Online Shopping – 10 Things to Keep in Mind
Shopping online is more popular than ever before. Choose wisely when selecting where you buy from, and only shop on approved websites.
Online shopping has changed the retail industry by providing customers with 24/7 access to everything they could ever think of purchasing. There’s really very little need any more to go to physical stores. But just how great is that? Here are five pros and five cons of online shopping to consider before you make another purchase:
- Convenience: This is, of course, the main reason people shop online. They don’t need to leave their homes to go to a store (or several stores). They can even buy groceries online. Online shopping means that consumers can buy what they want when they feel like it or when they have time for it.
- Instant Price-Matching: Instead of going to several stores to find the best deal, consumers can simply open up several tabs and click through the stores’ online sites to see what the best bargain is. Online coupon sites even reward consumers for shopping online with cash back or points incentives.
- No Crowds: Those of us who are not fond of standing in line or being shoved around by strangers at the mall can appreciate the luxury of shopping in complete solitude without pushy customers or salespeople interfering.
- Discretion: Shopping online allows consumers to purchase all their more intimate or sensitive items without embarrassment or uncomfortable conversations with the sales staff.
- Saves Money: That little shopping cart in the corner of the screen lets consumers know exactly how much they are going to be paying. Seeing the total at the end allows customers the chance to review their purchases and put something back. Consumers are far less likely to put an item in a real shopping cart back once the cashier tells them their total.
- Identity theft: While most sites are relatively secure, security breaches do occur, which can result in headaches and potentially lost money for the consumer. If you want to avoid this possibility altogether, shopping in stores with cash is your best option.
- No Fitting Rooms: Buying clothes online is risky, unless you are completely familiar with the particular article of clothing you are purchasing. Without a chance to try something on, you have no guarantee that it will fit you or even look good on you until you receive it in the mail.
- Returns: If you do decide to return something, you often have to send it back through the mail instead of taking it to a store. While this isn’t an altogether impossible task, it can be time-consuming and aggravating.
- Quality: Just like size, quality is something you cannot necessarily see based solely on a two-dimensional screen. You cannot see every feature of something like a dishwasher online, and may miss details you would notice in the store.
- Customer Service: The main thing missing from the online shopping experience is a helpful sales staff who can answer your questions and offer you guidance. Online consumers shop alone and don’t have someone to talk to about a product the way that in-store shoppers do.
So what’s better, online or in-store shopping? Probably neither – it all depends on your personal preferences and what you’re buying. If you haven’t yet ventured into the world of online shopping, it can be a satisfying and easy experience. Yet there are always going to be some items like clothes or appliances that you’ll want to see in person before purchasing.