BBA Musings # 2 – Online Browsing is the New Window Shopping

Yeah, this one has a really long title. But the concept hit me when I decided to see some new products from a brand that I’ve come to fancy at first, but shied away because people pointed out how its origins rustled their jimmies was questionable at best and cultural appropriation at worst.

Let’s face it: malls are dying or dead and the Coronavirus pandemic has pretty much people on lock down to avoid contracting the virus (there’s just not enough correct information that’s being shared and far more misinformation rapidly available for viewing). But since online shopping became a thing, going to a physical store to purchase (in this case, beauty) items has become even more of a chore than before. For me, window shopping used to be a pastime reserved for trips to the mall or as a means of detaching yourself from the routine of every day – but with the advent of the Internet, we’ve now turned to a new window – a strictly electronic version of whatever browser we use.

Of course, the big downside to window shopping online is that you don’t really get to test the product out in person, but with studies showing that testers contain poop (seriously, who the hell doesn’t practice basic hygiene out in public?) and unfriendly microbes, buying a beauty product blindly seems to be a far better option – at least, until you get the item and it turns out to suck. You win some, you lose some.

And then there’s the wait, the chance of a porch pirate coming to steal your package, the process of returning, etc. These were things that we hardly experienced when window shopping involved going to a store and either staring at an item through a window or playing with an available tester.

From a quick glance, it can be argued that online shopping IS the new window shopping of the old days. But a closer look shows that, perhaps, the only similarities between online shopping and window shopping is its basic concept – you’re still viewing a beauty product through a window, whether it be a physical one or an electronic one.

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