Online shopping continues to grow, leaving many brick and mortar shops with declining sales. The convenience of shopping from your own home has led many consumers to search online for big ticket items and major purchases. Instead of waiting in line at the mall, people are willing to wait a day or two to have a package delivered to their door.
Even though online shopping offers a number of great advantages, there are still plenty of reasons to visit local stores. The following information looks at the differences between online shopping and local shopping. Discover the advantages and disadvantages of both options, as you explore online purchases versus store purchases.
The Advantages of Store Purchases
First off, why should you consider visiting a store when you can purchase an item from the comfort of your couch? Brick and mortar shops provide several benefits for local shoppers. This includes the following:
- Pick up your purchase instantly
- Get a good look at the item that you want to buy
- Receive advice and recommendations from knowledge staff
When you shop locally and actually set foot in a store, you can expect several advantages over online shopping. You get to pick up your purchase instantly. You do not need to wait for shipping or worry about the delivery. As soon as you make your purchase, you will have your item in hand.
You will also be able to get a good look at the item that you want to buy. While you can find detailed product information online, internet research is not quite the same as actually looking at a product and seeing it firsthand.
While you are at the store, you can receive advice from the staff. If you are having trouble deciding between several products, the staff should be able to explain the various features and help you compare your options. Again, you can use customer reviews to obtain similar information online, but this will not offer the same benefit as discussing your options with someone in person.
The Advantages of Online Purchases
Now that you are beginning to see the value of shopping locally, you should look at the pros of shopping online. When you make an online purchase, you may be able to enjoy the following advantages:
- Shop from the comfort of your home
- Enjoy a larger selection of products
- You can take your time browsing online
- Instantly compare competitor prices
The primary benefit of online purchases is that you get to shop from the comfort of your own home. Instead of having to get in a car and drive to a store, find your purchases, and wait in line, you can sit on your couch and visit your favorite retailers.
As you shop online, you will be able to find a larger selection of products. Your local store can only carry a certain number of items as there is a limit to their available space. This is not an issue when shopping online. You will have access to a larger number of retailers and be able to find just about anything you need.
You can also take your time. You do not have to deal with other customers getting in your way, employees asking if you need help or any of the other minor annoyances that come with local shopping. When browsing online, you can take as much time as you would like.
Once you find an item that you would like to purchase, you can compare competitor prices. When you are online, it only takes a moment to check the price of an item across multiple stores. You are more likely to find the best value if you take your time to compare prices and online retailers.
Which Should You Choose?
So, which option should you choose – online purchases or store purchases? Both options provide several advantages over the other. The advantages of one showcase the disadvantages of the other.
With local shopping, you can purchase cheap products instantly, while products ordered online have to be shipped. You can also examine the item firsthand while you have to rely on the product details for online shopping. Shopping online provides convenience, as you do not need to leave your home or deal with anyone.
Since both options provide great advantages, the choice will depend on what you are shopping for. For example, when buying groceries, you will still likely prefer to shop locally, as you can actually see the food that you are purchasing. The same is true with clothing. While you may be able to find some great deals online, shopping in person provides the benefit of being able to try on the clothes before making a purchase.
For entertainment, electronics, and household items, the choice is yours. You can take your time when browsing for movies, gadgets, a new phone, linens, kitchen appliances, and any other items that do not fall into the category of food or clothing. These are non-essential items that you can wait several days to receive.
You can compare multiple products and find the best deal. Though, if you are unknowledgeable about a particular item, then visiting a local store gives you the opportunity to ask for advice from a staff member.
In the end, neither option wins. When it comes to online purchases vs store purchases, the best option depends on your personal preferences and the items that you are shopping for.