For most consumers, online shopping has become an integral part of our lives. With the convenience of shopping online, it is no wonder why so many consumers are turning away from traditional brick-and-mortar stores.
According to Statista on online shopping vs in-store shopping statistics, 90% of American adults have purchased something online — whether it be from an established retailer or from an independent seller on DC or eBay — while only 58% have made a purchase in-store within the past 6 months (2022).
However, there may still be times when you would rather go to a store instead of ordering items online. Some things simply won’t fit right online, and you want to ensure that your purchase will arrive safely and correctly.
In addition, you don’t want to spend hours waiting in line at a retail location. And sometimes, it’s nice to touch and feel certain products before buying them.
So, which one — online shopping vs in store shopping? We answer these questions below:
Why Online Shopping Works For Us
The world in which we live is one in which technology is developing more quickly than ever. As such, it makes sense that most businesses are moving toward digital platforms.
This means that you can order food, clothes, and anything else online without leaving the comfort of your home. This is convenient and saves us time, especially when we’re running late for work.
Plus, you can easily order deliveries directly to your door if you’re out of town. If you’re stuck somewhere that doesn’t offer delivery services, you may find yourself going back to the same place over and over again to pick up your purchases.
It’s not just convenience that draws shoppers to cross border shopping; it’s price too.
A recent study found that consumers are willing to pay nearly double the amount for goods bought online versus those purchased in-person.
With the ability to save time and money, it’s no surprise that overseas online shopping continues to grow in popularity among both millennials and Gen Zers.
Why In-Person Shopping Still Matters to Us
Although online shopping is growing fast, there are still situations where you want to shop in person. Here are three reasons why.
#1. Quality Control
Even though online shopping is becoming increasingly popular, there are still instances where you want to inspect the item you’re purchasing physically.
Maybe you’re concerned about whether or not the shirt fits properly, or you want to see the quality of the fabric.
When you buy something online, you don’t really have any idea of how well built the product is until after you receive it.
Buying in-person allows you to handle and examine the product firsthand, ensuring that it meets your expectations.
#2. Personal Touch
While you may think that you can’t tell much difference between a pair of shoes purchased online and those purchased in-person, you may be surprised.
A physical inspection of a product sometimes reveals details that aren’t visible in pictures alone.
By handling and examining the product, you may notice imperfections that you wouldn’t otherwise see. Plus, you can ask questions of the sales associate.
Ask questions about sizing, color choices, and personal preferences before buying.
#3. Price Matching
Perhaps the biggest benefit of shopping in person is comparing prices.
Some retailers allow customers to enter a code into the checkout process, allowing them to match prices against competitors’ prices.
When you purchase online, you don’t have access to this feature. However, you can often find deals on products offered in-stores.
Of course, the fact that you’re paying full price upfront doesn’t mean that you should settle for a deal. But at least you’ll have the chance to compare pricing.
Finally, online shopping is superior to in-store shopping, though sometimes it comes down to personal preference.
But the benefits of in-person shopping can outweigh the downsides, so choose wisely.
Online vs in Store Shopping? Which Do I Prefer?
There are pros and cons for each type of shopping experience. In the end, your situation will determine what works best for you.
Here are a few tips to consider when choosing between online shopping vs in store.
Before you decide to buy online or in person, do your research. Check reviews, read comments, and compare prices across multiple retailers.
Do some comparison shopping to ensure that you’re spending your money efficiently. Knowing exactly what you’re getting before you hand over your cash is important.
Look Out for Shipping Fees
Shipping fees are another reason to shop in-person. Many worldwide shipping stores charge extra for shipping costs.
If you purchase in-store, you can avoid shipping charges altogether. If you buy online, you’ll still need to factor shipping costs into your budget.
If you plan on visiting several different stores, it may be worth your while to visit local shops first and then go online.
Not only will you be able, but you’ll likely find local boutiques offering unique clothing options.
Plus, these smaller stores tend to have higher customer service standards. They’re usually more interested in providing excellent customer service than maximizing profits.
According to another recent survey on online vs in store shopping statistics, 68% of shoppers say that in-store shopping helps them find inspiration for what they want to get for others.
Consider Buying Online Only
If you prefer to shop online, then that’s fine.
Many people enjoy using their smartphones and tablets to browse the internet.
Additionally, you can use apps like Groupon, Amazon Prime Now, and Uber Eats to grab lunch or dinner and skip the lines quickly.
Don’t Forget About Returns
If you’ve made a mistake, returning items purchased online is always possible. Just contact the retailer and they will happily ship your merchandise back to you free of charge.
The downside is that returns take longer to process than in-store returns. Depending on how quickly you need your items, your returned package could take days, weeks, or months to reach its destination.
That said, it pays to shop around beforehand if you plan to return items purchased online. Shop around for a store that will accept your return within 24 hours, and check to see if you can return via mail or courier.
Which Method Is Better For You?
As you consider whether to shop online or in-person, here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Do I want to avoid crowds?
- Will I be satisfied with my selections?
- Am I comfortable spending money online?
- Does my budget allow me to buy online?
- Are there any special occasions where I would like to use this service?
Also, look in store vs online shopping statistics. Once you’ve answered these questions, you can choose the method that works best for you.
Statistics on online shopping vs in store shopping are increasing day by day. In-store shopping is great because you can try on items, ask for advice, and not worry about shipping costs. But it’s only sometimes convenient or possible to get to a store. Web shopping has its advantages:
You can search for products from the comfort of your desk chairs (or couch or bed). You can compare prices and reviews from different sellers before making a decision. Also, you can save time by ordering what you need in one stop — no need to run around town looking for everything from toilet paper to batteries, office supplies, and more.
The bottom line? Both shopping types have pros and cons, but you’re likely to find the best deal by comparing prices online and then going into stores when necessary.