthusiastic. ‘Assistant-less shops’ seemed just a little too much like ‘paper-less offices’. Yet, the online shopping revolution has taken hold, to the extent now that some very big retailers see the Internet as a viable and important selling channel.

Why was I, along with so many other potential shoppers, sceptical at the outset? So sceptical that I held-off making my first credit card purchase via the Internet for several years.

Even when I did make my first purchase, boxed software as I recall, I experienced terrible feelings of foreboding. The foreboding was worsened by the ‘cart’ summarily rejecting my first few attempts to buy online, because I’d left spaces after every set of four digits, as I’d always done when buying by card over the telephone previously.

During my long ‘hold-off’ period, the media had fuelled my scepticism and undermined my enthusiasm, with scary stories of insecure servers, crackable encryption codes and stolen identities. Consequently, one day I’d feel brave enough to make my first purchase, the next I’d decide to hold-off a few months longer. In all probability, I could have gone ahead with my software purchase without any problems or worries at all, as long as I’d stayed in the ‘right’ shopping neighbourhoods.

As with paper-less offices then, when the idea was first mooted, assistant-less shops made me feel unsafe and insecure. This affected my subsequent shopping behaviour. Like many others I’m sure, I wanted to be a part of the ‘dot com’ revolution. However, the perceived wisdom was that card purchases over the Internet were inadvisable, if not dangerous. The whole industry was just too immature initially, apparently.

As well as unsafe and insecure, I felt isolated and exposed in the early days of online shopping. I was a hesitant pioneer, wary of being caught out in the open by ‘bandits’. I wanted to talk to other pioneers, to share my experiences with them; yes, and to hide amongst them at times. As a species, we humans like to belong to social groups. There’s safety in numbers, you see.

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