We started scouting early for Christmas gifts for our kids as there is so much “looks good but is junk” stuff on the market a bit of research is required. Yeah, I know, hard to believe it but that simply amazing toy heavily advertised on TV may end up in a drawer and never used.
As a result I just discovered, this year, it is impossible for me to decide what to buy in the store. Why? Because there are no customer reviews/ratings available. I could use my iPhone to look them up but no single site (I know of) has the critical mass of reviews required and the process would be too tedious. Yes there are barcode scanner apps good for price shopping but the ones I’ve seen are no real help in consolidating reviews.
As a result I ended up taking pictures of the products in the store and once home I started hitting up the Amazons and ToyRUs of the world for the reviews. In the process I help but do price comparisons. Having done all that work, time I would have preferred spending on something more enjoyable, I’m sure not going to bother to drive to the store to make my purchases. With the websites right in front of me that would rob me of even more of my valuable time.
The bottom line is even the largest, “big box”, brick-and-mortar stores are losing sales because they don’t making it possible for me to decide on the spot what to purchase. They had me - I was there and ready to buy - and watched me walk out the door. So while these stores complain about damage caused by Internet shopping the reality is they should blame themselves for not being shopper friendly.