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Online Shopping vs Brick and Mortar
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!