07 Jul 2021
Once upon a time, it was thought that online shopping would be the death of traditional brick-and-mortar stores – but that has yet to happen. There is something about shopping in-store that continues to draw people – whether that be their desire to see and touch a product before purchasing it, or the simple joy of window shopping. However, online stores offer unrivalled convenience.
But which option gives you the biggest bang for your buck?
Shopping online has exploded in popularity and only continues to grow, and it's estimated that in 2021 the number of people buying online will be 22.0 million. And it's popular for a reason! Online shopping offers a number of advantages over shopping in-person.
Discount codes are one of the biggest draws of shopping online, with digital coupon websites such as Groupon offering up to 70% off RRP across a range of fashion, electronics, pet care and food and drink. There's also internet browser extensions such as Honey that will automatically scour the entire internet for valid coupons and add them to your order, no matter what website you're shopping from.
Free shipping is also a huge benefit of shopping online, allowing the convenience of shopping from the comfort of your home without paying any extra to have your purchases delivered straight to your door.
No matter what you're shopping for, there's a price comparison website to help you hunt down the best price on an item you wish to purchase. Rather than wandering from store to store looking for the best deal, price comparison websites such as GetPrice and ShopBot allow you to find the cheapest deal possible on electronics, appliances and much more.
Brick-and-mortar stores simply cannot compete with the variety offered by online stores. Online stores keep their stock in warehouses, allowing the retailer to sell products longer and let them sit unsold without cutting into the store's profit margin. Then, there's the fact you can shop at any time of the day. Forgot to purchase a birthday gift for a family member, and the stores are closed? No worries, just hop online and have their present shipped directly to them via express mail!
In-store shopping hasn't gone the way of dodo, so there's absolutely merit to it – in fact, one fifth of Australians prefer to shop exclusively in-store. This is for a combination of reasons, that set in-store shopping apart from its online counterpart.
If you're ever made a big purchase before, you probably know that offering cash is an effective way at getting the price down. When you shop in-store, you may be able to haggle the price down on certain items.
Fraud is a genuine risk when shopping online – sometimes you pay for an item and it just seems to disappear into the void. You can get around this by shopping online. It's not as complicated as online shopping, too: you see the item, you buy it, you take it home. There's no risk of shipping delays, your order getting lost, or finding out that what you purchased online is really on backorder.
You've probably seen plenty of "expectation vs. reality" photos of online purchases floating around the internet – but that's not a worry when you shop in-store. You get to see and touch and even test and try on products, so you know exactly what you're buying.
We honestly can't play favourites with either shopping option – both offer unique experiences, advantages and disadvantages. Being smart about your purchases is your best bet, and working within your budget ( which you should set up if you haven't already!) is always advised.