Shopping on line is dull. No matter how far we've come with this whole web shopping thingy, it's still no where near as much fun to shop on line as it is to browse around a fabulously set out shop selling beautiful things. We are also easily distracted online, and 'drop our baskets (that's abandon the sales process) at the slightest difficulty. Conversion rates on line (how many visitors actually end up buying something) remain very low, around 2%- 3%, compared with closer to 30% when we go in store.
If the process was made a bit more fun and exciting, I'm sure we'd all stick with our purchasing rather than nipping off to check on how supper is cooking or simply to find something better to do. Anyway, having said that, we still like to shop online, and here are our favourites from this year.
The Outnet and Net-A-Porter. We can't afford to buy from N.A.P but the editorial style advice is great and a lot more relevant than many fashion magazines. We love the style videos and spend hours working our way through the interviews. When we've got the style vibe, we move over to the cheaper Outnet selection and buy a bargain. Make sure you sign up for Mr Porter for Middle Aged Dad, coming next month.
Much less glamourous but still highly enjoyable is Lakeland. Now, interestingly here we LOVE the catalogue and when it arrives sneak off to a quite corner to read it (it's kitchen porn, basically). BUT we tend to buy from the web, inspired by what we have seen in the catalogue…..As regular readers will know Amanda has been making a LOT of jam with her jam making machine (I'm making marmalade next weekend…anyone have a good recipe?) and Jane's favourite kitchen gadget is her spatula spoon.
For other clothes we have been keen on Boden and Toast for trying to brighten up our online visits by adding things like Toast travels and the Boden Stuff & Nonsense section. Zara has been the best new online store to open this year, because of its clear simple styling and true-to-life but still inspiring photography. And Whistles has tried to do something much more interesting with its site, and the clothes are gorgeous.
H is for Home is fabulous for home and vintage bits and bobs (I nearly bought a vintage sewing box when I went to copy this link, sign of a good site I think…) and we are still fans of RE especially now they have the full range of stuff online.
I haven't bought anything from Luckyscent but due to my interest in perfume I have been on it a lot for reference. If you live in the US and want to get perfumes that are hard to get, it's a great source. Anyone bought from it?
Perhaps the most fun I've had on line this year is from eBay, both buying and very recently selling stuff. Buying is fun the better you get at it, I find I enjoy searching my favourite designers and a few category types (aviator jackets and cowboy boots, for example). That way I can keep things simple. I am currently obsessed with selling stuff, which is a lot easier than I thought it would be and I'm in credit on my PayPal account! which is an unusual and very enjoyable feeling. Post coming soon on this as I'm sure this is the answer to avoiding clutter and boring wardrobes.
So that's it, not a particularly inspiring list really and we feel there must be something more exciting out there. Of course there's Amazon and all the supermarket sites, which we use regularly, but do you have any favourite sites that are a bit more exciting? Let us know in the comments!