Shopping online broadens a customer’s horizons. It’s rare nowadays to find a product that can only be purchased at a physical store. Even retailers with locations nationwide offer online shopping with delivery options most of the time. The reason why? It saves time and money, and efficiency sells. This article will weigh the pros and cons of shopping online and give you some insight as to why so many customers prefer it.
Shopping Online: The Pros and Cons
Keeping the right quantity of the right items in stock is a fine art few retailers have mastered. While most customers might come into a store looking for one item, another customer could walk in right behind them needing the same product in bulk. Storefronts have limited space that must be used for shopper convenience as well as storage. Online shopping allows the retailer to keep items in their warehouse, carry a larger quantity, save time, space, and money.
This is good for the customer too. Most of the time, shoppers know exactly what they’re looking for before they go to buy it. If they don’t, they research as to which product to buy is usually done online. With online shopping, it gives the customer more options, and to have the product they want delivered right to their door.
Storefronts are set up for customers to walk around, browsing items in hopes to stumble across the right one for them. If it’s a large store, especially department stores, this means trying to find the right department, and then hunting for what they want on the shelf. The store might not have it on display, which means they must flag down a busy associate to go and check for it in the back. Even then, the store might not have them in stock.
Online shopping puts the store’s inventory at the tip of the customers’ fingers. They can browse through everything they carry without ever leaving the comfort of their home. When the local store doesn’t have that item in stock, their warehouse usually does. Virtual shopping carts are designed for ease of use and efficiency for the customer. With a few filled out forms and the click of the mouse, that same item could be on its way to the customer’s home in no time at all.
Time is money, but unlike money, once time is spent it’s gone forever. Imagine the frustration of hearing a store carries an item you want to buy. You get up, get dressed, drive across town to the nearest location, and scour the store for what you’re looking for, only to find they don’t have it. Sure, they can order it for you and have it there in a few days, but you could have done that yourself—by shopping online. Now you find yourself having wasted time that could have been used doing any number of things.
Some might argue that the time argument rests in favor of the storefront because if they do have it, the customer does not have to wait for it to arrive. This is 100% true. One of the downsides of shopping online is having to wait for it to arrive. When it’s time sensitive, shipping it to your location might not be an option. When you have to have it right now, online shopping cannot deliver. While urgent, last-minute purchases do happen, most of the time a customer can plan ahead to make sure the product arrives when they need the item or well before.
Online shopping saves money for the customer too. Even with the extra cost of shipping and handling, customers come out ahead. Think about this on a larger scale. If a customer never shopped online, and always went to storefronts to make purchases, how much do think the gas costs are? What about the mileage, and wear-and-tear on the vehicle? What about the most valuable resource of them all: the time spent? In the long-run, which option serves the customer better? I think the answer is clear.
Most retailers offer free shipping after a certain dollar amount spent as a courtesy. We do. What if you could purchase everything you wanted to buy, paying the same price (sometimes better) online, and have it delivered to your door for FREE? You can! In the long-run, online shopping saves the customer money. And if you like to shop, it could save you a substantial amount of money.
Online shopping is better. It just is. Rarely will you find a product you have to have where a retailer is unwilling to let you buy it online and ship it to you. It works better for them too. If they can save money and save their customers money too, you can bet they will make the effort to make their product as conveniently available as possible. So save time, save money, and save the hassle. Don’t brave the elements when you can order what you want from the comfort of your own home.
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