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Benefits of Shopping Online
Online Shopping Benefits
By Sharon Housley
Why buy online? Why not buy online? Have
you ever considered the pros and cons to shopping at
a retail store vs shopping online? Let's take a look
at the advantages and disadvantages of purchasing online...
Advantages Of Shopping Online...
1. Saves Time
If you already know what you're looking
for, shopping online can save you a significant amount
of time. With just a few clicks of the mouse, you can
place your order and move on to other things.
2. Price Comparisons
While shopping online, it is very easy
to do price comparisons for a given item. Once you have
determined what you want to purchase, you can see if
you are getting the best deal with just a few clicks.
And making it even easier, there are now search engines
specifically designed for price comparisons, and these
sites will often even calculate and include any shipping
charges, so you get to compare the actual, total cost
of the item.
3. Saves Fuel
Fuel prices have been up and down in recent
years, but no matter how expensive or inexpensive gasoline
might be at any given time, shopping online does not
require any driving, so it doesn't consume any fuel,
no matter what the cost.
4. Larger Inventory
With online retailers, it is much easier
to find the item, model number, color, style, and size
you want. You can also quickly determine whether the
item is "in stock" or not. Also, online shopping does
not restrict you geographically -- the pool of products
and available inventory for you to choose from is vastly
larger than those available to you via local retailers
within driving distance.
5. Shop 24/7
Online stores are available twenty-four
hours a day, seven days a week, all year long. The same
claim cannot be made by most (if any) retail stores.
Online shopping allows you to shop whenever you want,
at your convenience.
6. No Waiting
When purchasing online, there are no long
lines that you are forced to stand in line just to make
a purchase. In fact, when you purchase online, your
wait time will simply be the time required to display
the website ordering page.
Disadvantages Of Shopping Online...
1. Shipping Costs
Unless you purchase digital products,
there will sometimes be an additional expense to ship
your purchases. The shipping cost will often depend
on the size and the weight of the item. Many online
retailers offer "free" shipping, but only if the cost
of your order reaches a certain minimum amount. The
additional shipping costs can make the overall cost
of purchasing online, especially for larger and heavier
items, much less attractive than buying locally.
2. Lack Of Instant Gratification
Unlike retail stores, purchasing online
will require some patience after you place your order,
while you wait for your order to be packed, shipped,
and delivered to you. Unless you are purchasing digital
goods that can be "downloaded" immediately, you will
have to wait a few days for your order to arrive. You
simply can't walk out of the store with your newly acquired
3. See It, Touch It, Feel It
Some shoppers like being able to see
and feel an item, and to test it or try it on prior
to purchasing. By actually seeing the item, and being
able to physically feel and inspect the item, the purchaser
can often make a far more reasonable assessment of the
quality. This is difficult to do if you are just looking
at an online photo of the item.
4. Personal Data
Some people are concerned about the potential
security risks of storing and sharing of their personal
data and credit card numbers with online retailers.
While this risk is also an issue for local retail stores
(and some security experts say an even greater risk),
many people feel that purchasing online is an added
security risk that they are just not willing to take.
5. No Relationship
When you purchase online, you rarely have
the opportunity to build a relationship with the seller.
On the other hand, local retail stores are far more
likely to form relationships with their customers, simply
because of the personal interaction between buyer and
Online support may be limited, or even
non-existent, for items purchased online.
7. Defective Items
When trying to deal with defective items
purchased online, quite often the only option is to
pack the item up and ship it back to the online retailer
for a credit or replacement. And the customer is often
responsible for any return shipping costs. After waiting
a few days for your item to arrive in the first place,
this adds even more time to the overall process.
As you can see, each type of shopping
has its advantages and disadvantages, so weigh the pros
and cons yourself to decide which type best suits your
About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com
software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds
and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for
audio recording and editing software.
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