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Online Shopping vs Brick and Mortar

Updated on January 24, 2016

With so many brick and mortar stores now online, shoppers can choose between the convenience of ordering merchandise through the internet or purchasing it in a physical store. Some people choose online ordering because they like shopping during the time the physical store is closed, or they want to avoid crowds. On the other hand people prefer shopping in stores in order to try on the merchandise and get a feel for the item. Many people shop online because they think it’s cheaper. Sometimes however this is not the case and a consumer may actually be paying more for the convenience of shopping on-line.

Online coupons offered by merchants will entice shoppers into believing that, with a coupon code, their purchase will be less expensive than if they were to shop in the brick and mortar version of that particular retailer. Some of the most popular coupons, "Free shipping" and "25% off" can offer big savings, but what most people do not realize is that the discounts are only possible because the items when ordered online are shipped, from a warehouse and of course that there will be transportation costs to add on too. This is in direct contrast to a department store where the inventory is limited to quantities on hand, hence the limited availability of some items and unless the item is furniture or white goods, you can take the item away with you.

In addition prices can be greatly influenced by logistics. Have you ever noticed why prices are more expensive on a store's website, and they are less expensive in the physical store? Not vice versa. You would think that prices on a stores website would always be cheaper because the overheads are lower. However, clearance items and end-of-season merchandise hardly ever goes up on a stores website. Department stores receive new merchandise one season ahead of time and are expected to have it ready for display and sale as soon as possible. Merchandise that is current or from a previous season needs to be sold quickly, and the best way department stores can clear it away is by offering a deep discount. Warehouses, on the other hand, have a great amount of space and so the store has the ability to store merchandise for a greater amount of time.

In order to get the best possible deal, shoppers should be flexible and knowledgeable before they make their purchases. If shopping for current or past season merchandise, in-store shopping at the physical department store would probably offer the best savings. Saturdays and Sundays usually offer special weekend incentives such as "$10 off of a $50 purchase" or "scratch off game prices" to shoppers looking for additional savings. Weekend in-store shopping also offers additional discounts on clearance items by allowing shoppers to take off as much as an additional 50-75% from the current clearance price.

If regular, in-season merchandise or merchandise that is a store staple year in year out is wanted then online shopping will probably save a shopper a good amount of money. The types of goods where savings can be made over shopping in a physical store are such items as electrical goods, computers and software, books, DVD’s and health and beauty products. Here the use of online coupons can save the shopper even more money. more by purchasing from the store's website as opposed to shopping at the store's physical site. Check the shipping costs however because sometimes they are high and eliminate the saving in price of the goods themselves.

Of course the lazy armchair shoppers base their purchases solely on price, and convenience. Some even put a price on convenience itself. Normally, shoppers who have the greatest amount of flexibility will save on most of their purchases as they will see that sometimes, shopping in the physical department store is the least expensive method of shopping, but other times, online shopping at the store's website is the least expensive method. It all depends on types of items needed, the cost of the item, and whether or not the item is seasonal. With proper research and good dedicated comparison shopping a shoppers' dollars can go a lot further. Happy shopping!


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    • cheapstuff profile image


      7 years ago from California

      Online shopping is definitely the wave of the future and it is here for us to ride now.

    • profile image

      Louis Vuitton jeans 

      8 years ago

      LV jeans is classical and fashion , it is a selection of fabrics, unique design based on leading the world trend. It is pure, romantic, sexy, free and easy.

    • profile image

      alien perfume 

      8 years ago

      Excellent stuff with wonderful information! I'm new here and loving the post! Thanks for sharing this great info!

    • heavenmarketing profile image


      8 years ago

      Amazon has the most deals of promotions and most selection of items in my shopping experience

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Nice article, online shopping is very relaxing.

      Other significant reasons why we shop online here - .

    • profile image

      samar singla 

      8 years ago

      Online shopping store provide easy payment modes which enables people to pay using online money trasfer facility. One can buy even at nights.

    • Auscause profile image


      9 years ago

      Yes, you are absolutely right that there are several people in this world who want to shop from a place, where any time they can purchase without rush and crowd. So they prefer online shopping.


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