Today’s press release from Ebates bothered me a good deal. The cash-back shopping site recently surveyed 1,000 people and learned, among other things, that 49 percent use mobile devices to shop while waiting in line.
Apparently it “cures boredom.”
All the Internet at your fingertips – the chance to download millions of e-books for free, listen to amazing music, view more cat pictures than anyone really needs – and you decide to kill time by shopping?
Couple of things, here:
- How long are the lines in which you’re waiting?
- How’s your budget holding up under this anti-boredom tactic?
I understand that even five minutes in line can feel endless. It isn’t, since you do eventually get to go home. Even if it turned into half an hour of waiting, is there no other way to occupy your mind? (See “cat pictures” et al., above.)
Possibly some of these folks aren’t actually buying, just shopping – the equivalent of window-shopping in place. After all, some people can walk through a store and look at lots but leave empty-handed.
But the Internet is superb at creating need where none exists. Oh, that funny T-shirt would be perfect for your brother. A skin-care shop is having a sale on products in your favorite scent. What an interesting herbal tea sampler, and your tisane-loving BFF could use a little pick-me-up….
Throw in free shipping and you’re gone. As is a chunk of your budget.