It seems that many of us are discovering a new and more convenient way of shopping, and this would be online. Online shopping has become a major way of making purchases today, and it seems to offer everything that your local department, grocery, or drug store does, only with more convenience. On the other hand, there are those “Die-Hard” shoppers who would rather pound the pavement and deal with the hustle and bustle of the crowds, either because of habit or tradition. The “Brick-and-Mortar” shoppers are the most common folk, who wouldn’t have it any other way, because to them there’s just something about personally choosing the items that they are purchasing. The online shopper seems to be less particular, when it comes to online shopping; you have to have a certain amount of faith in certain web sites when buying anything from items for the home to clothing. Online vs. Brick-and-Mortar shopping seem to be two ways of doing the same thing.
Although online shopping takes a little more time for the consumer to receive their purchase(s), many people don’t seem to mind because of the convenience of it all. They seem to accept the risks that go along with it, and some of the risks could include getting the wrong size, color, or an item that doesn’t work properly. An item can always be shipped back, and we can wait on either another product or a refund, which can cause some inconvenience. When the “Brick-and-Mortar shoppers make their purchases, most of them are satisfied, because they have made the decision to take the time to personally inspect and admire their item(s) personally, and if something is not quite right, they have the option of returning to the store and waiting in line for customer service to either refund or exchange their item(s).
It seems that there can be some inconvenience with whatever method of shopping you choose. When you think of making a purchase, part of the excitement is in choosing your items personally, and you want to do that first hand and in person. There also leaves room for a chance meeting with friends and acquaintances, which open the opportunity for reconnecting and catching up on old times. If you choose to shop online, you won’t have that opportunity because computers don’t have that capability. To the Brick-and-Mortar shoppers, it’s just a way of life, and a part of living and staying socially connected to the happenings in the community. This can be an adventure or a task; it all just depends on the circumstances and the situation.
Online shopping enables retailers to display merchandise which can be seen by people all around the globe, which wouldn’t have been possible in the case of visiting a store. Nevertheless, there are a series of disadvantages attached to the worldwide online shopping as well. For example, one of the main flaws is represented by security issues. Some of the advantages of traditional or “Brick-and-Mortar” shopping, are that you get what you see with no hitches, so you know if it’s right for you. It also gets you out of the house and if you are walking it keeps you fit.
Some of the disadvantages to traditional shopping are that you might have to travel long lengths which cost more money, as Internet shopping can get delivered to your door. Sometimes you may have to look through almost every shop to get what you want, therefor on the Internet you type exactly what you need. While online shopping might be the right choice for purchasing some items, there are those items that require a more personal touch, such as clothing, personal items, food, and in some cases the medications that we take, all of these things require personal attention.
To the Brick-and-Mortar shopper, they wouldn’t have it any other way because shopping is like an adventure that you don’t want anyone else to go on but yourself. When we choose to do our shopping online, it just seems that we are becoming less social and less active in our communities. When you go out and patronize your local department, grocery, or drug stores there’s something about feeling connected and a part of something. Online shopping has changed people’s lives, some people today only purchase online. For some, their geographic location makes a trip to the store almost impossible. Fortunately, the Internet is both a time saver and a cost comparison opportunity, where you can frequently find not only what you are looking for, but also get the best prices (including shipping) by doing a little shopping comparison.
Basically, the retailer today needs to focus on what all worldwide online shopping is offering to a customer. This would include an abundance of information besides perfect price transparency. Also on offer are a bouquet of special deals and much more. Retailers relying on the earlier formats will have to either adapt to this change or they will die out, since the new ones will pull volume from their stores and take away their profitability. Today the economic reality is well established that e-commerce is reaching for a much larger share in retail revenue.
When we purchase items right now because we just can’t wait it is called “Hyperbolic Discounting”, it’s when you prefer an option that arrives sooner than later. Fortunately, this is one of the biases that you can really fight against. If you start comparing prices before you are actually in a store, you have a better chance of putting everything on the same delivery timeline. Two day shipping from Amazon to save fifty percent sounds very good when you’re sitting at your computer and thinking about the commute to the store. If you know the variation on prices beforehand, you’re more likely not to worry about getting it immediately.
While some of us choose to do our shopping the traditional way, which means getting out there and dealing with the long lines and the crowds, all in for the sake of tradition or habit, there are those who choose to do their shopping online, which is more “Convenient”. It all boils down to the choices that we make, and our personal preference. This could lead us to believe that we may be becoming less social creatures, and if we really reflect on it, we might be. In the case of online vs. brick-and-mortar shopping and which is best, I would have to say that it’s a matter of choice.
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articlesfactory.com. (2012). Online shopping.