Online Shopping Is Better Than Offline Shopping
In recent years, the online shopping industry has absolutely exploded, to the point that there are now many people who will only buy new products online. It’s not difficult to understand the potential benefits of online shopping, but at the same time there are also people who are sticking to ordinary shopping, and they have their reasons as well. Ultimately, it certainly seems as if things are trending toward online shopping becoming more and more popular, but it is also highly unlikely that ordinary stores are going anywhere. So, where do you stand on the issue? Here is a brief analysis of the factors that play into the debate.
You can also add to the debate by leaving a comment at the end of the page.
One of the things people care most about when shopping is convenience. Most people don’t enjoy spending endless hours shopping, whether in a store or online, and it is always nice to get these experiences over with as soon as possible. This is one of the main reasons that online shopping has become so popular, as it allows you to switch stores and products by clicking a button rather than traveling to a new store. For example, at a store like Marks & Spencer you can buy a whole Christmas list's worth of different products!Advantage: Online Shopping
This convenience comes at the expense of purchasing goods which do not match up to the shoppers expectations which are more likely to be immediately realised in a store offline. That is not to say that the individual has not chosen to buy online after having seen the item in real life, but for those who purchase without having done so, there is always this danger which would go on to cause inconvenience. However, it's also a matter of caveat emptor, isn't it?
Another thing people appreciate when they go shopping is a large selection. Of course, a large selection means that your decision making process may be a bit more difficult, but it also makes it more likely that you will find a high quality product that truly pleases you. Again, the Internet has the edge here, as the selection is virtually endless, whereas stores can be poorly stocked in person and there are no easy alternatives. Advantage: Online Shopping.
When you purchase a new product, whether for yourself or for another person, it is always nice to have that product in your possession immediately. This can allow you to be in control of the product, or to wrap it quickly if necessary. This is one area in which ordinary shopping still has an edge, because you do not have to wait for shipping. Advantage: Ordinary Shopping
Needless to say, the quality of a product is also very important. And, while most online shopping offers you the ability to return faulty or imperfect products, there is no quality control quite as thorough and complete as that of being able to hold and observe a product in person before purchasing it. This is something that the Internet can never offer. Advantage: Ordinary Shopping.
Finally, another very important aspect of any shopping experience is trying to save as much money as possible. One reason that people enjoy online shopping is that you can often find a product more cheaply online than you can in stores. However, to counter this fact, there are also shipping costs more often than not, and these can make up for the money you save with the base price. Advantage: Toss-Up.
Discounts and offers
All you really have to do to find the cheapest deal online is type the item you're looking for into the search bar and find a number of great deals. Usually, you are presented with only the lowest prices first when you shop online. This can be great if you're just looking to save some money on a big ticket item.
However, sometimes online retailers will catch you with shipping costs or require large purchases before they discount your shipping costs which don't really save you money and requires you to buy more than you were originally looking for. Offline shopping will sometimes have great savings as well if you're willing to search around for them. A lot of items with both online and offline shopping will be marked as clearance items at a lower cost because they just want to get rid of that item.
Online Shopping Takes Less Time
Of course, it is much faster to just shop online if you are talking about trying to find what you need. If shopping offline you most likely need to drive to the area you are shopping and then walk through the store hoping that they have what you need. Since you can simply type into a search bar online to find what you need, you can often find it right away and even with good deals.
The kicker is that you still need to wait awhile for your package to arrive in the mail. You usually have the option to get your package the next day but it’s going to cost you a pretty penny. If you don’t mind waiting for your package to arrive or you’re willing to spend a lot more for expedited shipping, then online shopping might be better for you.
Online Shopping Doesn’t Require You To Drive
Who doesn’t like skipping out on paying for gas every time they need to shop. If you live farther away from shopping areas most likely you are going to be using quite a bit of gas to get there. You also will have extra time that you’d spend driving for other important things in your schedule.
Supports Your Local Community
Instead of your dollar floating across the country to someone 2000 miles away, often when you spend locally, that dollar stays in your community, multiplying itself and serving other local businesses. According to several studies done by AMIBA (American Independent Business Alliance), 48% of every purchase you make at local independent businesses will recirculate locally instead of only 14% being recirculated at chain stores. Since many small businesses will serve each other and the community with events or other services, it will also enrich the lives of you and your neighbors. That means improved services, employee salaries, charities, leisurely activities, parks, food, and events all provided in your own community.
However, that is only if you are making purchases at local non-chain stores and depends on how those local businesses distribute money within your community. Most likely those small businesses hire local workers and provide services to other people in the community before that money goes out. Even if you make purchases at chain stores that are local, around 14% of the profits will recirculate first.
See & Feel What You Get Before Purchasing
When you buy something offline, you are usually able to see the exact design and quality of the item before you buy it where as an online purchase will not always show the best-detailed presentation of an item. According to The Federal Trade Commission, online stores may use a number of deceptive tactics to sell their products which require you to read the fine print closely. Because of the way items are sold online, there may be additional terms to the purchase or fees that they do not show you until you check out. Some items may turn out to be refurbished, cheap remakes of a brand name, an older model or incorrect size of clothing. Since you are able to try the item on or see if it's authentic before purchasing at an offline store, you don't run into the problem of returning the item at your expense or taking up a lot of your time.
Interact With Humans & Better Help From Representatives
Even when you are in doubt with a purchase offline, you will be able to speak with a physical representative to ask any questions. When purchasing online, you sometimes have the option to speak with a representative but often the information given isn’t what you are looking for. According to Psychology Today, sometimes body language makes communicating your needs much easier than speaking in person. Since speaking in person is easier and quicker, you will not have to sit on the phone with a representative or wait days for an email reply.
In addition to representatives being more helpful, you will also get to interact with other shoppers and see other people. A lot of people enjoy seeing others out and about which makes their shopping experience better. Who knows if you will run into an old friend or meet a new interesting person that you have a great conversation with. According to a report done by Kenneth Dixon of Stanford University, internet use has lead to an increase in social isolation. If we are lead to believe that humans are social in nature, then online shopping can impose a major change in the way we live, potentially leading us to become unhappy and unfulfilled with life.
Despite the ease of speaking in person to representatives or our social human nature, some people just prefer discretion when they are shopping and leave personal interaction for times other than shopping. If you really aren’t in a hurry or your questions aren’t too vast, then you might be more willing to spend awhile getting answers from a representative online.
Offline Shopping Is Safer
There is more risk of your information being stolen online than offline. When you shop online, you usually always have to provide your personal information as well as your payment details when you check out. According to Identity Hawk, that information usually goes into an online database which thieves can more easily gain access to if they hack into it. In addition to the database, some scam artists or retailers use other tactics to steal information and money online such as fake emails, unauthorized purchases and compromise unsecured computers. As long as you are vigilant and monitor your payments when you are shopping online, you should be safer.
Many people believe that offline shopping is safer than online shopping but the truth is that both equally pose risks of identity theft or fraud, the difference is there are more ways online for your information to be stolen. Since there are so many risks we must practice safe handling of our information which the Federal Trade Commission shows us a number useful of ways.
What do you think?