There’s been a shift in peoples spending (and thinking) over the last few years, largely driven by the online discount phenomenon, and the trend is pretty much this:
get it for the cheapest price!
Now obviously comparative shopping makes sense and if you are choosing between two products of the same quality, it’s a little silly to pay more. But this unending ‘get it cheaper’ message has become so pervasive that it seems almost all that advertisers can talk about. There are a number of problems associated with this idea, and the main one is that if most shopping follows this model, then the corporations and businesses involved often begin to pay their employees, suppliers, couriers, marketing people, designers, photographers and everyone else in their supply chain less. So while their customers get some short term benefits, in the long run these same businesses end up with fewer clients because more potential customers are getting their wages squeezed and they simply spend less money.
Of course there are other costs to the cheap, cheap online shopping craze… the goods can take ages to turn up, they are often dubious quality, you can’t try it on, returns and refunds are a pain and customers service is pretty woeful.
But there’s also another cost, local businesses and manufacturers suffer as well. Which again means that the local economy suffers, consumer confidence falls and the whole thing means that we edge towards the American ‘Wal Mart’ model where only the mega shops survive and shopping choices actually end up severely limited. People often quote ‘that’s just business’ as an excuse, but in reality businesses needs to act responsibly… and so do customers.
It’s no coincidence that farmers markets, design pop ups, food vans and independent artist’s sites are now enjoying a new popularity as customers line up for quality, originality and personal service that to be honest, you just don’t see on Scoopon.