Shopping always has been associated with long, dragging lines, parking issues, and the hassle of driving around from store to store until we finally find what we need; but not anymore. Online shopping has given people the freedom to shop at home wearing only their pajamas and still get what they want. Although this might seem like the answer to prayers of many people, online shopping has its flaws as does traditional shopping. To facilitate this decision we have to see if online shopping can measure up to the purchasing power of traditional shopping.
To do this we need to weigh both methods to see how they compare to one another. Online and traditional shopping offer choices to shoppers; knowing the risks and benefits of both alternatives is necessary for them to make a smart decision.
When it comes to online shopping the idea of shopping in the comfort of your own home is very appealing to most people.
You also have the choice of browsing different sites to find what you need instead of wasting gas and time driving around different stores. Also, many people dread standing in long lines especially during the holiday season. Online shopping offers a retreat from these situations. Another good thing about online shopping is that things are easy to find online. You just type whatever it is your looking for on a search engine and you will get many suggestions of sites on the item. And perhaps the best feature of all is the price reduction offered by the online option.
The reason for this is because taxes seem to be lower or nonexistent on some products in some states when shopping online. Online shopping also prevents consumers from walking around with a big wad of money that can be easily lost or stolen.
The flaws of online shopping usually come between the reliability of the websites, the risk of identity theft, and the risk of credit card fraud committed by computer hackers. There is also a risk of running into a website that can infect your computer with various kinds of viruses. Reading online reviews about certain websites can sometimes help in this matter. Quality is sometimes an issue with online shopping because you don’t physically see or try out the product before you make the purchase. That is a huge turn off for most people because research has shown that motor skills are very important when it comes to activities such as shopping and people just plain and simple want to see and test out what they are purchasing. For example, ladies want to test out the new perfumes but cannot do that through the computer.
Sometimes there are certain items people like to try out and physically see what it looks like on them, but obviously they can’t do that online. Another disadvantage to online shopping is the fact that you have to wait to receive your item. So, if you are in a rush then you are out of luck. This probably means that grocery shopping online is not a good idea. Method of payment is another risk by itself. Usually credit cards are the preferred method but sometime you can use PayPal. But, it is risky to use credit cards online because you don’t know who is looking at your information. With that being said, it is probably a good idea to make sure you are using a good anti-virus program before going on a shopping spree online.
In traditional shopping you simply get in your car, drive to your favorite store (possibly with a friend with you) and buy what you want. It is an opportunity to socialize as well as having the excitement of being in a store with millions of products which you can see and try before you purchase. This method allows you to get the item right now without having to worry about the product being lost in the mail. Also, if you don’t like something or if something doesn’t fit you can just simply take it back to the store and get a refund or your money back instantly rather than waiting for the postal service. Conventional shopping has a certain vibe or electricity to it which is hard to experience from a computer. Traditional shopping sounds great; however it does have its issues.
Some of the problems with traditional shopping include gas money spent driving around to different stores looking for what you want. Sometimes what we are looking for might be available in a store in a different state. And that makes it pretty impractical to obtain that item which leaves us to basically wait until it comes to our favorite store. Also, trying to find parking at big department stores and malls can be very troublesome. Some people simply forget where they parked. Some people accidently lock the car keys in the car, or sometimes we have to deal with traffic jams that cause unnecessary stress. It is just the overall consumption of time and energy that most people find difficult. You will also experience a phenomenon known as shopping rage which is more common during the holidays. People get tired and frustrated during the holidays and let their frustration out on other people when shopping. It is very uncomfortable in those situations especially if you have your kids with you at the store while shopping. This is something you won’t have to deal with when you are safe at home on your computer.
The online shopping industry is growing more and more and there is good reason to believe that this growth will continue. One major factor to this prediction is that people are in fact saving money online because of the vast availability of items and because of the competition this creates among online stores. Despite its advantages, online shopping is still a relatively new concept for most people and because of this online shopping will fall behind the traditional shopping market, at least for now. It is a personal preference when it comes to choosing the two different shopping methods. Just like anything else they have their pros and they have their cons. Just remember to shop the way you feel comfortable and you will automatically become a smart and knowledgeable shopper. Happy shopping!!!
Consumers today have many options to find and purchase the products that they enjoy. In addition to mail order and telephone shopping, the people can travel to more places more easily to shop in stores and can travel all over the world to shop online via the Internet. There are so many ways to shop! The two most popular options today are traditional in store shopping and online shopping. These two forms of consumerism vary in convenience, product availability, and cost.
Traditional shopping is something that many people dread, stereotypically men, but many people enjoy, stereotypically women. Going out and spending time in stores, whether large retail establishments or quaint boutiques can be very fun and many make a day out of the experience. In store shopping can be convenient if the shops are local; often it is very inconvenient to go shopping because of travel time, time away from home and distance. Then factor in the time it takes to try things on and find the wanted items. Some stores also have limited shopping hours, so many people must rush to shop after work or do it on the weekend. Some people cannot fit shopping into their lives.
One major problem with shopping in stores is product availability. Stores have limited storage and floor sales space, so quantities of items are limited, and often the same retail chain will not have all products that they carry available in all locations. Nothing is more frustrating than making a trip out to the store for an item that is no longer available or that cannot be purchased. It is disheartening and customers often get angry.
Stores are notorious for bait and switch, most prominently at Christmas time, where they advertise a great deal on a product, but only have a couple in stock. They figure the customers will come and they can sell them something else. The cost of traditional shopping can vary. It depends on the items being sought. One upside of traditional shopping is being able to use store discount cards and coupons. There are costs involved with gasoline for travel and food if it is an all day or distance shopping venture. The consumer is usually in charge of the costs incurred when traditionally shopping.
A great alternative to this is online shopping. People can shop from their own homes by using their computer and credit card, and can do this at any hour of the day. If someone wants to shop at 3 a.m., it is possible. They do not have to leave home. There are warehouse shops online, so people can buy virtually anything they need at one site. There are a few problems with this, however.
Not all stores are online yet, and sometimes technical problems will erase a whole order. Some people become frustrated with their online experience and choose to shop in the stores. However, by doing an online search for a product, it is virtually impossible to NOT find it online. There are also online auction sites such as EBay that people use to buy hard to find or out of circulation items. However, there is a downside to online shopping, according to philosophe.com,
An online commerce customer faces mediation in every element and at every stage of the commerce transaction. Customers can’t see the merchant, only the merchant’s website; they can’t touch the merchandise, they can only see a representation; they can’t wander a store and speak with employees…they can’t explore the store’s shelves and product space (“ecommerce”).
Online shopping also has some hidden costs. Sometimes there are membership fees for certain sites, and surcharges for using a specific card. While coupons are available, they are usually only codes that consumers find on other websites. There is also shipping on most items, which is usually quite high.
There is no one best way to shop. People like to go to stores to support their local businesses, try things on, and shop for the sport of it. Others like to shop online because they have more variety and do not have to leave home. No matter how you like your shopping experience, there is always a way to get it done!
“ecommerce / Online vs “Traditional” Shopping. philosphe.com. 1998-2000. Accessed 23 March 2007.