Essay Sample: Shopping Online vs. Shopping at Stores

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University of Richmond
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When it comes to shopping, convenience and price are the main factors inevitable to consider. When customers are out on shopping, they love exploring the vast array of commodities and products displayed on shelves while filling their shopping baskets. However, with the current trends, in-store trending has faced stiff competition from online stores which have to avail and take away the hustles of having to visit the shopping premises. Well, though this has merits, it is not without some setbacks. Nevertheless, there are still some benefits of shopping at local stores. It is all about which outweighs the other regarding the benefits, costs, and convenience.



It goes without saying that a customer shopping online enjoys a variety of deals arising out of price flexibility of the products sold online. It is quite easy to shift to another website and outsource a product at a favorable deal including a reduced price. As for the stores, customers are also able to enjoy a variety of deals including negotiating for the price and quantity of the products. One can choose from the vast array of goods on offer in the shelves, and in case one is not comfortable with one shopping mall; there is an option to shift to another shopping premise to obtain pleasant deals.


Shopping from official online stores comes with a warranty on the products plus a guarantee of refunding the products in case they are faulty or have not meet the standards and specifications of the initial order. While shopping at the local stores, one may be granted a warranty depending the product bought. Other premises do not have a refund policy and do not, therefore, accept the return of goods purchased. Other retail facilities, however, accept returns as long as it meets the preset conditions of returning the products. The same happens with the warranties as it all depends on the policy of the shopping premise. It, therefore, calls for the customer to make inquiry of whether the buying premise accepts a refund of the goods or whether it offers a warranty on the products.



Locating, tracing and tracking a product online is much easier as compared to trying to look for the product in the local store. Looking a specified item from the store can be quite tasking especially if the products are not organized in a manner for easy retrieval. More often than not, shoppers have to ask for assistance from the attendants to trace the products. The worst case happens if the attendant is not familiar with the product and in this case, the attendant might give the wrong information or refrain from giving any misleading information for lack of knowledge of the existence of the product. Failing to locate the product from the stores will prompt the customer to look for the product elsewhere, and this consumes large time. However, shopping for the product online is a walk in the park especially because one can look for the product from other websites if one fails to locate the product from one online store.


Regarding service, products online are categorized into different specifications such as price, quantity, size, shape, color, delivery etcetera, and it, therefore, becomes easier to navigate and shop from online stores. Upon making an order, one receives a prompt of the expected date of delivery and thus no queuing is required. On the contrary, one has to make long lines when shopping in stores and malls, and it gets worse if there are many people in the line and one has to wait for a long time to be served. Also, when shopping in the retail premises, one may encounter some of the sales agents strategically positioned and who can be quite disturbing especially when beseeching one to buy a product one never intended.


The biggest challenge with shopping online is the fact that one cannot verify the physical properties and the condition of the goods at the when one is making the order. One has to wait until the product is delivered and cross-check whether the specifications of the product resonate with what one is in search for. The greatest risk is that one may end receive a product that one did not order or may alternatively receive a product with completely different specs thereby prompting one to reorder the item. When ordering, the picture of the product posted on the website may be distinct from the one of the actual product, and hence one might mistake one product for another. Unlike online shopping, in store shopping is less risky regarding the verification of the products typical characteristics, quality as well as quantity. One is in a position to touch, feel and proof that the product on offer exactly matches what one the specifications. Thus, when buying one is entirely sure that product is exact.

In conclusion, shopping online as well as in stores both have merits and demerits. Ideally, before one settles on whether to shop online or from local retail stores, one should take into account of the cost, convenience, refund policy as well as the time spent on shopping.


Works Cited

Dai, Bo, Sandra Forsythe, and Wi-Suk Kwon. "The impact of online shopping experience on risk perceptions and online purchase intentions: does product category matter?." Journal of Electronic Commerce Research 15.1 (2014): 13.

Jiang, Ling, Zhilin Yang, and Minjoon Jun. "Measuring consumer perceptions of online shopping convenience." Journal of Service Management 24.2 (2013): 191-214.

Ozen, Hilal, and Nil Engizek. "Shopping online without thinking: being emotional or rational?." Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics 26.1 (2014): 78-93.

Scarpi, Daniele, Gabriele Pizzi, and Marco Visentin. "Shopping for fun or shopping to buy: Is it different online and offline?." Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 21.3 (2014): 258-267.

Torres, Matthew. "Comparison: Buying Online Vs in A Store." Lifewire. N.p., 2017. Web. 16 July 2017.


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