Shopping is about looking for Mr. Goodbar. When there were walk-in
stores staffed by real people, there was the expectation of being engaged
then satisfied. We could hold and handle a product, explain ourselves and
listen to another human answer our questions.

Internet shopping is quite different. We may see all the products in a given
category, but only their pictures. We can’t touch them, try them, or taste
them (if that’s involved), which means we walk away with only a
glimmer—and maybe not even that – of what a product or service might be

This is what we have come to call “retail shopping” nowadays. Buyers are
merely one last step in a process. When payment or delivery has been
transacted, we have no sensation of shopping other than having done it.
Fortunately, that’s not true for other, big-ticket items, cars, computers, TVs,
or large technology purchases. Perhaps it’s their price or the possibility of
a mega sale that gives them priority