Dec 12, 2009

Christmas Shopping: How I Discovered The Power of

It was a cold winter night in Tampere, Finland. Four weeks before Christmas. I was walking around the dark city and decided to visit a bookstore to warm up. It was the beginning of how I discovered the power of online shopping.

My plan was to find something new to read. Perhaps even to do my compulsory holiday shopping. This year, the gifts finally on time, I thought. Without that last minute panic, which I'm sure you are familiar too.

I entered the bookstore. I was excited buy new fuel for my brain. The store was full of people. Me and everyone else was in their full winter clothing. Gloves, scarves, hats, jackets and thick shoes. Speakers played "Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way.." In less than a minute a went from pleasure to anxiety.

There are two ways to look at the situation.

One, the bookstore was nicely warm compared to freezing temperature outside. The store packed with customers creates a friendly atmosphere. Loud Christmas songs complete your perfect shopping experience.

Two, it's impossible to spend time in the store if you are sweating your ... off. Other shoppers fighting over few bargains hardly lifts my holiday spirit. What if your store would have stickers on door that promise "No Christmas songs played - Welcome". I would support that store just for their bravery. I bet lots of other people feel the same way.

You can call me Hasselhoff. But, I enjoy shopping in a quiet environment at my own pace. I want to explore books in peace, and not
wear a jacket suited for Siberia, while standing next to gossiping grandmothers.

I always thought that the brick and mortar stores had something special over web stores. However, having a cup of hot coffee, sitting in a comfortable chair, while browsing around the web stores beats standing in lines and getting poor service from seasonal store clerks, who can merely handle a cash register.

I have spend 50 to 100 bucks on, before my coffee is finished. At the same time, in the brick and mortar store, I wouldn't have even been able to collect all the items together. Not to mention surviving that extra long Christmas queue to the cashier.

That experience change my point of view of shopping.

If only shipping and handling would be cheaper and faster from to Finland...

Merry Christmas

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