The current era provides people with a broad selection of services and goods. Modern technology had changed many aspects of life that used to be stagnant before the internet became a mainstream tool. One example is having the option to choose between online shopping or shopping at a physical location. Nowadays, every individual can choose whether to use online or physical stores while shopping for goods. Shopping was primarily associated with stores, but the internet provided an entirely new way of making purchases for consumers who want to indulge in shopping sprees. There are significant differences between online and in-store shopping, and buyers tend to pick one or the other based on their own expectations and preferences. Both online and location shopping have pros and cons, but people tend to prefer shopping at a physical location since it correlates with convenience, varying products, and saving time.
Consumers always chose convenience over inconvenience. Being able to buy something without meeting difficulties on the way is the experience every person wants to have while shopping. This is why shoppers tend to pay attention to the convenience issue while choosing how to make a purchase without meeting any troubles during the process. Consumers have started to value convenience in shopping more than they ever had before. Nowadays, every shopper is interested in having the best results in the least amount of time. There are arguments for both online and in-store shopping having convenience benefits, but physical stores still remain the leaders when it comes to providing a convenient experience.
Convenience in Online Shopping
Since online shopping is done over the internet and the customer does not need to go anywhere, stand in line, and look for the product in multiple locations, it is convenient. The client can eliminate the stress of dealing with ques, being frustrated with the lack of goods. Another convenience is not having to interact with incompetent cashiers (Hasa, 2020). However, online stores do not provide many of the advantages that make the shopping process convenient. For example, there are no assistants who are willing to help in case of a misunderstanding. Not being able to use cash to make a purchase is also an inconvenience that does not apply to physical stores. Buying goods online may also be inconvenient for people who are not proficient in using technology. An example would be elderly people who may not be as up-to-date with this process. Since online purchases are linked with providing credit card details, people with little experience can find it intimidating and inconvenient.
Convenience in Shopping at a Physical Location
Shopping at a physical location implies that the buyer has to go to a specific place to purchase goods. On the one hand, it may be a problem for some individuals with busy schedules. On the other hand, it is a more familiar way of purchasing goods for most people. In the case of clothing, being able to try them on before paying is a significant factor that increases the overall convenience aspect of in-store shopping. This minimizes the risks of receiving the wrong item and being disappointed with the purchase. Another convenient bonus is having shopping assistants who are willing to help. It makes it easier for the customer to receive the correct item in a short time with no effort involved. Overall, seeing the item in person, having the choice to pay cash, interacting with shopping assistants, and not having to explore new ways of making monetary transactions make shopping at physical stores more convenient.
Giving the customers a wide variety of products is the primary goal of the majority of businesses. However, there is a possibility that a particular product looks different in pictures compared to real life. Many consumers have high expectations regarding goods they see in images, but the reality shows that buyers are often dissatisfied with the actual object vs. the expectations. This aspect makes in-store shopping a better option for consumers who do not want to be disappointed with their purchases.
Varying products in Online Shopping
Shopping for goods online means judging them by pictures and written characteristics. While shoppers cannot touch, feel, or try the items on, the possibility of dissatisfaction increases. There is a high probability that the actual product is different from the initial perception (Hasa, 2020). Furthermore, customers end up purchasing goods they will never use or wear because they are not satisfied with the product upon delivery. In terms of dissatisfaction, online stores are the primary sources of unpleasant shopping experiences based on expectation vs. reality. It is more common for dishonest retailers who are not truthful when writing characteristics and posting photos of their goods.
Varying Products in Shopping at a Physical Location
When buying directly from the physical store, customers can instantly feel, touch, and try the item on. They will have a clear and vivid understanding of the quality, exact color, fit, and size of the article since they will thoroughly examine and assess it in person. This is especially important when buying clothes, so many individuals choose to shop at physical stores rather than online. Usually, judging a clothing article by photos does not provide enough information on how this item will fit certain body types and complexions. This is why in-store shopping minimizes the risks of making reckless purchases and leaving the store dissatisfied or disappointed.
Nowadays, people value their time more than anything, so a more time-efficient way of shopping is a bonus they are eager to receive. This is why saving time on shopping has become a crucial demand that most retail stores are keen to provide for their customers. While online shopping is considered more efficient from a time-saving perspective, it is actually in-store experiences that tend to be more favorable in terms of shortening of time between making a purchase and receiving the goods.
Saving Time in Online Shopping
Online stores usually have a broad range of products available for purchase. The customers typically do not have to search for many websites to find a specific item, which saves their time. Another benefit is not having to travel. Since this is an online transaction, the shopper orders the item, and a couple of clicks are enough for them to make the transaction. However, the downside is online shopping is the delivery time. It can take at least a few days for the goods to arrive at one’s doorstep, making it inconvenient. Needless to say, delays and issues with delivery are so common that many consumers tend to avoid purchasing goods online. Experience shows that it is not as beneficial as in-store shopping.
Saving Time in Shopping at a Physical Location
Time management does not always correlate with in-store shopping since the buyer ends up going through different stores to find all the items on the list. There is also a chance that the initial store does not have the article in need, which makes the customers waste even more time in their quest to find the correct item. However, in-store shopping is the only way that allows the customer to be able to enjoy the purchased item right away. Buying something at physical stores is not connected with delivery issues, unlike the online way. The buyer pays for the goods and does not have to spend the next couple of days waiting for them. In terms of time management, shopping at physical locations seems to be a better option.
Every consumer has the opportunity to choose whether they prefer making purchases online or at physical stores. Having the choice provides them with a more enjoyable shopping experience no matter how they approach it. However, the practice shows that shopping in a physical location is still the preferred way of buying items. It benefits the customers through convenience, varying products, and saving time. It is more convenient since it is a more familiar shopping experience, it is accessible for everyone, and it minimizes the risk of dissatisfaction. The varying product aspect is minimal when it comes to in-store purchases. The buyer can touch, feel, and try the item on before buying it, which adds productivity to the shopping practice. Last but not least, shopping at physical stores is more time-efficient since there is no delivery time, unlike with online shopping.
Hasa. “What Is the Difference Between Online Shopping and Traditional Shopping.” Pediaa.Com, 2020.