Today is my birthday – hurray..! And I’m going shopping to celebrate. Many people get money, gift cards or vouchers for their birthday and I’m no exception, so it’s off to the shops later for a bit of a spending spree.
I love shopping – as do most people. Indeed, even those people who say “I hate shopping” actually do like it. There is considerable social pressure for men to dislike shopping, but actually deep inside they love it. True, they might not like the crowds, but the act of buying something purely for yourself does raise those endorphins in your brain and makes you feel more positive and happy. Retail therapy is not a myth.
But, the trouble with being born in November is that the shops are full of Christmas shoppers not making it as happy an experience as it might be. Those crowds get in my way – don’t they know the shops are open just for me…? So, perhaps I’d be wise to shop online. But could I buy anything I want?
Well, I could buy a date with Cindy Crawford, for instance, or even happiness for deprived British children. I might resort to books, or other more traditional Internet products such as CDs or downloadable software.
However, I could have bought a US Navy Jet Fighter if I’d been earlier, or perhaps a car, or a house. Indeed, over the past 10 years I’ve bought three cars online. So is there nothing I can’t buy here on the Internet?
Well, if you talk to many business owners they’d say much of what they sell cannot be sold online. For instance, my hairdresser says you can’t buy a haircut online. Wrong. Yes you can – just take a look. Taxi drivers tell me you can’t buy a taxi ride online. Wrong. I’ve even done that. But what about business consultancy, say those advisers I meet at networking events? Surely that’s personal, one-to-one, specific stuff that you can’t deliver online. Wrong again. You can buy it here.
For many businesses, their income is being held back because they assume their products and services cannot be sold online. However, I have yet to find a business that cannot sell its items online – even if they are direct, one-to-one services. So, don’t be negative. If your business is not selling online, you are missing out. You might need to “productise” your service offerings, but even so, any of your products and services can be sold via the Internet. And if you don’t sell online, think of all those people who are keen to go shopping today…..after all I share my birthday with 19 million other people in the world – and many of them will have cash and vouchers burning a hole in their pockets.
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+