Thursday, 12 September 2013

The Shopper's Journey ~ A long way Travelled

I remember my childhood days, though very faintly, when my father used to hold my hand and let me hand over money from his purse and count the changes and notes that the grocery storekeeper would return. That was the fun time of mathematics and learning to shop. As time went by and years rolled away, we were given money to go alone and buy our stationeries. Returning the exact amount with the correct calculation was the trick of the game. When I finished my school and walked into college, the so called pocket money that covered the expense of the transportation and the junk food started. The money was not required to be returned like it had to be done till now. This was a new era of shopping. We all, in our very best ways, saved small parts of it from cutting down junk foods and walking the bus stops for the movie tickets. By the time we left college, we learned the skills of shopping. We moved ahead from shopping with our parents during the festivals to shopping with our friends. Window shopping often taught us the art of getting the best deals in the lowest of the cost. It brought us immense pride when we won bargains better than our mothers or guided parents to shops with better price than they know. Secretly, our parents also took pride of their children’s ability. Another 2-3 years down and we have plastic money flowing in the market. It has often been an exhibited delight to flash the cards that the fathers often spoil their daughters with for the festive shopping. My fringe with plastic money started with my father’s card. I would often carry his only credit card then, to cover the long list of shopping that Dusshera and Diwali demanded.
Another few years and I started working. There came my 1st plastic money and with time, I learnt the tricks of redeeming of points, making the best use of VISA/MASTER/MEASTRO cards and get gifts through online shopping. Finally, to conclude, we have indeed come a long way. Mall has more or less become a place to go, try and choose. Most of us come back home for the better discounts by buying through online shopping.
I remember the day I had booked the anniversary gift for my parents online through I got a very good deal, left a special message for them and had the gift delivered in the hotel room where they were holidaying that week. My parents were overwhelmed. When later on they had asked the how to and what to do in order to book online, I told them abruptly, how online shopping works.
What took me by surprise was my father’s idea of sending gifts online for the birthday of a special someone of our family who is located in the other part of the country. Yesterday, I took my time to walk them both through the and got them the best available deal for the gift they were looking for. We customized the item as per requirement, tagged it with our best wishes and bought it.
More so, to see how of learning they have been able to adapt and of course excited over the advance of the shopping strategies, they further went ahead and purchased a few more.

I am astonished. This is where we have reached in the last 20 years. From learning to count the coin to buy candies with my dad, here I am today, making him comfortable as an online shopper. This is a very long distance that the industry has travelled. We had never ever imagined in our wildest fantasies that shopping would be like this. In 2030, I cannot pull the string of my imaginations to relate to anything. This far, itself, is like crossing the rim of the ocean and reaching the neverland. Where do we go from here in the next 20 years, Only time can tell us.

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