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Online Shopping vs Traditional Shopping, Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 584

Essay

Even before internet became a widespread phenomenon, futurists used to predict that a day will come when we may shop from the comfort of our homes. It might have seemed a strange idea in those times but now we finally understand what they truly meant. Online commerce has emerged as a serious challenger to traditional brick-and-mortar commerce. Both formats have their own pros and cons and it may be mistake to declare either online shopping or traditional shopping as the superior of the two shopping formats. People have different lifestyles and whether online shopping or traditional shopping may be a better option, depend upon the needs of the individual customers.

Online shopping is a better option when time and prices are the main concerns. Online shopping makes it easier to do quick price-comparison among different online retailers and do so inexpensively. Unlike traditional shopping in which one has to go from store to store for price comparison, online shopping tools allow price comparison among hundreds of online retailers in few seconds. In addition, one can purchase items online from virtually anywhere and anytime of the day as long as there is an internet access. Thus, online shopping may also appeal more to those who have very busy work schedule and cannot afford to spare few hours for traditional shopping. Traditional shopping may appeal more to those who actually like to experience or try the items in person and who enjoy the experience of shopping in mall as much as they enjoy purchasing the items. They view the time spent in traditional shopping also as an opportunity to bond with friends and family. Those who prefer traditional shopping may also care about prices but they have an idea of what they want to pay and do not want to spend too much time and efforts to find the cheapest-possible price. But traditional shoppers may switch to online shopping during difficult economic times because not only online shopping results in better deals, it also allows the shoppers to save on fuel costs. Online retailers understand this which is why many now offer an opportunity to customers to qualify for free shopping.

Whether online shopping and traditional shopping is a better option also depends upon the nature of the goods and services purchased. While online shopping is suitable for many items such as electronics, clothing, and grooming products etc., goods such as perishable food item and big-ticket splurges may be best suited to traditional shopping. Big-ticket splurges are specifically suited to traditional shopping because they often require huge financial investment and require personal inspection and/or test-trials. Some items are so complex or need to be customized that traditional shopping is the only option.

Traditional shopping appeals more when we also enjoy discovering new things in the shopping mall and do not always know what we want to buy. In online shopping, we usually know what we are looking for. But when we know what we want, online retailers have an advantage over traditional retailers. Online retailers do not have to invest in physical infrastructure, thus, they can display lot more varieties on their website than a traditional retailer.

Both online shopping and traditional shopping meet different needs, thus, it is common for most people to employ both shopping formats. Shopping is a lot more than just purchasing goods or services. Online shopping is a relatively new phenomenon, thus, it will continue to evolve and get better over time while traditional shopping format may continue to exist more or less unchanged.

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