It’s a poorly kept secret that shopping online is cheap and convenient. After all, that’s why shoppers around the world buy over US$1.4 trillion in goods online every year. To give you an idea of just how huge that is, that’s almost one tenth of the entire GDP of the United States.
But did you know that shopping online has other perks as well? For starters, it’s the safest way to buy things. Here’s a list of common accidents that won’t happen to you while you’re browsing the latest fashions while lying in bed at home:
– Getting in a motor vehicle accident (lifetime odds of dying from this are 1 in 113)
– Falling down stairs (1 in 948)
– Drowning (1 in 6,162)
– Being involved in an airplane accident (1 in 9,737)
– Getting washed away in a flood (1 in 95,519)
– Getting bitten by a dog (1 in 114,622)
– Getting struck by lightning (1 in 174,426)
I can pretty much guarantee that none of the above can happen to you in the safety of your own bedroom or home office. Unless, of course, you’re the owner of a rabid, ill-tempered pooch. Or you live up a very tall tower.
If you decide to chance it and head out of the house to hit up the malls along Orchard Road, there’s no telling what could happen to you.
But it’s not just random accidents that could befall you, simply heading outdoors can be perilous to your health. Take the haze, for example. Breathing in smoky air filled with tiny pollutants can make your chronic heart or lung diseases worse. One MOH study found that an increase in pollutants in the air was associated with an increase in hospital admissions. Other studies have shown that long-term exposure to air pollutants over several years can lead to lung function abnormalities.
And that’s just the journey to the mall! Once you’re inside, you’ll have to battle the crowd (especially if you’re shopping on the weekends), the crazy noise levels (do they have to play the music quite so loud?) and the ever-changing environmental conditions – from freezing Siberia-esque temperature in the dressing room to the sweltering sauna-like atmosphere outside.
For me, one of the real perks of shopping online is that everything is in one place – your browser. Want to compare prices or specs between dozens of stores? No problem. In real life, you’d walk the equivalent of a marathon around the mall before figuring out which oversized statement tee you like the most.
Not only will this save your knees, it will also save your heart – stress is the number one killer according to the American Psychological Association. Chronic stress is linked to heart disease, cancer, accidents, liver disease and suicide. Avoid increasing the risks of all that by avoiding stressful situations, like overcrowded, noisy malls.
And if you happened to buy the wrong thing by mistake? Obviously, if you’re reading this, you’re already a pretty savvy online shopper, so you’d have used a reputable online store with a sturdy guarantee behind its quality products. So, fixing an online shopping mistake can be as simple as a quick email to customer service that’s available 24/7. But if you’d bought that dress from a traditional, brick-and-mortar store, here’s the bad news: You’ll have to saddle up and brave the traffic, the weather and the crowds all over again.
So light your favourite candle, power up your laptop, pour yourself a glass of wine and shop at home – you can thank me later.