How soon until we see online durable goods purchases completed in all parts but delivery and installation? It seems like most of these types of purchases are still viewed directly or ‘test driven’ in some way before the purchase. A fiance-to-be often wants to make his choice of the diamond ring and families that choose new bedroom sets go to the store to test the smoothness of the handle. In both cases neither of these actions probably matter all that much. The fiance knows less about the stone than its seller knows about him and the family wouldn’t hinge a purchase on the hinges would they? I think the reasoning might be is that people believe these large purchases require their action – however irrelevant and misguided – to affirm that a purchase is a good choice.
Their better course of actions may have been to spend that additional time online, weighing costs, options, reviews, attributes and the other information readily available for nearly any purchase in the Internet age. Those data definitely won’t tell you which ring your girlfriend wants but in many cases your trip to the store won’t either.
I'd like to see comments about durable good purchases that don't fall under this model.