When it comes to shopping, people are of two minds generally. Either they bitch and moan that we have less choice now – more stores are chains, more mega-brands are global and everything is becoming ‘samey’ – or they claim we’ve never had it so good, thanks to the rise of online retail and the ‘come-back’ of independent retailers. Perhaps both arguments have some truth in them.
But what I was wondering is why when it comes to online shopping, we actually seem to be less experimental shoppers than when walking down a busy high street? The ironic thing about online shopping is that despite the hundreds of thousands of retailers now available to us, most of us only look to well known names such as ASOS, eBay and Amazon for our purchases. In essence, we have the same behavior online – shopping the ‘mega-stores’ – that we condone in the ‘real’ world.
This is down to a lot of factors. Trust when purchasing online obviously being a big one… as is the importance of recommendations from friends, who’ve had a good experience with an online store. But one of the biggest problems has to be that these new online stores simply aren’t in our faces the same way, say, a new shop opening up opposite your office would be. To shop online you open your browser on Google and then… umm?
It’s a shame, cause exploring and finding new things is one of the best things about the internet… Yeah, OK and maybe also the worst. (there’s plenty of stuff out you’d give your right whatever to unsee).
Annnnyway… so to encourage some web wandering, we’ve done some snooping around to get you started. As I’ve said, there’s an awful lot of choice available, so this week, let’s stick to home/lifestyle – or as I like to call it, ‘lovely pointless stuff, you can fill your house with’.
– Bubble City Soap – this little Etsy store is on a mission to rescue ‘bath stuff’ from its position as the most unwanted of infamous gifts. From cameos and roses to miniature guns, there’s something everyone will appreciate. Along the same lines (but maybe more lux looking), check out the Elegant Rose Boutique.
– The Curiousity Shoppe – for those that appreciate minimal design. This shop is a source for the sort of stuff you get in Urban Outfitters… long before they get it.
– Poketo is a shop with a great philosophy – that art should be part of everyday life. From milk bottles to toothbrushes, they’ll make you look at old stuff as new and appreicate it’s design and function. Shopmodi is its retail twin (with different products).
– Plastica is a shop for which the clue is in the name. The majority of what they sell is made from the material or recycled cast-offs. A lot better than you’re thinking.
– Boots N Gus are just… well… who knew jars were so frickin cool? Suddenly I care about lighting. Hipsters be warned though, top hats may well be the new jam jar. If you know what I’m talking about then condolences, you’re a confirmed hipster.
One quick way to find new places to shop is search engines like millionshort.com – they give you your normal Google results, minus the top searches. Yes, you will no doubt come across some serious duds but you might snap a bargain too and find a new favourite regular…
If you have any of your own faves, let us know below!