Online shopping has grown in popularity over the years due to its various advantages and benefits over traditional shopping at brick and mortar establishments. Matt Ryan’s recent LockerGnome article about pushy salespeople exposes a major disadvantage in shopping at conventional stores, particularly ones that specialize in technology. We all know the frustration and annoyance felt when regularly being pestered by a salesman who will just not take a hint. This is where the Internet makes shopping so much easier. For instance, if you are looking to buy a new computer, you have access to detailed reviews and relevant information online to help you make a decision without having to deal with a salesman trying to sell you a computer that may or may not be right for you.
A considerable amount of time and money can be saved by doing your shopping online. Here is a list of the main advantages of shopping online.
Online stores don’t have a closing time, nor do they have waiting lines for checking out your purchases. Shopping online saves you the trouble of having to drive and search for a parking spot; this is a particularly difficult task during holiday season as free parking spots are a rarity. Online shopping also eliminates the struggles associated with physically going to a store, such as having to push and struggle through crowds in the event of a sale or holiday event. This allows consumers to complete their shopping in a fraction of the time it would take to physically go to a shopping store. The flexibility that online shopping offers is unquestionable; you can shop at any place and at any time, which is quite useful given that most of us have busy lifestyles.
Most retail stores have an online version in some capacity. The variety of products and services available through online shopping is unmatched by conventional stores. Online shopping breaks geographical barriers to allow consumers to shop from any store around the world. For instance, if you are looking to purchase a particular product online, you will discover that there are several online stores around the world that sell the same product for varying prices. This allows you to compare prices with different stores so that you can get the best deal for the product you are after. The options available for consumers through online shopping are simply staggering. More often than not, by shopping online you will find products that you cannot to find at your local store.
Comparison shopping is the process of comparing prices and products across different stores before selecting the best deal. This process is simplified through online shopping as comparing prices in different stores is only a few clicks away. Bargain hunting online is as simple as using a search engine to find out all the stores that offer the product you are after so that you can easily compare prices and select the cheapest option. Online stores generally offer cheaper prices as they are low maintenance and are significantly cheaper to run than physical stores. Also, if properly utilized, coupon codes and free shipping deals can save you a lot of money when shopping online.
The beauty of online shopping is that you have access to a large database of information and reviews that you can read through to make a choice about a product. Users have the power to post reviews and thoughts on products after they purchase them to allow future customers to make an informed choice. Information on products is abundant on the Web and provides consumers with relevant reviews on products they are considering purchasing.
The costs associated with frequently driving a car to your local store can add up over time. Gas isn’t exactly cheap these days, and every way in which you can save gas should be utilized. Also, shopping online limits compulsive shopping as you know exactly what products you need to purchase and are aware, at a glance, of the items in your e-cart without the awkward embarrassment of holding up the checkout line in a real store when you’ve underestimated the total cost and have to send things back. Online shopping also saves you from dealing with salesman, who can be very persistent. Tricky salesmen can often persuade you into stocking up on products and services that you would not otherwise intend to buy.
What is your opinion on online shopping? Leave us a comment below!
CC licensed Flickr photo shared by Shlomi Fish