So you are in a hurry! Your “to do” list is through the roof … and you don’t know which way to go.
Many retailers now have an online presence on the web and it is an online store. This is, according to most, the way to go and many retailers would be very happy to see it as the only way to go. Online shopping is definitely growing by leaps and bounds. In the US alone, many major retailers have closed hundreds of branches, solely due to online shopping.
This is where online shopping becomes a viable proposition … or is it?
1. Save time … of course, shopping from home (or office) is a great time saver.
2. Special Offers … Most retailers (especially grocery stores) offer special prices to online customers
3. Reduce impulse buying. The old maxim of buying groceries after a meal, not before, still applies, but the general impulse buying online is diminished
4. Prices can be quickly and easily verified with other online retailers. (or use available software to do this for you)
5. The Black Friday and Cyber Monday phenomenon is now spreading all over the world and it can be a great idea to get that special item at ridiculously low prices. As online shopping takes center stage, we should see coupons, promotions, and more available from the online retailer.
Shipping costs can be both good and bad. The cost of delivery is important to consider when shopping online, especially once again groceries. The cost of fuel is also a factor; this, of course, works both ways. Before buying anything, you need to do some comparative shopping. Take a photo on your cell phone, enter the price, and compare the cost of the identical item online.
1. Products purchased online tend to be more expensive, this may not be in all cases, but the ability to get a discount online is clearly a no-no. This is where comparison can make a difference. It is also good to check the hidden costs.
2. You lose the opportunity to choose your own items, eg fresh vegetables and fruits, feel the texture and taste the item. Sizes may vary from store to store (Chinese sizes are well known to be very small), colors may not exactly match the image, and of course the item cannot be tried on.
3. In most cases, the more you buy, the cheaper the shipping cost will be, but in all likelihood you will have to visit the supermarket quite often to buy fresh produce, bread, milk, etc. Of course, this raises the question of impulse buying and the cost of the trip.
4. Time is also a factor, how long does it take to receive a delivery.
Of course, there are now thousands and thousands of online shopping sites on the World Wide Web. What’s interesting is the wide price range for what “appears” to be the same item plus, of course, the “shipping” which is in fine print (it appears that the more the retailer charges for shipping, the smaller the letter) or “free” shipping … really !!
This article is not a definitive work on all the good and bad of online shopping, it is designed to make you think. Now you’re probably confused, but it all comes down to:
For. Cost savings
B. Save time
If you are one of the very lucky and can achieve both, you have it done. For other mere mortals, a compromise will need to be made, but as this phenomenon is on the rise, we have very few options, but eventually go with the flow.