Why I will be buying most of my Christmas presents online - Women's Agenda

Why I will be buying most of my Christmas presents online

Five years ago I bought a fancy dress costume online in the hope that it would make its way from the UK to my home in the two weeks before the party. I was to be disappointed. The Pink Lady jacket that I had ordered for the Grease themed night arrived the Monday after the party.

Last Wednesday I ordered costumes for my husband and I for a themed party this weekend. The items originated in the UK, US and regional Australia. I decided to take the chance that the items would arrive in the seven working days in between. Yesterday most of the parts to the costumes arrived. It took just three business days for my online shopping to arrive from the US and UK. I couldn’t believe my luck. The global mail service has finally made last-minute online shopping possible.

I jumped on the online shopping bandwagon 11 years ago. During the height of the dotcom boom I found myself on a flight from Rome to Milan to cover a fashion story. I was seated next to a businessman who proceeded to grill me about my appetite for online shopping. He told me he had invested in a British online store and was hoping it would work. He described the woman whose idea he had invested in as dynamic with a compelling story. That woman was Natalie Massenet and the ecommerce business she had recently launched was net-a-porter.com. I wrote the website on my hand and googled it when I reached my hotel. I have been a devoted customer ever since.

The sturdy, waxy black boxes with the black-and-white grosgrain ribbon have been gracing my doorstep for more than a decade and I have never been let down. Even in the early years the turnaround time was remarkable. It took three days from order to delivery. I could order an evening dress on Tuesday to wear that weekend and it would be with me by Friday. It was the perfect solution for a time-poor working woman who loves to shop but can’t find a window in her diary.

My favourite time of year for online shopping is now because I never have the time to buy presents instore. I usually start Christmas shopping in November but I’ve been so busy that I have only just started the process this week. I buy everything online: from CDs and electronic games at JB Hi-Fi to necklaces at The Outnet and fragrance at Adore Beauty. I was worried I’d left it a bit late to make Christmas deliveries but when my fancy dress items arrived yesterday I was given new hope.

Do you shop online? Are there any items you wouldn’t order online?

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