It seems that once again, the virtual world has outperformed the real world. Online furniture retailers are offering canvas transfers and prints from respected artists alongside their furniture.
I have to confess, I am an avid online shopper. Being a New Yorker, there are two elements to the online shopping experience that make it so much better than going to a local retailer. The first, unquestionably, is convenience. Trying to get any item of substance around this town is nearly impossible. Delivery fees charged by New York retailers are notoriously murderous, so that usually removes most items out of the competitive range of what is offered online. Additionally, I often have to travel far to find what I’m looking for, and traveling here can be a nightmare. Many singular online retailers have an exceptional selection of goods that might take several trips to several different merchants here to purchase.
The second element that makes online shopping more feasible is price. Delivery fees aside, most online retailers are not paying for expensive Manhattan real estate. The products they offer are no different in many cases to what is being sold online, and yet I am expected to pay a premium for having it right now. Sorry, but I can wait for a few days to have the exact same (or often a better) item delivered. In fact, Ii can probably pay for the most expensive and fastest delivery method offered and still save money over buying locally.
I recently had a good experience that solidified my position on online shopping. I was recently shopping online for furniture when I noticed that a few of the online retailers were offering prints and canvas transfers alongside their furnishings. These were high quality, framed or un-framed artistic works by recognized artist and the prices were well below what I would be paying here. The selection of artist was incredible, from impressionist masters such as Monet, Renoir and Van Gogh to abstracts from Maitland and Li-Leger. I ended up ordering two prints and one canvas transfer, all framed, in addition to the furniture piece I was originally looking for.
I would have a hard time finding an art selection as nice as the one this online furniture retailer had anywhere in the city, and especially not at a furniture store. They even had a section with the works of new artists.
The bottom line is that as long as online retailers continue to offer superior convenience, pricing and selection, the number of people who shop online will continue to grow. The art I found at my favorite online furniture dealer is just one example of how online shopping is really starting to surpass the local buying experience.