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The advantages and disadvantages of Online Shopping and Shopping in Store

Updated on April 10, 2015

People decide whether to shop online or in stores on the following factors: how fast they need, how readily it is available, price options etc. People tend to buy whatever they get the best price. Sometimes shopping depends on the weather and traffic to reach the place.

Advantages of shopping online:

  • Most of the time there are more deals online.
  • Lots of online coupons are available.
  • People who have health problems i.e. who cannot go out much prefer to shop online. If you are living in an economically dead town and there are not a lot of shopping options, it is better to shop online.
  • People prefer shopping online because they do not like crowds in the shop. People tend to buy books, video games and other assorted items online as they get good deal.
  • The people who can not stand annoying sales people and long lines love to shop online. People find internet shopping more handy, inexpensive (depends on the item like books, DVDs, etc.) and it also saves the gas.
  • The people have cold or flu should shop online because when they go to store and handle everything, sneeze or cough over everything, wipe their nose with their hands and then open every door, the other healthy people also get the germs.
  • In online shopping, you can shop from home through your electronic device and have the items delivered to your door.
  • Being an bargain shopper you will love to steal a deal in online shopping as you are not required to venture out.
  • In online shopping you can always get the opinion of others via social media and online reviews. In online you get product reviews from real customers rather than a sales person who is trying to push the product.
  • People order things like odd colored hair dyes online because even the specialty shops never have the color they are looking for.
  • Some items such as electronics tend to be cheaper due to added competition in online. Some online stores give super savings offer i.e. if you order so much in dollar amount your shipping will be free.
  • Online stores are honest about the price of shipping.
  • Sometimes there are no sales tax online and the selection is usually a lot better too.
  • Most of the time you can choose online retailers that have free shipping. Free shipping online means free returns in most cases.

Disadvantages of shopping online:

  • Some of the grocery stores have online ordering and they deliver for a fee but the items are more expensive, you can not use coupons and you are at the mercy of their shopper to select produce and meat.
  • You have to know the online store's website pretty well fast to make the most out of online shopping.
  • Some people have horrible stories online regarding returns, high shipping, lost orders, etc.
  • Shipping has just become another way to profit, if it is like the hidden charges.
  • For online shopping, although there no lines and the items get delivered to your door step, shipping charges can be expensive and you have to wait first for the order to be processed, shipped and finally delivered.

Advantages of shopping in store:

  • Sometimes stores have the best deal to steal. People generally prefer stores for grocery shopping.
  • People like buying clothing or shoes in person as they can try it out.
  • In store you can see the quality of the item.
  • Meats and vegetables are always cheaper in local meat and vegetable market than online.
  • The people who had the need to see and touch before ordering an item love to shop in store.
  • People who prefer who had the items in hand when handing over money tends to shop in store.
  • Actual stores are reliable because you can look at the product and see if it really is what is it says it is.
  • When you buy something in store, you get what you want, you do not have to wait for it to come, you can return it easily if it does not work or does not fit or is damaged without dealing with mail.
  • People like shopping for food at stores because it is cheaper than delivery and there are more brands to choose from.
  • Some people prefer to shop for books in a real store because there you can just browse easily open any book you want.
  • In store you can see the product in person rather than picture because online picture can trick you.

Disadvantages of shopping in store:

  • People cannot buy it in stores thing size as they are available in online only.
  • The stores are not always nearby.
  • Some people don not want to go to stores as they do not want to hear babies crying, children screaming, kids begging for the shiny new cereal flavor of the week, listen to parents argue with the kids or each other and watch people walking around lazily when you are in hurry.

Some people often go to online shopping like amazon and research the item they want and read all the reviews but then go to the store to buy. There are people who go to the store to check out the item and then buy it through online. The physical store are not being able to keep up with their business such as bookstore, music stores, local small business as most of the people are buying online.

For example, I am going to buy a 10 year old class 4 SD Card that is only 4 GB in size from a store like Target for about $50 plus tax. When I go online I found and brought a current much faster class 10 SD card that is 16 GB in size for only $15 plus tax and shipping. The SD cards that stores sell are only few dollars online, while physical stores such as staples also do sale them but they are over priced by about double even after the shipping cost.

One thing you could do is get familiar with the item or brand in the store know your size or fit and then buy online if its cheaper.

For example, I was a bit skeptical about shopping online because i like to see what I am buying, but after I tried shopping online years ago I like it now as it is easy and you do not have to wait in line or deal with crowded isles and you can get discount that you sometimes can not get inside the store.

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