Are Silicon Valley’s woes expanding in-person commerce? Perhaps. Online retailers are moving to brick and mortar in part due to well-publicized scandals involving Facebook and other social media platforms. Consumers are losing confidence that their privacy, identities, and tendencies are safe when they shop online.

This combines with the movement towards, well, more movement. People are identifying how technology is promoting a sedentary lifestyle, which is inspiring people to get up and get out. We, at Eidi Properties, welcome this trend and what it means to consumers and our communities.

People are becoming increasingly spooked that they can watch a video or search for something in Google and within seconds they are seeing ads for those topics throughout their browsers. This has heightened online shoppers concerns for their privacy and their informations security. Searching a term or looking at an item in an online store reveals your desires, tendencies, preferences and even your budget. This data becomes sellable and people are getting savvy and deciding to opt out.

Consumers are going outside, breathing fresh air, and walking in their neighborhood while concealing their private information from big data merchants. People mingling with their community as they purchase goods and services invigorate our local economies and sense of belonging.

Getting Out Is In With Shopping Centers

Online communities are valuable and often helpful, but they also tend to reinforce our sense of separation and that we are anonymous. Whereas, visiting stores provides face to face and shoulder to shoulder contact, which is a subtle reminder that we are all humans, which reconnects us with our fellow citizens.

Additionally, shopping in physical stores provides a contrast in the inert practice of online shopping. As wearable fitness devices like Fitbit have shown, people are looking for ways and reasons to move. Office work, online activity, and entertainment have all reduced our need to physically move around. This has been true, as well, with online shopping. However, people (85 percent prefer shopping in physical stores) are increasingly setting down their apps and monitors in favor of the tactile experience of in-person shopping.

Digital shopping has carved out what seems like a permanent niche in our commerce. However, the novelty is wearing off and people are remembering the benefits of getting out among other people. More importantly, we are remembering that we enjoy buying in stores run by our friends, families, and neighbors. And, they don’t need our personal information because they already know us.

This article was written by Jerry Mooney.