Online shopping is now part of all our lives. If we need to buy something, we are just as likely to reach for the mouse as the car keys. But our attitudes to shopping online are mixed. Many of us know and trust only a handful of shopping websites, and the quality of sites thrown up in the search engine results is often disappointing. What is more, the process of shopping using search engines is uninspiring. It is a bit like a college research project, where you have to wade through pages of text results to find what you are looking for.
The Online Shopping Town aims to change all that for UK shoppers. Its aim is to marry together the best aspects of internet shopping with the experience you get walking around an attractive real world shopping town or outlet village. The site features shops that are laid out attractively in visual moving streets that you can wander around and explore.
So what does this give you that the search engines do not? Firstly, ideas, the chance to discover fantastic new shops that you might not have found otherwise. All the shops are handpicked by the editorial team, whose ethos is only to include shops they would recommend to their friends. And through the voting and comment system, you can get to see which places are most popular with other shoppers.
Secondly, a fun and informative shopping experience. The shops are visually presented, with images of the kinds of products they sell. And as you navigate along the streets you get to see junctions to related streets, so you have the chance to be inspired and find other things that you did not realize you needed until you saw them!