Sometimes it seems like Amazon has taken over the world. It started out as a bookstore. But it really found its niche among tech geeks looking to buy random gadgets during the decline and ultimate demise of Radio Shack.
Now, It is the everything store, for everyone, everywhere. There has never been a retail phenomenon quite like it. Yet despite its undeniable success, it is still not the best way to shop for everything you need.
There are good and obvious reasons why you would still want to shop for shoes and clothes at local retail stores. Your computer monitor will never get the colors just right. Besides, the color you click on may not be the color that ships.
Then there is texture. You can’t tell how a garment feels to the touch by looking at a digital image. And we all know that sizes are not an exact predictor of how something will fit. It may be your size. But for reasons of cut and style, it still may not fit.
Buying a smartphone and things related to smartphones are more like apparel than you might think. Here are some of the reasons it is best to do your smartphone purchasing IRL rather than online:
Fit and Finish
You only need to visit your nearest AT&T store to understand why local retail is better for purchasing smartphones than doing so online. For starters, you get a true sense of the fit and finish of the device.
You can’t tell how a smartphone fits in your hand until you hold it. Will your thumb reach the top of the screen? Can you use it one-handed? Does that edge annoy you because it is sharper than it looked in the pictures? You will never know the answers to these questions without physically handling the device.
There is also the matter of getting answers to questions before you buy. No one is going to answer your sales questions when you buy online. Smartphones are very complicated. And it is natural to have questions before you buy. It is a little like buying a car these days. With something as involved as a smartphone with its technology and payment plans, you are much better off in store.
Feast Your Eyes
Remember all that fuss over the Pixel II XL’s substandard screen? Some people were frightened away from that phone because of the coverage. They never saw it for themselves. Many who saw it in person decided that it wasn’t so bad after all. Others made a decision based on a side-by-side comparison with other phones. None of this is possible online.
There is also the matter of fashion. We may not choose a smartphone entirely for fashion reasons. But it is still one of the big ones. 75% of smartphone users put a case on their phone. The biggest percentage of case users are iPhone owners.
You want to see how a case fits, looks, and feels on your smartphone. These things cannot be fully determined by online photos, videos, or testimonials. You want to buy your accessories in the store for much the same reason you buy pants in the store.
On the Spot Repairs
Under no circumstances is it better to send your smartphone to some unknown location for repair. There are many manufacturers that handle repairs this way exclusively.
But if you have an iPhone and live near an Apple Store, there is nothing better than being able to walk in and have someone look at your device, make a decision about how to proceed, and fix it right there on the spot, or give you a new one.
Don’t let your mobile mishap story end in dissatisfaction after two weeks of sending it back and forth in the mail to some company that never has to look you in the eye. When it comes to repairs, it is always better in person.
As long as smartphones are a thing, there will be a need for local retail outlets. You will always need hands-on time to determine fit and finish physical access to fashion accessories, and the peace of mind of same-day repairs.