Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Thrifty Mom Guide: Online Shopping or In-Store Shopping?

If you are looking to buy a new sound system or a television, there are two places where you can shop - online or in-store. There are some significant differences between online shopping and in-store shopping. Below you will find a number of comparisons between the two options.


Who can buy and how soon the item(s) is needed:

Online shopping - A survey carried out by Nielsenwire stated that 59% of American consumers pick online shopping as their first option to shop for a myriad of things. About 68% of Americans feel that online shopping is the easiest and quickest way to purchase items.

To use this option successfully, you will need a PayPal account, a credit card, a checking account, a debit card, or anything similar. While it is very convenient, you will need to wait a few days for the item to arrive at your door. Depending on which online store you buy the product from, you might often be able to obtain free delivery or only pay half-price for the delivery. It all depends where the warehouse is situated and how far your location is from it.

In-Store shopping - The same Nielsenwire survey stated that in-store shopping has not fallen behind that much. 77% of Americans believe in-store shopping is the safest and 69% said this way of shopping is the most consistent.

This is perhaps the easiest place to shop for your item, be it a sound system, a video camera, or even a clothing item. The only thing that will stop you from buying from a brick and mortar is if you do not have the means to get to the store. In addition, you might just have to fight your way through the crowd to get to the good stuff. If you encounter a traffic jam and a crowd, you might waste plenty of time in getting there.

Availability of Product Selection

Online shopping – An analyst from ZK Research, Zues Kerravala said that it is no surprise that many people are happier with online shopping. Almost every retail shop has made the process a lot simpler for its consumers. He cited as the best online shopping website because it provides one-touch buying, which is a feature that enables a shopper to compare shipping rates and prices from numerous merchants or vendors from all over the world.

Without having to drive miles away from your comfort zone, every brand and model are literally at your fingertips. If you do not see anything that you like from one website, you can easily move on to the next one, and you can continue to do so until you come across the right item.

The downside is that you are unable to test the item before you purchase it, unless you can find it at the nearest store in your area. Nevertheless, you can find more than enough reviews and ratings on the Internet. Reputable online stores will normally make you aware of the availability of their products via their websites.

In-store shopping
– Most products are only limited to the ones available in the store, but the advantage is that you can test the product and compare it to the other products in the store. Bear in mind that the availability of items may depend on the size of the stores and the products might be limited in terms of models, series, and designs. If you visit a small store, it may not carry that many products.

Price of Item(s)
Online shopping – Normally, you will find online merchants feature lower price tags because they do not have to rent a store in shopping centers, pay high electricity bills or staff members. These days, promo codes are made available to all online shoppers, which allow them to save more money when they shop. With online shopping, you have the opportunity to use where you can earn cash back when you shop via this website.

In-store shopping – With plenty of online purchasing options, traditional stores are constantly slashing their prices to compete with them. In-store discounts and coupon codes may allow them to sell their items as low as the ones you find on the Internet. Additionally, you will find several retail stores that resell their returned products at even more affordable prices.

With so many options on the Internet and the convenience of online shopping, would you consider it?

Taylor Swanson has been shopping online for a few years already and has great knowledge and experience. She enjoys finding the best coupon codes the internet has to offer and sharing them with others.