Onlineshopping Versus Physical Store Shopping
Onlineshopping Versus Physical Store Shopping
Onlinecommunication platforms such as Facebook have made it easy for peoplefrom all corners of the world to interact without physically meeting.Similarly, the introduction of the internet has made it possible forpeople to engage in remote activities such as taking classes withlectures they never meet, consulting with various professionals theynever see in person, and buying commodities from stores they neverenter, among other activates. Thepractice of online shopping has advantages and disadvantages whencompared to physical store shopping.
Onlineshopping refers to the process of buying items online without gettinginto a physical engagement with the seller or the store. Physicalstore shopping, on the other hand, refers to the practice ofpurchasing items by physically or personally visiting the stores andhaving a physical negotiation or conversation with the seller. Thelatter appears to be a more traditional shopping method.
Onlineshopping has significantly gained popularity since the introductionof internet. Many people consider it as an amazing shoppingalternative. However, compared to the previously common physical orreal store shopping, online shopping has a varied range of advantagesand disadvantages. Shopping as a business practice or activityentails buying of various items including gadgets, clothes, dailygroceries, and appliances among others (Chul-Jae, 2012).
One of the most significant benefits or advantages associated withonline shopping is convenience since the online items are availableat any given time, and the buyers can access them from anygeographical location. Since online stores have no space limitations,they can display more inventories which make the buyers have morechoices (Chul-Jae, 2012). Additionally, due to the advancement ofwebsite technology, several stores are in a position to operatesolely through the internet which makes the customers have a broadrange of retail shops from which to select items. Through the use ofsearch engines in online shopping, consumers spend the minimum timeto find the products they need and within the fastest time possible,especially when buying items with several specifications. Besides,most online retailers provide price match policies due to highcompetition, which makes the buyers save money, effort, and time. Allsuch advantages are not available when one decides to visit thestores in person.
Onthe other hand, one of the merits associated with physical storeshopping is that it has the experience of physically touching theitems before buying as opposed to online shopping. Studies also showthat letting the customers hold the items they love before makingpurchases causes a physical effect which makes them associateshopping with a feeling of a good experience (Bezes,2016).Shopping in a real store, as opposed to online shopping, also givesthe buyers the opportunity to inspect the items for quality properly.Such inspections for quality elevate the customers` satisfaction.Besides, talking to the seller directly sometimes gives the buyer anopportunity to negotiate to lower product prices. It also creates thebond between the customers and the vendors, thereby building trust,which is not available in online shopping (Chul-Jae, 2012).
Despitehaving various advantages, online shopping also has certaindisadvantages. One of such disadvantages is that the internet cansometimes be dangerous due to the existence of hackers and scammerswho are always available to take advantage of the unsuspectingcustomers (Bezes,2016).Additionally, some online sellers use poor consumer services for thepurpose of achieving a high ranking, and some of their products alsohave higher prices compared to those in real stores. Despite theconsistency in online security development, customers’ sensitiveinformation relating to credit card and personal data can get stolen,a practice that is rare in physical store shopping (Bezes,2016).
Onthe other hand, physical store shopping also has variousdisadvantages despite having many advantages over online shopping.One of such disadvantages is that, as opposed to online buying, thepractice of visiting one store to the next in physical shopping justto find a given product can be tiring (Chul-Jae, 2012). Additionally,the checkouts in physical stores can also be tedious and variousevents relating to queues, furious cashiers or buyers, and heavybaskets or pushcarts can be unappealing. Online shopping has noassociation with such events or occurrences. However, whether onechooses to use online or physical store shopping method, duevigilance remains the best way to ensure safety while spending moneyon items.
Inconclusion, both online and physical shopping has advantages anddisadvantages. However, the use of each method is determined by theproducts and services offered, the types of customers targeted, thetechniques used by competitors, and the infrastructural availability(Bezes,2016).Therefore, a vendor or seller must consider the method that bestsuits its operations including satisfying its customers’ needswhile generating profits. Moreover, sellers must be watchful of thetechniques used by competitors to ensure that they remain relevant inthe market.
Bezes,C. (2016). Comparing online and in-store risks in multichannelshopping. InternationalJournal of Retail & Distribution Management,44(3),284–300. doi:10.1108/ijrdm-02-2015-0019
Chul-JaeChoi, (2012). The Effect of Shopping Motives on Consumer`s Emotionand Store Loyalty: Comparison with E-Shopping and In-StoreShopping. JournalOf Distribution And Management Research, 15(1),23-33. http://dx.doi.org/10.17961/jdmr.15.1.201203.23