That’s Debatable: Is Online Shopping Better than Shopping In-Store?

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While practicing social distancing, most consumers have started shopping online. This begs the questions, however, is online shopping better than in-store, brick and mortar shopping?

YES:

Online shopping provides buyers the chance to browse through a large selection of items and visit an unlimited amount of stores without leaving the comfort of their home. Shoppers have the opportunity to compare prices to ensure they got the best deal possible. Loads of stores offer discounts to those who are subscribed to their mailing list. Subscribers are often offered deals to the store’s website, which is not available to everyone. 

Websites display customer reviews on products that are extremely helpful when deciding between items. Buying clothes online can be tricky, but reading reviews give insight to the buyer on the quality of the material and the fit of the product. 

With gas prices increasing, shopping online allows people to save money as well as time. In this age, people are constantly running around working and do not have the time to pick up a birthday present or buy a new oven. It can take as little as five minutes to purchase an item and have it delivered to your door the next day. Moreover, shopping centers sometimes charge parking fees which online shopping avoids. 

An in-store shopping trip usually results in more money being spent than anticipated. Buyers go into stores needing a pair of socks, but more than often leave with five other products. Stores are designed so people will overspend. Lines are filled with knick-knacks so that customers will look at them, and hopefully pick up a candy bar while waiting for the cashier. Overall, the layout of stores is designed to tempt customers to splurge, therefore online shopping is the smarter decision. 

Specific items are more likely to be found online rather than in a single mall or store. “Green dress” can be searched on Google and thousands of dresses will show up from websites around the world. However, at the mall, a person looking for a green dress could go into 5 different stores and only find a couple of options. Although in-store shopping provides a more personalized experience, the convenience that online shopping is known for, makes up for it. 

In times like this, during a pandemic, online shopping is necessary for society to continue functioning. Although grocery stores are open, they do not sell all the items needed to live comfortably. Some people have to eat a certain diet, and with some foods being harder to find at the moment, those people are struggling. Thankfully there are resources online that will deliver food to your doorstep. Moreover, it is simply too risky for some people to leave their houses, so online shopping is their only way of purchasing their necessary items. 

Consumers can search exactly what they are looking for without having to wander store to store. Websites are organized and created to be user-friendly. Therefore, it is in your best interest to online shop for an effective, convenient experience. 

Written by Taylor Olgin

NO:

In-store shopping, also known as brick and mortar shopping, is a fun, social and important part of society. Although many people prefer to shop quickly from the comfort of their homes, shopping online does not give the same experience as driving to a store and picking out items you like. 

I remember in middle school when my favorite thing to do on a Friday night was go to the mall and shop with my friends. We could walk around, talk to people we know, look at the coolest new clothes and maybe even get some food. 

It’s times like these that I remember most when I think about brick and mortar shopping, because it outlines exactly all the good that comes from going to a store in-person. 

Leaving your house to go anywhere is beneficial to your health and mood. Going to any store, there is the exciting chance to see someone you know and say hi, have a pleasant conversation with a store clerk or maybe even meet someone new. When someone buys something online, it takes personal interaction out of the experience, which is a big part of what makes brick and mortar shopping so fun. 

Also, when you buy items online, it usually takes a day or more to get to your house. However, many people prefer to be able to use or wear something the moment they buy it, which is impossible if your item is being shipped from across the world. Not to mention what happens if your package gets lost in the mail, or taken from your doorstep.

Finally, shopping online can be misleading and makes it easy to buy something that is not at all what it seemed in the picture. For example, it is difficult to buy clothes without seeing them in person, because you don’t know what size is best for your body. It seems that every store has a different definition of small, medium and large, and if you buy online it is very easy to buy the wrong size. However, if you buy in-person, you can hold the item up to you or try it on to see if it will fit before you buy it.

Also, it is easy for websites to present items in a way that make them seem better quality than they are, and when they get to your door they are not as good as you thought they were. Reading reviews online is not the same as going into a store and seeing the quality of an item with your own eyes.

All in all, brick and mortar shopping is an exciting experience that ensures you get what you want, when you want. Although online shopping is a good alternative for now with social distancing, people should return to brick and mortar shopping when the pandemic is over. 

Written by Sophie Crivier