When a store closes we want to point fingers at everyone else and everywhere else. But in reality, we have to share some of that blame ourselves. When we buy something on line that we can buy from a local retailer, we have not only hurt the local economy but shortchanged ourselves from having human interaction.
Shopping locally puts money back into the economy which the governmental entities use to provide services and upgrade infrastructure.
Yes, I agree it is sometimes easier to shop on-line and I am as guilty as anyone else because I do buy things on line at times. Most things I do buy on line though, I can’t get locally. I make an effort to buy local as much as possible, even at local stores, I’m not all that crazy about. It’s being a good citizen thing for me and supporting the community.
These days people even shop for groceries on line. I detest grocery shopping but I force myself to do it when David can’t do it. Sometimes I run into people I haven’t seen in a while, which makes the task much more enjoyable.
I fear one day, towns will completely disappear because no one is shopping at the actual stores. We’ve already witnessed the demise of some due to on line shopping. I wouldn’t go so far as to say on line shopping is evil, but it is detrimental to our retail stores. Many of them also have on line shopping which to me should be for things which they don’t have in the store and should complement the actual store setting.
If you compare in-store sales to on-line sales you will find a wide gap.
Personally, I am one of those who likes to actually see and touch what I am buying for the most part so going into a store is necessary for that. Looking at a picture of what you are buying is just not the same. I also want it now and don’t want to have to pay extra for shipping and wait a week.
Facebook has also now jumped into the game, enticing us with ads from retailers. Some are very enticing but with all the virus threats which can come from clicking on things on social media, I am more conscious about what I click on so refrain from doing so 99.9% of the time.
I do not want to make purchases over my phone either, as there are too many security breaches and your personal information is out there floating around in cyberspace for hackers to grab. No matter how secure it claims to be, nothing is infallible in today’s world of cyber hackers.
The way we do business is changing but if you want to keep customers coming into your store, I believe having great customer service is a giant step. I will go back into a store where I received great customer service over and over again before I will buy something over the internet. Buying in store, is keeping employees of that store, working.
It’s a mindset we have to adapt and not everyone gets it. If their favorite store closes, and they have been buying on-line, people won’t put two and two together and realize they are partially to blame.
Of course some retailers can also blame themselves for loss of customers. Lack of or bad customer service puts a bad taste in a customer’s mouth. Not ever having what the customer is seeking is another killer. Not having unique items to grab the customer can be another.
Today, things are just so very different and each of us has to find our way to maneuver through the technological advances and the ever changing times. It certainly is not easy most of the time. But no one ever told us life would be easy.
I do worry about our mindset on buying in our communities though. It’s important that we support them and that we support each other.
As a child a trip downtown to a store was such a treat and a special time for mom and child, or friends. Not so anymore. It is becoming more of an anti-social world where people hardly even communicate over a meal anymore because they are too busy checking their phones. I wouldn’t have a problem with restaurants requiring that you leave your cell phones in your car and not bring them in with you.
It is rude to me to interrupt a conversation to answer a cell phone or to carry on a conversation in a store where everyone can hear what you are saying. But we’ve become accustomed to and acceptable of such behavior. It’s more the norm today. Sad, but true. I’ve even witnessed people texting someone who is in the same room with them. Really!
We have to become more intentional about our relationships and our communities. Realize that you are investing in your community when you shop there. Make an effort to buy things locally when possible. Turn your phone off for an entire meal. Go shopping with a friend. Take a tour of your community and really take in what it has to offer. It takes a conscious effort but is so worth it. Your community’s future depends on it. Blessings. ©2017
VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.