The Seven Stages Of Online Shopping

You know the deal, you slump down on the sofa with a heavy sigh after a hard day of graft with every intention to treat yourself to the latest steal online; your phone grasped in your hand with the desired apps open and your laptop on the other side of the room begging you to ditch one piece of technology for the other. The road to a successful online shop is a long and strenuous process between wanting the items on your list and actually having those gems in front of you to cradle like a newborn baby. Online shopping isn’t just online shopping. It’s a test of self control and destruct, a therapeutic motive, an attentive gift to the torturous soul… and that’s just the start!


When got in touch with information about their online catalogue shopping platform that allows you to choose your preferences, does the searching for you and brings you the quality of a specialised selection of must have essentials right from the comfort of your own home, it reminded me just how powerful the online shopping journey and finding the most suitable product for your inner psyche and outer tastes can be. It has the possibility to be a combination of heaven and hell, a time where you experience a mix of thoughts and feelings, but at the end of the day the whirlwind becomes worth it.

The Set Up

Whether you’re familiar with a site or whether you’re new to it, the mundane job of remembering if you’ve already registered for an account or if you need to add the filling in of personal details to your already time-consuming preparations isn’t always straight forward. Forgot your password? Request a new one. The email is never received. Rinse and repeat. Typing in your email address? Email address already registered. The saga continues. Having to include every letter, symbol and number in a password you almost start to think you’re using Morse Code? Yep. Been there, done that. Finally access your account to find all your wishlist items have disappeared? When will this inconvenience ever end you say? It’s a giant sigh of relief once you’re settled with your fresh cuppa and blanket because obviously this is going to be an all night thang.

The Browsing

Okay so you’re logged in and ready to go; you either have many ideas in mind or you’re just willing to wing it. More than often it ends up being a mix of the two. Your aim is to shop for a certain something, only one click can lead to an entirely different source and before you know it you’re scrolling through 50 pages on ASOS when your initial intention was to buy your cat a new toy over at Argos. Things can get serious pretty quickly, you browse every department and feel an instant connection – to the point you convince yourself you need it or your life will be in tatters and it doesn’t help when you’re caught off guard as you take a swift break and head over to social media with links to a luxury garment that further captures your attention and your heart. Love at first sight but clothes, accessories, homeware and erm, pet shop style?!

The Deciding

Aaand the tough part approaches, putting every ounce of energy and sanity into deciding what is going to make it to the checkout; but not before you’ve hovered over the confirm purchase button countless times and closed the tab trying to resonate with your impulsive mind but then being unable to retrace said possible purchase from your functioning thinking pattern whilst desperately yearning. The questioning and the denial begins once again; why is everything so expensive? Can I really justify spending £30 on a lipstick when I barely have the money for my basic needs? “Nah, who am I kidding? This won’t hurt” becomes your answer, with a gritted smile. So, now it’s moving on to the narrowing down of what colour to pick. The photographs you’ve stared at adoringly now become reality in that virtual basket but are you really sure that bright pink is the right shade? Cue reverting back to the very beginning *deep sigh*.

The Purchasing

That bubble of excitement starts to waver now, the beauty in front of your very eyes is finally going to be in your possession but oh, hang on… what’s that you see? £3.95 standard delivery? You are kidding?! Absolute daylight robbery, a disgrace, totally not plausible after considering clearing your bank account of at least a hundred smackers without hesitation. That seems to be the shoppers’ logic, anyway. And if that wasn’t problematic enough, the curse of the out of stock issue striking once you’ve gone through to the checkout process leaves even more frustration. Why allow those hopes to build just to crush them at the last minute? False advertising, I tell you. Best hunt high and low for another 20 minutes to find a discount code that makes paying extra for the next in stock item on your list totally tenable. Either that, or the online credit that becomes your saviour when using a catalogue.

The Inability To Stop

Once you’ve made your first purchase and dealt with the primary surge of doubt and guilt deep down in your gut as you typed in your card information knowing full well this is a solid lifelong commitment, the kick you get out of finding a piece that suits you to a tee is just magic. That confirmation email is a mood booster and somehow proudly intoxicating to the method of composure. You’re left heading straight back to where you began and won’t be satisfied until you’ve investigated every page, making sure there’s nothing to be missed. Usually this results in dozing off with your head in your phone because you accidentally stayed up till 2am but who cares when you’re now the wizard of online shopping? Who needs sleep, anyway?


The Tracking

Although it’s hard to accept the minute you order your parcel it won’t just turn up on your doorstep delivered by a Hedwig-like owl, the moment your inbox refreshes with a jumble of letters and numbers aka the tracking code that you will now rely on to get you through a tedious week, comes pretty close to that wild imagination. Being able to follow the journey of that gift you bought yourself becomes part of the online shopping story – even when thinking there’s going to be an update in destination stage after the last 5 minutes you rapidly clicked on the link and surprisingly, even when the link provided is invalid and you start to nervously bite your nails after three business days later. Better to hear a knock on the door than to get home and see your package has been thrown over the gate or left in the wheelie bin, though. Oh, what a pleasure.


The Receiving 

Finally, it’s here. It’s been a treacherous trip but now it’s yours to own forever, to show off your shopping talents to the world and to wear the same outfit four days in a row because those new clothes are obviously there to live in and morph into. All is well in the land of internet, until you start to see the carnage in your bank account. It’s fine, no damage done, I’ll just have to accept it and move on (and pose in the mirror one final time). You rock that shizz!


Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to discover the circle of online catalogues!


What’s your online shopping persona? Diva? Cool as a cucumber? Assertive? Ambiguous? Let me know your techniques! 


Bridie x


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*this is a collaborative post