A couple of days ago I ran into a two friends in town. They’d just been to get their first mobile phones on contract (rather than pay as you go), and were sporting a couple of rather nice Samsung Galaxy J5 smartphones.
Naturally, as do most people when they get a new phone, the first thing they wanted to do was to purchase covers and screen savers to protect them from knocks and scratches. The shop they purchased from could sell them the contract and supply the handsets, but directed them to the other end of town to the only shop that sells cases.
20 minutes later they were on their way back up town, still coverless and screen saverless having scoured the high street and come up empty. They’re not big Internet users but for me with the eBay app it was the work of minutes to find covers (in the two colours that they liked) plus the all important screen savers. A couple of clicks and they were amazed that the total accessories bill for both mobiles came to less than a tenner including all carriage charges.
It’s not surprising that the high street is suffering, full of derelict boarded up shops, coffee shops and charity shops. Yes the Internet is generally lower cost, but my friends wanted to purchase then and there on the high street, would have happily paid a premium price but couldn’t. The shop they purchased their mobiles in didn’t think to stock any accessories for the latest models and no other shops in town had stock.
Is it any wonder that consumers are turning to the Internet? Not because consumers necessarily want lower prices but because town centers simply don’t cater to their needs.