Making a purchase usually involved a limited amount of forethought before heading off to that amazing retail innovation, a market or shopping centre. I might go to a suburban shopping centre that seemed to have everything or head into the CBD which usually included a trip to the Queen Vic Market.
Grouping retailers together was a great innovation because all I had to do was have a rough idea of what I wanted and then make the best choice from what was available. No matter what happened, I invariably made a purchase by the end of the day.
Now my shopping is much more complex. There is a lot more available. I can pre-shop online from a bewildering range of choices. Yes, some things I can purchase from my lounge seat, and that is great, but making a decision is so much harder because there are so many choices.
Things that I want to touch or try on will necessitate a trip to a retail outlet. But even then I have in the back of my mind that the item on sale across the other side of the country, or in a completely different country, may be more suitable. That product online is cheaper and looks as good, but is it, and should I go for what I can touch and feel?