December 20, 2013

A Holiday Miracle: 5 Ways E-Commerce is Better Than Brick & Mortar

Posted by Faith Albert
Christmas

Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reached for the last one they had, but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way.

Frank Costanza, you are a wise, wise man (even if you are only a fictional character from Seinfeld). But we all don’t need to drop our holiday traditions for Festivus: E-commerce in all of its glory can lesson the rigors of this magical season. Here are five reasons why.

1. The Mall = The Worst

Oh hee hee, it wouldn’t be the Christmas shopping season if the stores were any less hooter than they - HOTTER than they are. Whew. It is warm in here, isn’t it?”
 - Clark Griswold, Christmas Vacation

It is indeed hot. And crowded. And this year’s holiday shopping season definitely kicked off with a bang. This is a no brainer. Shop. On. Line. Added bonus: you don’t need to wait in line for anything, including the seemingly-endless queue to get your packages wrapped. Maybe it’a because I hate wrapping gifts, but this is my favorite button to click when I checkout online. Gift wrap? — done and done. Did I mention free returns?

2. Santa Claus On Demand

The line waiting to see Santa Claus stretched all the way back to Terre Haute. And I was at the end of it.”
 — Ralph, A Christmas Story

I remember waiting in interminable lines at a big box store to visit Santa Claus. As a kid, this was a double-edged sword. I wanted to see Santa, but I also didn’t want to spend another hour in the store with my mom after the visit. Today, we can use sites like relayfoods.com, that will suffice even the pickiest mom, and we can invite Santa, Mrs. Claus, and even carolers into our home via this awesome site. Thanks to e-commerce, Santa now does house calls.

3. Take Back the Holidays

Fifteen shillings a week, a wife and five children… and he still talks of a Merry Christmas!
 — Ebenezer Scrooge, A Christmas Carol

You have to admit, Ebenezer has a point. His methods may have been extreme, but around this time, we are all trying to pinch a penny or two while also buy affordable gifts for our loved ones. Cyber Monday isn’t just the internet community trying to rival Black Friday. It is the universe giving us back Thanksgiving! Eat, drink, be merry, and don’t miss a single online sale.

4. Weight Gain

I don’t know what’s happening to you. You’re starting to look like the Pillsbury Doughboy.
 — Mr. Whittle, The Santa Clause

Let’s not even talk about the packed gym after the first of the year. Let’s concentrate on how hard it is to get to the gym while you’re darting from shop to shop, scouring the shelves for an Xbox One. Add to that some figgy pudding and cookies, and you are looking at some real weight gain. Cut through all that flab, err, red tape, and get unjingly wit it (get it? jingle?), with these 15 best apps for fitness brought to you by PC Mag.

5. Good Deeds

The best way to spread Christmas Cheer, is singing loud for all to hear.”
 — Buddy the Elf, Elf

While singing may be one way to spread cheer, there are many, many others. You can browse any number of charities, organizations, or individuals looking to raise money for various projects on sites such as KickStarter or Indiegogo. Don’t have money to spare? No fear. You can touch base with the national organ-donor registry. Or simply hop on Facebook and send a private message to a friend and let them know you are thinking of them. The interwebs were made for goodwill. Simplicity. Peace on earth. Good stuff.

Yes, Virginia, there really is a stress-free Christmas waiting for you. All you have to do is believe, reboot your computer, and you’ll have few grievances to air around the Festivus Pole.