Joy of Dumbbells!

As a person who loves shopping, and I really, really do, I must admit that I’m not a fan of online shopping. I know it’s the way it’s going, shopping from the comfort of your own home, and all that choice, but I find it truly boring. If I had a half hour to kill, I would much prefer to watch Judge Judy.

The new banking customer authentication thing has made it even more excruciating, more passwords, 6 digit notifications to my phone etc. I have my item picked out, eventually, usually because it has popped up on Instagram and I’m trying to find my way to the checkout, put in my card details and what, now it’s looking for more passwords and digits, I can’t be bothered. While I understand the need for security, it takes the joy out of shopping for me.

You’re lovely item arrives and it’s too small, too big or you just don’t like it. Then it’s another rigmarole to return it. Things are much simpler when you shop instore. Nice, friendly, helpful staff. You can feel it, touch it and try it on, lovely!

But that all changed in March 2020 – shutdown, lockdown whatever you want to call it. No more shopping in-store, no more gyms, no more working in the office, all home for the banana bread and cocktails. It was all lovely at first I admit, sunny weather, teenagers home, quality home cooked dinners, online workouts with my gym buddies, all very different. Then it started to drag a bit. To spice things up I ordered a pair of dumbbells online. I picked out the colour and weight, all very exciting.

The teenagers were getting stuff through the door every other day, DPD, Fastway, An Post. The drivers are on first name basis with them, it was like Black Friday every day. No sign of the dumbbells. I got an email to say that due to unprecedented demand, my delivery was delayed. It seems I wasn’t the only one working out from home. In fact Gym and Coffee’s sales increased by 350% in 2020. And then they came, my beautiful, purple dumbbells. I was so excited, a delivery for me. I did use them for a week or 2, but like shopping instore I much prefer the real thing.

So, I for one, will continue to do my weekly grocery shop instore, wander around and look at all the nice things they have on offer. I’ll physically walk into clothes shops, browse and try on the gear, look in the mirror and decide keeper or not. I hope the shops as we know them, the physical buildings are here to stay, now that’s a joy, a shopping trip and a bit of lunch.

And, for something a little bit more interesting – a recent Oracle Survey among consumers revealed the following:

Five Consumer Shopping Trends Influencing Retail

1. Safety is paramount – 58% are comfortable shopping in-store with proper safety precautions in place.

2. Flexibility and speed – 71% feel the speed of service, checkout experience, and delivery options are critical to staying loyal to a
retailer. Curbside pickup and home delivery remain popular options.

3. Protect your brand experience – 47% feel out-of-stock inventory is associated with a bad shopping experience.

4. Compelling offers – 82% invested in home décor, home entertainment, cookware, and DIY projects during the pandemic, and deals were
expected.

5. New product and assortment offerings – 53% reported new and
exciting products, and assortment with personalized offers are essential to loyalty.