I begin with a search for an item. I log into my favorite website, click a few times, search, narrow the search down a little further. In the time that the search engine at the website narrows down the selection, my fingers move to open a new tab – another website opens, more items are listed and the same operation continues. I revert to the main tab – this time, I spend some time looking at the items there. Hmmm. Maybe I should look at what others looking for this item also bought. I might find something I (don’t) need? Click on that item. Switch back to the other tab. Scroll through the entire list. Naw! Not what I want. This site sucks anyway. I should try this another website. Maybe they have something that I missed the last time. They must have updated their stocks by now! Surely, if they are serious about doing their business, they must!
Hours can easily slip by in this search for the elusive perfectly priced item that is just the right fit for what I had in mind. (Or is it?) Was that what I really wanted? Oh well, it only costs a little more and I am positive that I did need it! I am not a shopaholic, after all. I am not one of them, of course not!
One of these days, I wake up from my reverie and decide that I should venture out. I can’t let my life become one of an online shopper. Surely, definitely, items are better out there in the brick and mortar stores. So I head out – brave the traffic, the outrageous parking fees at the mall and make my way to this store. Aha! This is what shopping should really feel like. I can see the items that I want to buy, touch and feel them before adding them to the physical cart for a change, not to some virtual cart icon. I proceed to the checkout counter. Yes, they are crowded. But I am amongst people, what is there not to like? Ho hum… Is the guy at the counter actually aware of what he is doing? What’s taking him this long? Oh! There he goes – he needs to call his supervisor to open the cash counter. He has just made a wrong entry. Wait a minute, that other line is moving faster than mine. Murphy and his ruddy laws. I should have just stayed at home and ordered stuff. This will teach me to go out and buy stuff at the stores!
I head back home, completely fatigued and glad to finally reach home, promising to myself not to venture out again, especially not to that store where the counter clerks are particularly challenged. I return to my faithful li’l tablet and the myriad shopping options. A few clicks and I am done for the day’s shopping.
In the meanwhile, the websites are gathering data about my shopping patterns – how many times do I shop, for what items, my spending patterns, my age group, where I live – they know it all. They know more about me than my friends do! It should be creepy. Strangely, it isn’t. Not until…